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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

The peaches at the moment are really tasty so we’re gorging on them while they’re in season. Here are two easy and delicious dessert recipes to distract ourselves from just eating the peaches fresh.

Baked peaches with an almond crust – to serve 4

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 50g almonds – no need to skin
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 45g butter

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and put them in a shallow baking dish cut-side up.

Blitz the almonds in a food processor until you have a coarse rubble. Add the sugar and butter and mi again briefly.

Spoon the almond mixture on top of the peaches and bake for about ¾ of an hour or until the peaches are super-soft and the topping is crispy. Pour a little double cream over to serve.

Baked peaches with maple syrup and vanilla – to serve 4

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • juice of a lime

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and put in a shallow baking dish cut-side up.

Pour the maple syrup into a bowl. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the maple syrup along with the lime juice. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the peaches are really soft. Baste them occasionally while they cook.

Drink with: a fragrant and slightly frothy Moscato d’Asti from the Piemonte region in Italy. Moscato is a completely under-rated wine that is fruity and light (about 5% alc.) and won’t overwhelm the dessert. We find that Moscato is quite often a much better match for fruit based desserts than traditional, much sweeter, “dessert” wines.

(Both recipes are adapted from Nigel Slater’s Tender: Volume II, Fourth Estate, 2010.)

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Rhubarb Syllabub

We don’t do many desserts but we do love Rhubarb which is in all the shops for spring. This is easy to make and nice and light.

Rhubarb syllabub – to serve 6

  • grated zest and juice 1 orange
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 6 stems young pink rhubarb, about 500g
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise

For the syllabub

  • 280ml double cream
  • zest and juice 1 large lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp Grand Marnier or dry sherry
  • 100g caster sugar

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Warm the orange juice in a pan and dissolve the sugar in it. Cut the rhubarb into thumb-length segments and cook in the orange juice with the zest, cardamom and star anise for 8-10 minutes, then cool.

To make a syrup, lift out the rhubarb pieces and boil up the juice until it thickens.

To make the syllabub, put the cream, lemon zest and juice, alcohol and sugar into a bowl and beat for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thick and light. Remove the cardamom pods and star anise from the syrup. Put the rhubarb into individual glasses, spoon over some of the syrup, then the syllabub mixture over the top and chill for a few hours before serving.

(Original recipe from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, Bloomsbury.)

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Yes … Jono and jules do make desserts … but just not very often. So in a weak moment last weekend we succumbed to whipping up, literally, some syllabub as we had some Gewürztraminer, an off-dry, aromatic, lychee and rose smelling spicy wine lying around. The good think about syllabubs are their lightness and ability to be made a little beforehand so they’re easy to pull out at the end of a meal with very little effort apart from dressing the top with some marinated lemon peel to garnish. Serve with some crunchy biscuits.

White Wine Syllabub – to serve 6

  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 50g caster or icing sugar
  • 150ml medium-dry, spicy white wine – Gewurtz works well
  • 300ml double cream

Mix the zest and lemon juice, brandy, sugar and white wine together. Cover and chill overnight – or at least for 1 hour.

Strain the wine mixture and throw away the lemon zest. Put the cream in a bowl and whisk, slowly adding the wine mixture, until it loosely holds its shape and leaves a ribbon on the surface when you trail the whisk along it. Don’t whisk too long or it will curdle!

Spoon into tall glasses and leave somewhere cool until ready to serve. Decorate with a twist of lemon peel.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spanish Christmas, BBC2, 2011.)

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Really interesting flavours that celebrate each component: sloes, gin and rhubarb. Great served chilled with plain yogurt or muesli for your morning breakfast – the alcohol burns off in the oven. If you haven’t got any sloe gin we’re definitely not suggesting you go looking for some just for this recipe. On the other hand if  you happen to have some lying around, then it’s definitely worth trying.

Nigel Slater’s Sloe Rhubarb – to serve 4

  • 750g rhubarb
  • 100g sugar
  • 120ml sloe gin
  • 2 tbsp water
Heat the oven at 160°C/Gas 3. Cut the rhubarb into short sticks. Put it into a glass, stainless steal or china dish (not aluminium, as it will taint the rhubarb).

Stir the sugar, sloe gin and water together and pour over the rhubarb. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour – if the rhubarb is tough it will take the full hour to soften. Keep and eye on it and baste now and then.

When the rhubarb is tender, remove it from the oven and leave to cool. Can be served warm but we liked it chilled.

(Original recipe from Tender – Volume 2 by Nigel Slater)

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Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute TrifleWe are not known for making desserts … as we never really eat them. Last night we entertained 8 of our friends who all want a mention on our blog (Aisling, Niall, Thaiba, Simon, Nicola, Dave, Tim & Michael). We decided to do something easy to pull out of the fridge when ready. We’d seen this recipe earlier in Jamie’s 30 minute meals and because we had some Limoncello we gave it a go. Result: simple preparation and can be made earlier in the day. It was light and had just the right amount of alcohol tang to be refreshing at the end of the meal, and as all the plates were empty, well enjoyed.

Limoncello Trifle (to serve 6, we made 2)

  • 3 oranges
  • 75ml Limoncello
  • 100g sponge fingers
  • 250g marscapone
  • 2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 punnet of seasonal fruit, we used raspberries
  • bar of good quality dark chocolate

In a good sized serving dish (it will need to fit a single layer of your sponge fingers) squeeze the juice from the oranges. Stir in the Limoncello and taste to check sweetness and alcohol; adjust if necessary. Layer the sponge fingers in the serving dish – they will absorb all the juice.

Put the marscapone and icing sugar into a separate bowl with the milk. Zest the lemon and add to the marscapone and squeeze in the juice of half the lemon. Add the vanilla extract and whisk well. Spread this mixture over the sponge fingers, top with the berries and shave chocolate over the top. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

We used Carlo Pellegrino Limoncello from Sicily as it has a good balance of freshness and acidity making it not too sweet and sickly. Also good served from ice cold from the freezer.

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