Whenever possible I like to eat seasonally, it’s usually cheaper, and usually better for you, and better for the planet. Autumn has some great fruit and vegetables. One of my favourites are plums. Usually inexpensive and really versatile. I love this plum cake, no only because its relatively straight forward to make, but the cinnamon and cardamon add a whole other level of flavour. The addition of sour cream adds a tenderness to the sponge. This will also live quite happily in a cake tin for 3-4 days. I love it with whipped cream, but it’s also perfect comfort food served with custard.
300 Grams Plain flour
1, 1/2 Tsps Baking powder
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground cardamon
1 Tsp Salt
100 Grams Butter
200 Grams Sugar
60 Grams Sour Cream
Mix the flour, salt, spices and baking powder together
In a separate bowl cream the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk (hold back 2 tablespoons of sugar to top the plums with)
Add the eggs and sour cream to the butter and sugar and whisk until light and fluffy
Gradually whisk in the flour mixture until you have thick cake batter
Grease a 9 inch spring firm cake tin, and pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees
Transfer your cake batter to the cake tin and spread evenly.
Cut the plums in half, remove the stone and cut each half into quarters
Starting in the centre of the cake, arrange the slices of plum in a circle (or any type of pattern you like) and sprinkle with remaining sugar
Bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when stuck in the cake
Before tiramisu purists start, I know this is not strictly speaking a tiramisu. I’m a card carrying coffee fiend, but I’m not a fan of coffee flavour in sweet things.
What I do love is lemon flavoured desserts. This recipe gives you the creamy unctuous texture of a tiramisu, with the refreshing tang of lemon that stops this being sickly sweet.
The coffee flavour is replaced with lemon and ginger tea, and a shot limoncello gives an extra zing of flavour. This is a good recipe if you’re entertaining, you can make it the day before and it’s easy to plate up.
(N. B. This recipe contains raw eggs and is probably best not served to potentially vulnerable groups like pregnant women, the elderly and very young children)
500 Grams Marscapone cheese
250 Grams Sponge fingers (lady fingers)
125 Grams Caster sugar
1 Lemon and ginger teabag (you can use other fruit teas if you prefer, but I think this works well)
1 Lemon (juice and zest)
1 Shot of limoncello liquor (optional)
250ml Boiling water
200 Grams Lemon curd
Soak the teabag in the boiling water for 5-10 minutes before removing the teabag. Allow the tea to cool and add the limoncello to the tea
Separate the eggs. Add the caster sugar, lemon juice and zest to the egg yolks and whisk with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the marscapone and whisk again until the ingredients are combined
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they reach firm peaks. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a metal spoon, making sure its thoroughly combined
Briefly dip half the sponge fingers in the lemon tea mixture and line a layer in a 9 x 12 inch dish. When you have a layer of dipped sponge fingers, spread this layer with one third of the lemon curd
Top this layer with half of the marscapone mix
Dip the remaining sponge fingers in the lemon tea mixture and lay on top. Spread this layer again with one third of the lemon curd
Top with the remaining marscapone mix, dot the top with the remaining lemon curd and then drag a knife through it to create a marbled effect
Cover with cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or ideally overnight
This is inspired by a recipe I saw from Katie’s Cucina, and I knew I had to try. I’ve tweaked the proportions of her recipe but it’s pretty straight forward. The hardest thing about it will be not going back and forth to the freezer to “check it’s OK”.
It has only 3 ingredients, and doesn’t need all the faff most ice creams recipes involve, like needing stir it constantly or having to have an ice cream maker.
This tastes spectacular as it is, but teams really with anything chocolate related. Really the taste of toasted marshmallows is something else. This is definately a pure filth recipe. But there is always room for a little filth in your life.
200 Grams Mini marshmallows
250 ml Condensed milk
125 ml Double cream
Line an oven proof tray with tin foil and rub this with a thin film of oil
Turn on your grill to high, spread the marshmallows evenly across the tray
Put the tray under the grill and watch closely. You’re looking for toasted but not burnt, and this can happen in a matter of seconds if you don’t watch out
In a bowl with the cream and condensed milk together with an electric whisk until it thickens. You can use a stand mixer if you have one
Add the toasted marshmallows gradually (they’ll want clog up the whisk otherwise) and whisk at a medium speed until thoroughly mixed. You’ll see little flecks of brown from the toasted parts of the marshmallow but this where the flavour is.
Freeze for 8 hours (and do your best not to eat it all yourself)
I’ve mentioned before that when I was a kid, my Mum wasn’t a great cook (I love you Mo, but we both know the truth). Dessert in my house was usually shop bought, and when I was really young one of favourites was tinned creamed rice with a big spoonful of jam.
Fast forward God knows how many years, and I taught myself how to cook. I was also lucky enough to go out into the world and try some amazing flavours. So I decided to try and experiment with some of my favourites. Coconut, ginger and lemon grass gives a new twist on this traditional dessert.
I like this chilled and served with mango or pineapple, but it’s also really good warm, and you can enjoy it with whatever fruit you prefer.
I used milk in this recipe, but you can substitute some of this with cream if want to make a really indulgent dessert. If you want to make a vegan version, swap cow’s milk for almond milk. I’ve tried both versions and they’re both delicious.
400 ml Can Coconut milk
250 Grams Pudding rice
40 Grams Sugar
500 ml Milk
1 Large stalk of lemon grass (kept whole but bruised)
1 Thumb sized piece of ginger
Cut your piece of ginger in half length ways, then smack your lemon grass with the back of a knife (or pot if you want get some frustration out). Bruising the lemongrass helps release the flavour. The ginger and lemon grass are kept big to make it easier to fish out when the rice pudding is cooked
Put all the ingredients in a pot with a lid and heat until just before the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat stirring regularly. Each type of rice is different, so cook until the rice is soft. (mine took about 30 minutes). Different rices will absorb different amounts of liquid so if you think the mix is looking too dry add a little milk/water
When the rice is cooked you can scoop out the ginger and lemon grass. The rice pudding can be served hot or cold. I like it served with fruit
I know what you’re thinking, it sounds weird, but the only the reason this is called a salami is because it looks a bit like until it’s sliced.
These are traditional in Italy and Portugal around Christmas , and are usually filled with delicious festive ingredients like fruit, nuts, cookies, and booze. I had looked at different recipes, but ended up just adding the ingredients that I like.
This is seriously rich, so a thin slice with a cup of coffee is heaven. Its also great with ice cream if you want a lighter dessert at Christmas. This will live in the fridge for up to week, but probably won’t last that long.
250 Grams Dark Chocolate
250 Grams Ginger nuts
100 Grams Butter
150 Grams Caster sugar
100 Grams Dates
100 Grams Nuts (I used a mixture of what I had in the cupboard)
2 Tbsps Cointreau orange liqueur (optional)
Zest of 1 orange
2 Tbsps Icing Sugar (for coating the salami)
Break the chocolate into a bowl, and melt in the microwave, or over a pot of simmering water
In a separate bowl with an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until its light and fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time to the butter and sugar mix. Don’t worry if this looks curdled, it will soon look OK
Mix in the melted chocolate to the butter mixture.
Crush the ginger snaps in a plastic bag, until they are in small bits, but not dust. Chop the nuts and dates roughly, and grate the zest of the orange
Combine all the ingredients, and mix well, ensuring everything is well coated with the chocolate mixture
Keep the mixture in its bowl and refrigerate for around 30 minutes until it firm’s up
Take the mixture out of the fridge, lay a double sheet of clung film on a counter
Empty the mixture onto the cling film and with your hands, mould into a sausage shape
Cover with the cling film and role on the counter until its smooth
Chill in the fridge over night (or for at least 6 hours)
On a chopping board or plate sprinkle half the icing sugar. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the chocolate and pat until coated.
I wrap mine in baking parchment and keep in the fridge, cutting myself some every time I pass the fridge
I love Summer, and get a bit carried away buying soft fruits when they’re in season.
To use up the mountain of fruit I bought I decided to come up with this take on a recipe that featured in the Great British Bake Off. This pie usually doesn’t hang around long after it comes out of the oven because it smells so good, but it’s best eaten the day it’s made. It’s also handy that you don’t have to faff around with flan tins.
200 Grams Plain flour
100 Grams Butter
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp Caster Sugar
3 Tbsp Cold water
150 Grams Blueberries
59 Grams Caster
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornflour
29 Grams Melted butter for brushing
Sift the flour and salt together, and along with sugar and the butter (cut into cubes) add to a food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs
Add the cold water gradually, until the mixture starts to form ball
Form into a ball and wrap in cling, put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
While the pastry is chilling, slice the peaches into quarters and put in a bowl with the blueberries. Sprinkle the cornflour and sugar over the fruit making sure the fruit is well coated
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and roll out your pastry into a thin flat disc. My kitchen was really hot the day I made this, so I found it easier to roll the pastry out between two sheets of grease proof paper, before transferring to a baking sheet
Pile the fruit into the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4 or 5cm gap around the edge of the pastry
Start folding in the edges of the pastry in pleats, and then brush with the melted butter
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. You can dust the pie with some icing sugar if you want to be fancy, this is delicious with vanilla ice cream
This is a really quick and tasty tray bake, and is always a
It’s also a good recipe to make with kids, if you can stop them eating all the honeycomb and have no moral objection to fighting a small child to lick the spoon.
600gm Chocolate (I use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate)
2 Tbsp. Golden syrup
125gm Ginger nuts
125gm Honeycomb (I use honeycomb bars available in
Break the chocolate into small pieces, add to the
butter and golden syrup in a glass bowl placed over a pan of simmering water
until melted, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water (you can melt this
in a microwave if you prefer, I’d recommend giving the mixture blasts of 30
seconds and checking so as not to burn the chocolate)
Break the honeycomb and ginger biscuits into
chunks (I prefer these on the chunkier side, this works best if these pieces
aren’t too fine)
Line a 12cm by 12cm dish with parchment paper
Add two thirds of the chocolate mix to the
honeycomb and biscuits and mix well, spread this mix even in the dish lined
with parchment paper
Spread the rest of the chocolate mix on top and smooth out. Allow the chocolate to set, and then cut into slices
When I went to Morocco I fell in love with the taste of the orange flower water they include in sweet dishes. You can pick it up cheaply in most Asian supermarkets.
You can make this
cake without it and it will still be delicious but add a teaspoon of orange
flower water and it takes it to a whole other level. You can also put this in your bath and it
will smell fabulous.
But a final word of caution, if you are going to use it, only use a teaspoonful. Like rose water, a little bit makes things taste amazing, too much and the dish you slaved over tastes like a tart’s hand bag.
This is a brilliant
cake if you’re entertaining, as it’s flourless you’re covered if you have a
guest who’s gluten intolerant. Fancy
things up, and poach some orange segments in a little sugar and water (you
could even add some orange liqueur if you want to push the boat out). Both the cake and the poached oranges can be
made a day in advance so all you have to do is serve it up with some crème
fraiche or Greek yoghurt for a simple but effective dessert. You can also devour it on its own with a big
mug of coffee.
grams Caster sugar
grams Ground Almonds
Tsp Orange flower water (optional)
Tsp Baking powder
Put the 2 oranges into a pan with enough water to just cover them, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours, I cover with a lid and check every now and again
After 2 hours, remove from the water allow to cool, chop into quarters (removing any obvious pips, and blend to a pulp using a hand blender or food processor
Pre heat the oven to 200c, and line a 20 cm cake tin with baking parchment
In a bowl combine the eggs and sugar, whisk until the they have turned pale yellow and fluffy
Stir in the baking powder, orange flower water and orange pulp before gradually folding in the ground almonds
Transfer the mix into you lined tin and bake for 50-55 minute, or until a skewer comes out cleanly with no cake mixture on it. This cake does go quite dark, but if you’re worried it’s not cooked and it’s getting too dark, then cover with some aluminium foil.
Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar
These were inspired by the great minds at Thug Kitchen, these food writers like myself, try to stay healthy and are prone to saying f*ck quite a lot. You can also use vegan dark chocolate if that’s your thing.
Gorgeous on a hot day, or my own guilty pleasure is to have them while sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee. But f*ck it, eat them how you like.
6 Lollipop sticks
100 grams Dark chocolate (you can use vegan chocolate if that’s your thing)
1 Tsp. Coconut Oil
50 grams chopped almonds (peanuts,
or hazelnuts also work really well)
Line a baking sheet or plate with grease proof paper.
Toast the nuts in a dry pan, and set to one side. (It’s worth taking the time to do this, as it really improves the flavour).
Chop the chocolate and put in a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, and allow it to melt. You can also try melting this in the microwave, by give it blasts of 30 seconds at a time. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the teaspoon of coconut oil.
While the chocolate is melting, peel the bananas and cut width ways. Stick the lollipop stick up the middle of the banana from the flat end.
When the chocolate is melted dip the banana in it, using a spoon to cover any bits that aren’t covered.
Sprinkle the chocolate covered bananas with the nuts, place on the grease proof paper and put in the freezer for 2 hours.
When frozen if you aren’t going to eat these immediately, but them in freezer bag.
I’m going to be honest, I stole
this recipe from one of my roles models in life, the fabulous Ms Dolly Parton.
One rainy afternoon while I was
firmly wedged on the sofa watching Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton’s character
calls out this recipe to a friend. When
I had recovered from having a little cry at the film, I decided to go shopping
and see if this recipe would work, and it did.
I think it’s more of pudding than a cake, but you’ll enjoy it none the
Dolly’s recommendation is to serve this with ice cream (to cut the sweetness), and it does go extremely well. So have a go at this recipe, put on Steel Magnolias and treat yourself to some cuppa cuppa cuppa cake.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup tinned fruit cocktail in
Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius
Combine all the ingredients, mix
well, and transfer to a greased cake tin.
Bake for 30 – 40 mins, or until golden and crunchy on top.