Desserts

Laura Lins’s Chocolate Basil Sorbet

1 cup unsweetened dark French cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
handful of seasonally fresh basil leaves, crushed and bruised

Combine cocoa, sugar, water and crushed basil in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to keep from burning. Remove from heat as soon as boiling starts. Add salt and stir in. Cool down, then refrigerate overnight before processing in ice cream maker for best results.

Once chilled, remove basil leaves and process in an ice cream maker.
Garnish with mint leaf and serve with mild cookie such as Bambi brand Lane Biscuits, if desired

Serves 4-6 guests gathered for a delightful dinner party.

Martha Huntley’s Pavlova

4 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp cornflower
1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 150ºC. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar beating all the time… MOST IMPORTANT: make sure sugar is totally dissolved. Lightly fold the cornstarch, vinegar and essence into the mix. Turn the mixture out into the centre of a round baking tray lined with baking paper. Shape into a circle (away from the sides of the tray). Turn oven down to 140ºC and bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 120ºC and bake for a further 1 1/4 hours. Let it cool in the oven overnight. Top with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and kiwifruit.

Sandra Jasper’s Tiramisú

Ingredients:

500g mascarpone
5 eggs – separated in 5 egg yolks and 3 egg whites
5 spoons of sugar
two cups of cold espresso
savoiardi cookies (lady fingers)
dark chocolate powder

Mix mascarpone with 5 egg yolks and 5 spoons of sugar.
Whip 3 egg whites into egg fluff (test by turning bowl over your head).
Slowly fold in egg fluff with mascarpone cream.

Take a square dish. Dip lady fingers in cold espresso and cover the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of mascarpone cream on top, add another layer of lady fingers dipped in espresso, and add a last level of mascarpone cream. Cover the top with dark chocolate powder. Keep cold in fridge for a few hours before indulging.

Elaine Dixson’s Mother’s Cookies (A Canadian Prairies Recipe)

250 ml (1 cu) butter
250 ml (1 cu) brown sugar
250 ml (1 cu) white sugar
250 ml (1 cu) flour
250 ml (1 cu) coconut
500 ml (2 cu) rolled oats
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
1.25 ml (¼ tsp) salt
1 egg, beaten
250 ml (1 cu) raisins (or other fruits or nuts as desired)
30 ml (2 Tbsp) milk (if dough is too dry)

Cream together the sugars and butter. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter/sugar mixture. Add egg and combine. Add raisins or other fruit or nuts and combine. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 8 – 10 minutes at 190ºC or 375ºF.

Simon Turner’s Aunt Pip’s Fudge

1lb butter
1lb white sugar
1lb dark brown sugar
1 tin condensed milk
6oz dark chocolate
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Melt butter, sugar etc. Put syrup in last. Boil till it leaves back of spoon. (238-240 degrees).
Pour into tray rubbed with butter. Cut into blocks as it cools.

Sometimes it doesn’t work. Try not to stir too much when heating, but if you don’t stir it enough you’ll get burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Trial & error.

The more you stir, the grittier the fudge will be.

Jiyeon Kim’s Valentine’s Day Special Recipe: Making mandarin flavoured chocolate with munch caramel

1. Get a chunk of chocolate and cut it into small pieces. I used about 400g of dark chocolate.
2. Put it in a bowl (stainless recommended) and warm up the bowl in a boiling pot.
3. It will take some time, about 15 mins. Be patient and when the chocolate pieces start to be melt, stir them many times.
4. I added condensed milk (because whipping cream was sold out at every shop in my town..) – about 120g – and stir them all together for another 15 mins.
5. During melting chocolate, wash mandarin carefully and peel it. I only used two madarin. It’s enough to have fresh and sweet mandarin flavour. With fruit knife, scrape out white parts of peel inside, so you only use grainy orange part of peel. Blanch them in a boiling water and slice them. If you find it hard to get mandarin at your place, you might be able to use orange instead. But normally orange peel is too thick and not sweet as much as mandarin’s, I guess. (I’m so lucky. Mandarine is very common in Korea in wintertime. Actually, Jeju island (the southest island of Korea) has a special chocolate, which is made of their special mandarine called Hallabong!-Halla is the name of mountain in Jeju. I didn’t refer to it, but my friend told me about it when he ate my chocolate. Of course, he loved mine more!!)
6. Cut caramel into small pieces. Very easy!
7. Get any flat big dishes or pan on which you spread melt chocolate (just like a pancake!). I used a big frypan. I put plastic wrap between pan and chocolate so the chocolate gets easily removed after getting hard.
8. Put sliced madarine peels on the half of chocolate and caramel pieces on the other.
9. Fold the chocolate, so now it looks like a half moon.
10. Wrap it with plastic wrap and put it in a freezer for about 2 hours.
11. Write a card for someone you’d like to give and smile!
12. Get the chocolate from freezer. It shouldn’t be fully formed but that’s the point. It’s hard to cut when the chocolate’s fully hardened. Cut them into good size and shape. Put them into freezer again for another few hours.
13. That’s it!

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Pepa Ivanova’s Cheese pie, banica, gibanica, burek… and many other names found in the Balkans

2-3 eggs
200-300 grams feta cheese
500 ml yogurt
a bit of oil or melted butter,
a bit of salt if the feta is not too salty
filo pastry
baking pan in any shape you have available
15-30 mins

LOVE!

MIx all in a bowl, and leave the cheese in slightly bigger pieces – I prefer it, because I like to know what I eat (smile).

You can put a bit of the mix on each sheet, rolled and turn it as a big mandala and form in a round baking pan. OR! use a another shape of baking pan and distribute the mix inbetween one or two layers, and be sure you have enough at the edges to do – don’t have them dry after baking.

This one you can cut after baking on squares or triangles for example. Don’t forget to put a bit of oil on the bottom of the pan and sometimes inbetween. If you have left of the mixture, you can put a bit on the top sheets, more for decoration. Before you bake it, use a
fork to make holes here and there from the top to the bottom of the pie.

Bake! 220°C / both sides for around 15 minutes until you get a nice colour on the top. Check if it’s well baked on the bottom with a fork.

Enjoy!

In the Balkans we have this at anytime and with anything.

Another mix. I personally like – apart of the cheese one – you can cook some chopped leek in a pan with a bit of salt and oil/butter and add between the layers too, black olives and nuts go nicely too.

Sweet!

With filo pastry you can make apple, pumpkin, ginger or nuts and cinnamon sweet pie very quick as well

Thomas Koner’s Blueberry Pancakes

2 eggs
salt
200 ml milk
150 gr flour
150 gr blueberries (from the garden or frozen)
butter
sugar

Make a pancake pie by mixing 2 eggs with pinch of salt, milk and flour. Pie has to be homogenous, but not too watery. Put a small piece of butter in the pan (medium heat) and when it melts, put a pie into the pan with a large ladle. While the pie is still soft, add blueberries and distribute them evenly on the upper side of the pancake. When the lower side is done, put a plate on the side with blueberries in order to flip the pancake more easily. Flip the whole pan, and take out the pancake, add a little piece of butter in a pan to melt for a few seconds, and then ‘slide’ the pancake back to the pan, this time on the side with the blueberries. Fry for a few minutes, mildly stirring the pan, so that the blueberries would not stick.When the pancake is done, put a clean plate on the top and flip the pan. This time the blueberryside will be on the top of the plate, so just cover it will sugar according to your taste and enjoy.

Achim Mohné’s Fresh Strawberries with Riesling

Wash the strawberries, serve with the stalks and a glass of chilled Riesling, for example Schauß Monzingen from the Nahe Valley, south of Koln, Germany

Click here to enjoy Achim Mohné’s Asparagus and Potato recipe

Jane Gardiner’s Pink Grapefruit and Gin Sorbet

2 x 460 gm/16 oz tins pink grapefruit segments
75 gm/3 oz/6 tspns granulated sugar
100 ml/4 fl oz/Half a cup of gin

Method:

Empty juice from both tins into a saucepan. Add sugar and boil for 5 minutes until a syrup forms. Cool.
Add the grapefruit segments and gin and liquidise.
Put the sorbet in the deep freeze for one hour. Remove and stir thoroughly, then put back into freezer.
Remove from freezer and soften in the refrigerator for an hour before needed.

NB Scoopfuls of the above when added to a very innocent cocktail called ‘Summertime’ (the ice had run out) turned it into a lethal concoction renamed ‘List to Starboard’ in honour of our actor friend Robert Lister who was with us at the time.

Lesley Handford’s Glacier Carrot Cake

8oz plain flour
8oz light soft brown sugar
NO SALT
1 tspn baking powder
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
6 fl. oz sunflower oil
2 eggs lightly hit
NO VANILLA ESSENCE
1lb carrots, cooked and pureed
4 oz chopped walnuts
2 oz dessicated coconut

Mix the dry ingredients (by hand if you wish) → sticky. Beat or hit the carrots in. Fold in the walnuts and coconut. Pour into tin → oven 180ºC for 1 ¼ hours or until cooked – soggy in the middle – and leave to cool.

Frosted runny top:

8oz low fat cream cheese
8oz icing sugar
1 tspn lemon juice

Do not or do (as you wish) put cheese in mixes, add icing sugar and lemon. Pour all over cake even if its hot because it is too boring to wait.

ENJOY with friends

Eva-Lena Soderberg’s Swedish Choklad Bollar

200 gram Butter
1 1/2 deciliter Sugar
4 teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
6 tablespoons Chocolate Powder
6 deciliter Oat Flakes
1 teaspoon cold Coffee

Mix together and roll into small balls, cover in coconut flakes, then chill.
(If you do not have Vanilla Sugar, use a couple of drops of Vanilla Extract…)

Emma Cunniffe’s Favourite White Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle

300g/10oz raspberries
1 swiss roll(not chocolate)
juice of half lime
125g/4oz white chocolate
1tbsp Vodka
150g/5oz double or whipping cream
2tbsp icing sugar
2 x 500ml/17fl oz cartons fresh custard
a few sprigs mint

Place 100g/3oz of raspberries in a sieve placed over a bowl.Use the back of a spoon to push all their juice through into the bowl,leaving the pips behind.Scrape under the sieve so nothing is wasted.Add the lime juice,vodka and sift 1 tablespoon of icing sugar over the top.Stir well.

Slice the swiss roll about 1cm thick and use most of the slices to cover the base and make a single layer up the sides of a nice glass bowl.Moisten the slices with most of the raspberry juice and scatter with another 100g of raspberries.Set aside 20g of the chocolate and break up the rest into small pieces.Place the broken chocolate in a bowl and place inside another bowl filled with boilng water.Stir until the chocolate melts.This takes a few minutes,but if you want to speed it up,bring a small pan of water to the boil and suspend the bowl over the top.When it has melted,stir 1 tablespoon of the cream into the chocolate and then stir the mixture into 1 of the cartons of custard.

Pour half the chocolate custard over the prepared swiss roll and lay the remaining slices on top.Dribble the remaining raspberry sauce over the slices and scatter with most of the remaining raspberries,reserving about 10 to decorate the top of the trifle.Use about half of the second carton of custard to cover the trifle completely.Whip the rest of the cream until stiff and lift up scoops with a fork to decorate the top of the trifle.

Add the reserved raspberries.Grate the remaining chocolate on the large hole of a cheese grater over the top.Plant the mint sprigs here and there and dust the trifle with the rest of the icing sugar.Cover with clingfilm and chill for a minimum 2 hours and for up to 24 hours.Serve with the remaining custard.

Enjoy!!

Rebekah Staton’s Creamy Alchy Choccie-Cookie Loggie

Warning! Do not attempt this recipe if you will consume it with guests who can’t handle the truth.

Whip some cream with vanilla essence until firm.
In a separate dish pour out a generous amount of your favourite liqueur.
Dip (one by one) your favourite cookie, quickly, into the liqueur.
Now glue the cookies together with the naughty cream until you have formed a ‘log’.
Take the rest of the cream and coat the log with it.
Now take some Sprinkles (chocolate preferred) and shower the log.
Serve with two plums… or fruits of your choosing!

Voila!!!

NB Have ambulance on speed dial

Dave Knapik’s American Buttermilk Pancakes

Batter Ingredients:

300g plain flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 pinches of salt
240ml buttermilk
150ml cold water
6 large eggs, beaten

Extra Ingredients to finish the pancakes:

100g butter – for the frying pan
M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces or chocolate chips – to put inside the pancakes
Maple syrup and a bit of butter – to put atop the pancakes when finished cooking (but before eating)

Making the batter:

1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl and make a hollow in the centre.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and water together.
3. Slowly mix this liquid into the mixing bowl.
4 Add the beaten eggs a little at a time until you have a smooth batter.

Making the pancakes:

1. Heat the frying pan with a small piece of butter in the centre. Allow this to melt and spread over the pan.
2. Get the buttered pan quite hot (you should be able to flick a bit of water on it and have it sizzle). Then, drop a healthy scoop of batter (approximately 3 tablespoon or so) into the frying pan. You could use less batter and make several small pancakes in the same pan, but you’ll create a far more formidable pancake monster if you use the entire pan for one pancake at a time.
3. Cook until nicely golden brown on the bottom. This shouldn’t take more than a minute. Once the batter starts to bubble up around the edges, it’s time to add the extra ingredients.
4. Drop in your M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces or chocolate chips. Use enough to so that each bit of the pancake has equal coverage. Add a tiny bit more batter to cover the sweets you just added.
5. Gently turn the pancake with a spatula or large wooden spoon and cook for about another 45 seconds. It may spill and drip around a bit, but don’t worry: all great pancakes have their imperfections.
6. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup on top.

Tony Myatt’s Chocolate and Coffee Cake

7oz plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa power
5oz soft brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons golden syrup
2 eggs
140ml sunflower oil
280ml milk
For the ganache:
200g plain chocolate (less than 70% cocoa solids)
250ml double cream
1/2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
A dash of Kirsch
Ground espresso coffee

Preheat oven to 160˚C.
Sieve all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add other cake ingredients and mix together.
Pour into a lined baking tin (~9” diameter).
Cook for 30 minutes.

Break chocolate into small pieces. Place slightly less than half in one bowl, the remainder in another. Heat the cream to near boiling point. Pour half the cream into the bowl containing most chocolate. Return the remaining cream to the heat, add the sugar, stir until dissolved, then add to the other bowl of chocolate. Stir both mixtures until the chocolate has completely dissolved. Add a generous dash of Kirsch to the mixture without the sugar. Allow both to cool.

Cool the cake on a wire rack and then cut in half. Spread the sweetened ganache onto one half of the cake then generously dust the ganache with espresso coffee (use a tea strainer). Place the top layer on the cake and spread the Kirsch ganache on top. Dust the top of the cake generously with espresso coffee.

Mark Fell’s Rich Stout Cake

225g (8 oz) butter, softened
350g (12 oz) soft dark brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g (8 oz) plain flour
half a teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
400ml (14 fl oz) Guinness or stout (allow the head to settle before using – very important)
100g (3.5 oz) cocoa powder
150g (5 oz) dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids, grated

1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4
2. Butter and line a DEEP 9″ cake tin with greasproof paper (such a faff but worth doing)
3. Cream butter and sugar and gradually add beaten eggs. (Never worry if you curdle, you can always beat your way out of it, or cry with frustration as you chuck it down the sink).
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
5. Mix together the Guinness and cocoa in a jug. The recipe notes: You will have to persevere with mixing. (You will). Add the grated chocolate.
6. Add the flour and the Guinness mixture alternately to the cake mixture, stirring between each addition until completely mixed. The consistency will be soft (very soft).
7. Spoon into a deep 9″ cake tin and bake for 1 – 1.25 hours. (It took our decent oven over 2 hours to cook thoroughly) until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. You may need to cover the cake with foil or greaseproof paper after about 1 hour to prevent the top from browning.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire reack to cool.
9. (Enjoy).

Jana Winderen’s Great Grandma’s Apple Pie

“Since I was little my mother always makes this apple pie which she learnt form her father’s mother. Make sure you use enough apples.

Mammas farmors eplepai

250 gram smør
300 gram mel
1dl vann
200 – 250 gram sukker ( støs oppå)
20 epler
Smuldre smør med mel til grynete masse.

Bland inn vann, samle til glatt deig. Del i to og kjevle ut, en til topp og en til bunn.
Legg den utkjevlede bunnen i langpanne, også oppover kantene. Fyll pannen med epler som du har skrellt og delt i båter, eplene synker sammen så det er viktig at det er masse eplebåter. Stø over sukkert. Legg på toppen, deigen må være kjevlet nokså tynn. Stek på midterste rille i ovnen i 45 til 60 min på 200 grader Celcius ( til gylllen).
Kjøl den litt og sikt på melis.
Er god sammen med vaniljeis eller krem.
enjoy,
Jana Winderen”

[translated by Marta Dixon:

Great Grandma’s apple pie

250g margerine
300g strong white flour
1 dl water
200-250g sugar [to sprinkle on top]
20 apples[peeled and cored]
Crumble the margerine in the flour. Add the water, then knead the dough until it is smooth and firm. Divide the dough into two parts, one for the base and one for the top.
Roll one part into a square, big enough to cover a baking tin, including the sides.
Cut the apples into segments and fill the baking tin with the apples. The apples will shring in the oven, so it’s important to use lots of apples!
Sprinkle the sugar on top.
Roll out the remaining dough until it is quite thin, then place on top of the pie.
Cook in the middle of the oven for 45-60 minutes at 200ºC (until golden).
Leave to cool a little, then sieve icing sugar over the pie..
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
enjoy,
Jana Winderen]