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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Marsala honey pears with Gorgonzola & walnuts

A dessert and a cheese course all at once, solving the problem of which goes first. This is really delicious Autumn dish. Make sure you serve the creamy gorgonzola at room temperature. Marsala is a dessert wine from Sicily which is relatively easy to find, it also works well with figs – see Roast Figs with Marsala.

Wine Suggestion: naturally the Marsala from the recipe is a great match, look out for Florio or Pellegrino amongst others. Alternately a really good Sauternes emphasises the honey or a white Maury brings out the pears and all will work well with the Gorgonzola.

Marsala Honey Pears with Gorgonzola – serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pears, about 500g in total, cored and cut into eighths
  • 3 tbsp Marsala
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 50g walnut halves
  • 500g ripe Gorgonzola – keep in a cool place but avoid putting it in the fridge if at all possible

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the pears for 3 minutes per side.

Mix the Marsala and honey together,  add to the pears and allow the mixture to bubble furiously, then transfer to a plate.

Add the walnut halves to the juices left in the pan and stir-fry for about a minute or until browned and sticky. Remove from the pan and scatter over the pears. Serve with the creamy slab of Gorgonzola on the side.

(Original recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)

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Honey, orange blossom and pistachio ice-cream

This is hedonistically rich and full of flavour; Jono thought it was devine and Julie thought it was all a bit much. A conversation piece at least to end your next Middle Eastern feast.

Pistachio, Honey & Orange Blossom Ice Cream – 4-6

  • 200g pistachios
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 600ml full-fat milk
  • 600ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 200ml orange blossom water
  • 400ml unsweetened evaporated milk
  • finely grated rind of 2 oranges

Whizz 150g of the pistachios with the sugar in a food processor until finely ground.

Put the milk, cream, honey, orange blossom water and the pistachio mixture in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes or until reduced by a quarter. Keep stirring to prevent it boiling over. Set aside and leave to cool.

Chop the remaining pistachios. Add the evaporated milk to the cooled mixture and stir in the grated orange rind and chopped pistachios. Mix well, then chill in the fridge overnight (or for a minimum of 2 hours).

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and churn for 25-30 minutes. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into a large shallow container and freeze for 2 hours. Remove the container from the freezer and fork through to break down the ice crystals, then freeze again until firm.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

 

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Panetone bread and butter pudding

This would probably have been more useful a few weeks ago when you still had some panettone leftover from Christmas. Much fancier than the standard version!

Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding – serves 4

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 250g panettone
  • 2 eggs
  • 142ml double cream
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • icing sugar, to serve
  • lightly whipped cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 4/fan 140C.

Grease an 850ml baking dish with a little butter.

Cut the panettone into wedges and butter the slices lightly with the remaining butter. Cut the slices in half and arrange in the dish with the buttered side up.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla extract and sugar and pour evenly over the panettone.

Put the dish in a roasting tin and pour hot water around to a depth of about 2.5cm.

Bake for 35 minutes or until just set and browned on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Petit pots au chocolat

We find Rick Stein exceptionally reliable and when we needed a dessert for entertaining thought we’d give his recipe a go. Unsurprisingly they worked a treat and the result was a silkly, rich, and indulgent pot of chocolate to finish a meal with friends.

Wine Suggestion: Chocolate is notoriously difficult to pair with wine so we’d probably skip the wine altogether and go for a liqueur to complement this dish – Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Whiskey… choose your poison.

Petit pots au chocolate – makes 6

  • 225g plain chocolate, minimum 60% coco solids
  • 15g soft butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml full-cream milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 6 tsp crème fraîche and a little cocoa powder, to decorate

Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of just-simmering water. Remove and stir until smooth, then stir in the softened butter and egg yolks.

Put the cream, milk and sugar into a small pan, bring to the boil and then stir into the chocolate.

Pour the mix into six 100ml receptacles (we used small glasses but you could also use espresso cups or ramekins) and leave somewhere cold to set, but don’t refrigerate.

Decorate the pots with a little quenelle of crème fraîche and dust with cocoa powder to serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005)

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Eastern Mess

Still an Eton Mess really but the rosewater, pistachio, raspberry and basil combination is delicious!

Eastern Mess – serves 6

  • 600ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 6 ready-made meringue nests, broken into large pieces
  • 450g raspberries
  • handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 75g pistachio nuts, chopped

For the raspberry sauce: 

  • 225g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar (or more if your raspberries are very tart)
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Whip the double cream, icing sugar, vanilla seeds and rosewater together in a mixing bowl until you have soft peaks (about 3 minutes but watch it carefully).

To make the sauce, mash the raspberries to a purée with the icing sugar, rose water and lemon juice in a bowl until the mixture is totally smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Layer the cream, meringues and raspberries on a large serving plate, drizzling the sauce and scattering over the basil and pistachios as you go. Decorate the top with a drizzle of sauce, and a final scatter of basil and pistachios. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

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Saffron & cardamom poached pears

This is a touch of luxury, truly delicious, impressive, and yet very simple to do. Eat with a spoon of crème fraîche. The perfect ending to a Middle Eastern inspired meal.

Poached pears in white wine & cardamom – serves 4

  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 firm pears, peeled
  • crème fraîche or thick double cream to serve

Pour the wine and lemon juice into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, cardamom, saffron and salt. Bring to a light simmer and place the pears in the liquid. Make sure the pears are immersed by adding a bit of water if necessary. Cover the surface with a disc of greaseproof paper and simmer until the pears are cooked through but not mushy, about 15-25 minutes. Turn the pears around every now and again as they cook. When a knife goes into the flesh smoothly, the pears are done.

Remove from the liquid and transfer into four dishes. Increase the heat and reduce the liquid by about two-thirds, or until thick and syrupy. Pour over the pears and leave to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature with the crème fraîche.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottololenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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Easy lemon meringue pie

An easy version of this dish that uses digestive biscuits as a base, but doesn’t lose anything in the eating. The filling doesn’t have to be cooked either. We made this for our friend Dave on his birthday.

Lemon Meringue Pie 

For the base:

  • 175g digestive biscuits
  • 75g butter

For the filling: 

  • 397g can full-fat condensed milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • finely grated rind and juice of 3 lemons

For the topping: 

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar

You need a 20cm deep fluted flan dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC/Fan 170ºC/Gas 5.

Put the  biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a pan, then take off the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits. Press into the flan dish and leave to set in the fridge. (You can do this bit a day or two in advance.)

Pour the condensed milk into a bowl, then beat in the egg yolks, lemon rind and lemon juice (don’t worry about the mixture thickening on standing and loosening again when you stir it). Pour the mixture into the biscuit-lined dish. (You can mix this filling, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 8 hours before baking).

Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, whisking well each time. Whisk until very stiff and all the sugar has been added.

Pile spoonfuls of the meringue over the filling, then spread to cover to the biscuit edge, lightly swirling as you go.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes, then serve warm.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, BBC Books, 2009.)

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