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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Blackberry Mess

We’re not really into desserts but occasionally make meringues for guests. Recently we had some left over and used a grate of blackberries to make a boozy sauce to stir through them with some whipped cream. Avoid the temptation to over-mix as this looks prettiest when the components are lightly swirled together.

Blackberry mess – serves 6

  • 6 bought or home-made meringue nests
  • about 500g of blackberries
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of blackberry or blackcurrant liqueur – we used Chambord (you could leave this out if you don’t have any)
  • 250ml of double cream, whipped

Put about three-quarters of the blackberries into a pan with the sugar and cook over a low heat for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the blackberries are starting to soften. Add the liqueur. Allow to cool before stirring in the reserved blackberries.

Break the meringues into a large bowl and mix in the whipped cream. Swirl some of the blackberry sauce into the meringue mixture then divide into 6 bowls. Spoon the rest of the blackberry sauce over the individual dishes.

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Strawberry and buttermilk icecream

We’re getting late in the strawberry season, so they’re both cheaper and have great flavour. This is an easy ice cream by Diana Henry with a texture similar to sorbet. Great on its own but we also loved this with some rich chocolate truffle ice cream laced with rum.

Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream – makes 1 litre

  • 500g strawberries
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 375ml buttermilk
  • 115g sour cream
  • pinch of sea salt flakes

Remove the green tops from the strawberries, then slice and put into a bowl with half the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod. Leave to sit for half an hour.

Pour the fruit and all its juice into a food processor with the remaining sugar and whizz to a purée. Push the purée through a nylon sieve to remove the strawberry seeds. Mix with buttermilk, sour cream & salt.

If you have an ice cream machine you can churn in that or alternatively transfer to a shallow container and put straight into the freezer. You will need to churn it manually by putting back into the food processor after an hour, then twice more at 2 hour intervals. The ice cream must be covered with a lid or cling film in between churning and when you store it.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving to allow soften a bit.

(Original recipe from How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2018.)

 

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Apple crumble

A classic that can be pre-baked ahead of time and warmed in the oven when you need it … useful for entertaining and when someone gives you a bag of apples.

Wine Suggestion: Dessert wines often go really well with cooked apples. If you have some Sauternes, Monbazilllac or other late harvest or bortytised dessert wine lying around now’s the time to crack it open.

Classic Apple Crumble – serves 4

  • 3 medium-sized Bramley apples – peeled, cored & sliced into 1cm thick slices
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

FOR THE CRUMBLE:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 110g cold butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats (optional)

Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/gas 5.

Put the flour and 110g of sugar into a large bowl with the diced butter. Rub the mixture with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs or put the ingredients in a food processor and process until sandy.

Put the apples into a pie dish and toss with the 2 tbsp of sugar. Spread the crumbs over the top and spread out to the edges. Sprinkle the oats over the top if using.

Put the crumble in the oven on a baking tray for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with cream or custard.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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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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