Category Archives: Desserts

Baked Italian Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 250g ricotta
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Make Jam for the topping (or use a jar if you’re being lazy), or use fresh strawberries.

Method

  • Crush the biscuits.
  • Add the butter to the biscuits and mix with your hands.
  • Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of your dish
  • Separate the eggs and keep the whites to one side
  • Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. Add the creme fraiche, ricotta and yoghurt.
  • Whip the eggs to stiff peaks (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them falling out).
  • Mix in the cheese mixture
  • Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base
  • Bake for 30-40mins on 180.
  • When the cake is cool, add the jam or strawberries (or whatever topping you like) to the top.

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries
  • 500g jam sugar (this is way too much in my opinion, I would use 300- 400g)
  • Knob of butter
  • Dash of lemon juice

Method

  • Take the tops off and middles out of the strawberries and place the good bits in a saucepan.
  • Put these on a low heat and when they soften a bit, add the sugar
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves and then add the butter
  • Turn the heat up and make it boil fast. You should not be able to control the bubbles by stirring.
  • When it gets to this point, time it for 4 minutes and then remove from the heat.

“Melt in the Middle” Chocolate Puddings

Chef’s Tip: I like to put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. This helps keep the middle molten when cooking, although you might have to add 1-2mins on.

Ingredients

  • 100g dark or plain chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g plain flour

Method

  • Put a saucepan on the hob on a medium heat with a bit of water in the bottom.
  • Place a bowl on top of the saucepan with the chocolate and butter in it. Melt the chocolate and butter until smooth.
  • Leave for 15mins to cool down.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Mix in each egg one by one.
  • Add the vanilla and finally the flour.
  • Divide the mixture into 4-6 ramekins.
  • At this point you can put them in the fridge for later, or cook them for 10-12 minutes on 200C.

 

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Chef’s tip: To add something special, mix some icing sugar with lemon juice, grate in a small amount of lemon zest and decorate the top of the cake with lines/squiggles.

Ingredients for the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 225g self-raising flour

Ingredients for the drizzle

  • Juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan, gas mark 4)
  • Beat the butter and sugar together
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time
  • Mix in the flour and then the lemon zest
  • Bake for 45-50mins
  • Mix together the drizzle, poke some holes in the top of the cake and drizzle the drizzle in a drizzly way to cover the whole cake. It will go nice and sugary/crunchy on top.

 

Raspberry Ripple Cake

Chef’s Tip: Mix the leftover raspberry juice with icing sugar to make a drizzle that you can pour on top or use to decorate with squiggly lines.

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g sour cream (a regular 300ml pot will get you this, just make sure you pour 250g into a bowl)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas Mark 4)
  • Grease and line a 23cm tin.
  • Put the raspberries into a bowl and lightly crush them with a masher – try to release as much juice as possible so it’s worth getting them out early.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the sour cream
  • Alternate dry and sour cream until it’s all in and mixed up.
  • Spoon approximately a third of the batter into the bottom of your tin, then spoon over half the raspberries.
  • Repeat with another third of the batter, then the remaining raspberries, and top with the rest of the batter.
  • Don’t worry if the batter and raspberries mix a bit when you’re spreading it all out.
  • Bake for 45-50mins (check how it’s going after 30mins) or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Chocolate Buttercream

Covers a 20cm round cake. Make a smaller batch just for filling.

Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 0.5tsp vanilla extract
  • 375g icing sugar
  • 75g white/milk chocolate

Method

  • Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of water.
  • Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar together.
  • Mix in the melted chocolate and leave to cool.

No-Bake Chocolate Strawberry Tart with an Oreo Base

Chef’s tip: Serve with ice cream or clotted cream. If you’re feeling fancy, you could melt some extra chocolate and drizzle it on baking paper to make pretty patterns. Once it’s dry, you can use these as toppers to the cake.

Original recipe video can be found here so you can follow along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4fbOGxiFDc

Ingredients (makes 10-12 slices, or halve the ingredients to make 6 slices)

  • 32 (330g) Oreo cookies, whole
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 7 oz/200g milk chocolate
  • 3.5 oz/100g plain/dark chocolate (I use 85%)
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 300g fresh strawberries
  • OPTIONAL: chopped nuts

Method

  • Place Oreo cookies (with filling) into a food processor and blend until it turns to crumbs.
  • Pour the melted butter into the crushed Oreos. Process until evenly moistened, or you could mix them with a spoon if you haven’t used a blender.
  • Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon and your fingers where necessary, into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch (12 x 36 cm) tart pan.
  • Really press it in and up the sides to make a nice edge.
  • Freeze the base while you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
  • Prepare your strawberries by removing the greenery.
  • Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat on medium-low for a few minutes. No boiling or simmering needed. This doesn’t take very long so keep an eye on it!
  • Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it has all melted and is smooth. 
  • Pour the chocolate filling into the Oreo crust and make sure it’s level, then get your strawberries and press them gently into the chocolate so that they are half submerged.
  • If you imagine the slices you’ll cut, you can arrange the strawberries alternately in the large part of the slice.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Custard

Ingredients

  • 575ml of milk
  • 1-2tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Method

  • Pour the milk into a saucepan and put on a low heat so that it comes to a gentle simmer
  • In the mean time, beat the eggs, sugar and cornflour together in a large heatproof bowl.
  • When the milk is hot and simmering, take it off the heat and add the vanilla essence.
  • Pour the milk onto the egg mixture and make sure you keep stirring it (or whisking)
  • Put the mixture back into the saucepan and back on a low heat.
  • Keep stirring until it thickens.

Apple Crumble

Serves 4-6 people

Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3-4 cooking apples
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • A small knob of butter
  • Ground cinnamon

For the crumble:

  • 50g golden caster sugar 
  • 100g plain flour
  • 80g butter
  • Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
  • Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
  • Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
  • Put them in a large saucepan with a little bit of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 75g of sugar, on a low-medium heat.
  • Cook until the apples are soft, remove from the heat and transfer to your oven dish.
  • Now to make the topping. Mix together 50g caster sugar, the flour and butter. 
  • At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
  • Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over your apples and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.

 

Chocolate Ganache (smooth frosting)

This recipe covers a 20cm cake.

Ingredients

  • 200ml double cream
  • 200g chocolate, chopped (white/milk/dark)

Method

  • Heat the double cream in a saucepan until it’s boiling.
  • Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has all melted and it’s smooth.
  • Leave it to cool.
  • For a rougher textured finish, you can whip the mixture slightly once it’s cooled down.