Jubilee Pavlova

I don’t know about you but I’m always piping a union jack on my pavlova! I hope you like this special version I’ve done to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Being serious though, it’s quicker and easier to construct than you think, just remember to make the meringue the day before you need it, leaving the meringue to sit in the oven to cool overnight. It will be the star of the table at any Jubilee party.

Ingredients

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Juice of half a lemon

To decorate

300ml double cream

11 raspberries

24 blueberries

Method

Pre heat oven to 130c / 110c fan

Draw a circle the size of a dinner plate approx 20cm on a piece of baking paper. Cut it out of the paper.

Place baking paper on a baking tray, I used a circular one.

In a large bowl whisk your egg whites and bit by bit add your sugar whisking until they hold stiff peaks.

Beat in your cornflour, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Spoon the meringue mix onto the baking paper with a well in the centre.

Bake on the middle shelf of oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off without opening the door and leave to cool preferably overnight otherwise for at least 4 hours.

When you remove the meringue from the oven the next day it will be crunchy but also chewy inside which makes it perfect. When you are ready to serve whip up your double cream so it is thick enough to spread half of it onto your meringue in a square shape without running. Put the rest of the cream in a piping bag.

Now pop on your fruit in a union jack formation ( copy my picture for ease) and pipe along the edges of the fruit with the rest of the cream to accentuate.

Having an amazing time making memories at your party.


No Bake Mini Egg Cheesecake

It wouldn’t be Easter without some sort of mini egg creation. The mini egg cheesecake for Easter is fast becoming what the Christmas cake is for the festive season. Here’s my offering. Feel free to decorate with reckless abandon but I think in this case less is more.

Ingredients

360g cream cheese – full fat

300g digestives

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

100g butter

150ml double cream

100g icing sugar

Decorations

80g mini eggs

1 mini Lindt bunny or bunny of choice

Method

Grease and line an 8 inch loose bottomed cake tin.

Blitz your digestive biscuits in a food processor or bash to crumbs in wax wrap with a rolling pin.

Melt your butter in a large pan and add your biscuit crumbs. Stir in your biscuit crumbs making sure they all get coated in the buttery liquid. Stir a few times to combine fully.

Transfer to your lined cake tin and press down to form a base.

Pop in the fridge to chill while you get on with the topping.

In a large mixing bowl add your cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar and beat until fully combined. Once you have a smooth and creamy consistency spoon over the base evenly and decorate.

Allow to set in the fridge for at least a few hours. I chill mine overnight.

Remove and serve straight from the fridge.


Bailey’s Cheesecake

If you are a fan of Bailey’s you are going to love this. A crunchy chocolate cookie base and creamy topping laced with Bailey’s and topped with chocolate shavings.

Ingredients

Base

250g chocolate cookies

120g butter

Topping

360g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia

4 tablespoons Bailey’s

100g icing sugar

200ml double cream

1 Ripple or Twirl chocolate bar – crumbled

Method

Start by greasing and lining an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin.

Wrap your cookies in wax wrap and bash into pieces with a rolling pin, You can do this by blitzing in a food processor if you prefer.

Melt your butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir in your cookie crumbs. Mix to ensure they all get coated in the butter.

Transfer them to your cake tin and press down to make a firm base.

Pop in the fridge while you mix up your cheesecake topping.

In a large bowl beat together your cream cheese, double cream and icing sugar. When fully combined measure out your Bailey’s and add it to the mixture. Fold in gently.

When all your ingredients are smooth and creamy spoon onto your cheesecake base and allow to set in the fridge. I leave mine overnight but a few hours will be fine.

Slide out your cheesecake from the tin and set on your desired serving plate. Sprinkle over your crumbled chocolate.


No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

I love anything lemon and this cheesecake is so creamy, light, fluffy and bursting with zesty lemoniness. I buy the best unwaxed lemons I can find and grate a little over the top for decoration. The marscapone gives it real indulgent taste. I don’t think a little comfort food would do any harm at the moment.

Ingredients

180g cream cheese

250g marscapone

100ml single cream

100g icing sugar

Juice and zest of 2 lemons ( reserve a little zest to decorate)

Base

300g digestive biscuits

100g butter

Method

Start by greasing and lining an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin.

Wrap your biscuits in wax wrap and bash into pieces with a rolling pin, You can do this by blitzing in a food processor if you prefer.

Melt your butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir in your biscuit crumbs. Mix to ensure they all get coated in the butter.

Transfer them to your cake tin and press down to make a firm base.

Pop in the fridge while you mix up your cheesecake topping.

Grate the zest of your lemons into a bowl and set aside. I do this on the small grating side.

In a large bowl beat together your cream cheese, marscapone, cream and icing sugar. When fully combined squeeze in your lemon juice making sure no pips fall into the mixture. I do this over a sieve. Now add your zest reserving a little to sprinkle over the top for decoration when the cheesecake is set.

When all your ingredients are smooth and creamy spoon onto your cheesecake base and allow to set in the fridge. I leave mine overnight.

Slide out your cheesecake from the tin and leave on the metal base and set on your desired serving plate. Sprinkle over your lemon zest.

Tip: When squeezing your lemons insert a fork into the centre and twist while squeezing to get as much juice out as possible.


Tiramisu

Inspired to make this after having an unrivalled one at San Carlo. A classic Italian dessert. Creamy, indulgent and whatever you do don’t drive your car after!

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 eggs – separated

200ml cold strong coffee

200ml Amaretto

250g marscapone

100ml double cream

24 savoiardi biscuits

3 tablespoons caster sugar

Cocoa powder to dust over

Method

I used a 26cm x 15cm dish.

Lay 12 of your savoiardi biscuits otherwise known as sponge fingers in the bottom of your dish as if you are lining it with them. Dipping each one into your coffee and Amaretto mixed together.

Whisk your egg whites and set aside. You want them to form soft peaks.

Now in a separate bowl whisk your cream to thicken and set this aside too.

In another separate bowl, whisk your egg yolks and caster sugar for 3-4 minutes, then whisk in the marscapone until it is smooth and creamy. Pour in half the Amaretto and coffee mixture that you have left, stirring gently to combine. Whisk in your cream and gently fold in the egg white in two stages in a figure of 8 motion. Now spoon over half the mixture over your layer of savoiardi biscuits.

Dip your 12 other savoiardi biscuits into the rest of your cold coffee and Amaretto mix one by one and make another layer on top of your creamy marscapone mixture in the dish. This should use up the rest of the coffee and Amaretto mixture.

Now spoon over the rest of the creamy mixture, cover and chill in the fridge for a few hours at least. I leave mine overnight.

When you are ready to take it out of the fridge sieve over lots of lovely cocoa powder to serve.


Winter Berry Trifles

Trifle is such a quick and simple dessert especially if you make the jelly the day before. It’s perfect for when you’re entertaining but you’ve got lots to do and let’s face it who hasn’t at this time of year.

Individual trifles look cute and you can make the whole thing in advance and keep in the fridge for a day or two before you eat them. You might want to omit the sherry or Chambord for little ones.

Makes 4

Ingredients

4 teaspoons sherry or Chambord

Sachet of raspberry jelly

Bag of frozen winter berry fruits

Half a madeira cake

Large carton of custard

270ml whipping cream

1 chocolate Ripple or Flake to decorate

Method

Add a slice of madeira cake to each glass and spoon over a teaspoon of sherry. Top your cake with 2 tablespoons of frozen berries.

Make up your jelly mix according to instructions in a jug and pour over and divide between your four glasses.

Allow to set in the fridge for a couple of hours or so.

When the jelly is set pour over an inch or two of custard into each glass.

Whip up your cream so it is not too thick but still holds it shape. Divide over the four glasses and top with quarter of a sprinkled up ripple or flake.


Passion Fruit and Ginger Cheesecake

What a delight this was. Reminiscent of a porn star martini but in a cheesecake. Creamy, indulgent and bursting with tropical passion fruit flavour. Everyone who had a slice raved on about it and couldn’t believe how delicious it was. They all had a slice after scones with clotted cream and jam! A great dessert to serve up over Christmas. Just make it the day before for ease. If you don’t make it you’re seriously missing out. I’m off to polish my trumpet!

Ingredients

300g ginger biscuits

600g cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

100g butter

100g icing sugar

100g single cream

2 passion fruits to decorate

Method

Start by greasing and lining an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin.

Wrap your biscuits in wax wrap and bash into pieces with a rolling pin, You can do this by blitzing in a food processor if you prefer.

Melt your butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir in your ginger biscuit crumbs. Mix to ensure they all get coated in the butter.

Transfer them to your cake tin and press down to make a firm base.

Pop in the fridge while you mix up your cheesecake topping.

In a large bowl beat together your cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar. When all your ingredients are smooth and creamy spoon onto your cheesecake base and allow to set in the fridge. I leave mine overnight.

Slide out your cheesecake from the tin and leave on the metal base and set on your desired serving plate.

Cut your passion fruits in half and drizzle over the pulp to decorate.


Rhubarb and Custard Trifles

You had me at rhubarb and custard! I love anything rhubarb and custard and if you’re a fan you will love them too. There’s something a bit retro about it I feel.

Always up for a quick and easy recipe I didn’t make my own custard but feel free to. I did make my own cake using my vanilla cupcake recipe but a slice of shop bought madeira cake would work just as well.

Per trifle

Ingredients

Half a fairy sponge cake

Tablespoon rhubarb – tinned

Packet of raspberry jelly ( packet will be enough to make 4)

Custard – to top up

A few dollops of whipped cream

Flaked almonds to decorate

Method

If you are making your cakes follow my vanilla cupcakes recipe to make these. If you are buying them just snap one in half to line the dessert dish.

Top with your rhubarb

Now make up your jelly according to the instructions and pour over just enough to cover the cake and rhubarb. Allow to refrigerate until set. Usually takes a few hours.

Once jelly is set pour over your custard so it’s about an inch thick.

Top with whipped cream and flaked almonds to decorate.


Strawberry and Custard Tartlets

Everyone’s loves a cheat recipe and this is a great little dessert to have on stand by. These are so pretty on a buffet table and can be ready in minutes. Hardly a recipe more of a suggestion. Ta da you’ll be worn out once you’ve done all that hard work! You’d best swig down a prosecco to reward yourself.

Ingredients

12 tartlet cases

Carton of Ambrosia custard

6 fresh strawberries – halved

Method

Fill each tartlet with custard and pop on half a strawberry or your fruit of choice. Blueberries, kiwis and blackberries work well too.

Allow to chill in the fridge and serve from the fridge as close to uncovering your buffet as soon as possible.


Winter Berry and Coconut Crumble

Neil thinks this is the best crumble I’ve ever made! Probably because I’ve made the topping extra luxurious and doubled up the butter for more crunch! The crumble topping is thick and crunchy with a hint of sweet coconut coming through.

It’s a dream with the Winter berries. Do you have yours with cream or custard?

Ingredients

500g frozen mixed berries

Tablespoon caster sugar

For the topping

225g plain flour

150g butter – diced

100g soft brown sugar and 1 tablespoon to sprinkle at end

1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

Tablespoon rolled oats

Method

Pre head oven to 190c / 170c fan ( I used a 9 inch round dish)

Place your frozen fruit in your baking dish and sprinkle over the tablespoon of caster sugar

In a separate large mixing bowl mix your flour, butter and sugar. Get your fingers and hands in and rub together between your thumb and forefinger to form a crumbly mixture.. When you have a bowl of crumbly mix add the coconut and stir to combine.

Pour your crumble over the fruit and pat down a little. Sprinkle over your oats and tablespoon of soft brown sugar.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes.

It will smell heavenly and is perfect served with hot custard, double cream or ice cream.