Tag Archives: dessert

Summer Roulade

I made this on sunday, with the first British strawberries that I have seen this year.  The rolling didn’t work out too well. But I thought to myself, ‘well I will post it as it tastes good’.  Then just before I post it I read Chele’s latest blog about this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge. This month’s challenge is not an ingredient, but a technique and you guessed it – the making and rolling of a roulade/ swiss roll.  Oh well, maybe more practice is needed before I can submit an entry into this month’s challenge.

Last time I made this roulade it rolled much better.  But last time I had run over to my parent’s house to borrow her swiss roll tin, which measures 29cm x 18cm and has shallow sides.  On Sunday I used my Aga half-sized roasting dish which measure 27cm x 16cm and so this resulted in a slightly thicker and slightly shorter cake.  This made it more difficult to roll, so I think getting the right sized tin is definitely the way to go if you want to enter any challenges.  If you just want a tasty cake then live a little on the edge and use a tin that is approximately the right size.

The recipe for the cake element is based on Delia’s Squidgy Chocolate Log from her Complete Cookery Course.

For the cake:

6 eggs
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder

Method

Line a swiss roll (shallow) tin that measures  29cm x 18cm with greaseproof paper or silicone sheet.

Separate the eggs.  Whisk the yolks until they start to thicken.  Add the sugar and whisk until a little thicker. Sift over the cocoa powder and fold in.

In a separate and scrupulously clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Add one third of the egg whites and fold in carefully and then add the rest of the egg whites in two further batches.  Folding carefully to retain as much air as possible.  Pour the mixture carefully into the prepare tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the centre of the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 20 minutes until it is springy to the touch.

Leave in the tin to cool.

For the filling:

3 tablespoons of strawberry jam
300ml double cream
about 8 strawberries
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper, slightly larger than the cake, onto the worktop and dust with cocoa. Softly whip the cream.   Turn the cake out of the tin onto the greaseproof paper.  Spread the jam evenly over the surface and then spread the cream on top.  Halve the strawberries and dot them on top of the cream.  Using the greaseproof paper roll the cake gently into a roll.  If it cracks, it will still taste good. Serve with extra double cream poured over.

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Kahlua and Coffee Ice Cream

If I was absolutely forced to name a favourite flavour of ice cream (crikey, it would be hard) it would be coffee (or it might be chocolate, or coconut, no it is coffee, although rum and raisin is nice too…). Anyway, I do love coffee ice cream and I have made plenty of chocolate, and plenty of strawberry and plenty of vanilla but I have never made coffee ice cream.  So last Sunday I dug out the ice cream maker from its winter hiding place at the back of the cupboard and made half chocolate (for the girls) and half Kahlua and coffee ice cream from a batch of custard using six eggs.

The Kahlua was bought for the gathering of friends a few weeks back when I made Nigella’s Espresso Martinis (oh my goodness they are good and worth the purchase of Nigella’s Christmas book all on their own I should think). This bottle of Kahlua was winking at me from the sideboard just begging to be used to flavour ice cream. It was a good call, this is a very good ice cream. It will be made again and soon.

The recipe below gives a 3 egg custard enough for about 5-6 servings of ice cream, but you can easily double it to make more.

3 egg yolks
300ml double cream
1 tsp cornflour
25g caster sugar
50ml Kahlua
25ml very strong coffee

Method

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat until just below simmering point.  Mix the egg yolks with the cornflour and sugar in a bowl.  Now whisking the eggs all the time, pour the hot cream over.  When well combined pour the mixture back into the saucepan and  continue to stir with a wooden spoon over a gentle heat.  The mixture will begin to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon.  Take the custard off the heat and stir for a minute or so until it has begun to cool.  Add the Kahlua and the coffee and mix in well. Allow the mixture to cool completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and following the manufacturer’s instructions or pouring into a large freezer proof container and placing into the freezer.  If you don’t have an ice cream maker you will have to remove the ice cream every hour and beat well with a fork to combine the ice crystals with the custard until the ice cream is smooth and frozen.  You will need to remove it from the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to eat it so that it becomes soft enough to spoon out of the container.

Lime and chocolate cheesecake

This month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge is hosted by Chele over at Chocolate Teapot and she decided that lime would be this month’s magic ingredient.  I had lots of ideas, including a lime flavoured chocolate cake with lime buttercream, (which sounds so delicious I think I might just make it yet), but yesterday was my turn to make Sunday lunch and I fancied making a cheesecake. I used a similar recipe to the successful cherry cheesecake Mr OC made not so long ago, but added plenty of grated rind and juice of lime.  The chocolate has taken a bit of a back seat just making a cameo appearance in the crust and a light grating on the top.  The reason for this is that my folks are not big fans of chocolate (how I manage to be their daughter I am not sure!).  But the presence of chocolate just about shines through.

This time I cooked the crumb base, but it is not really necessary.  I did it this time because I used Hob Nobs and I thought the oats might make a sort of flapjack base.  I was right.

This cheesecake is zingy and refreshing and makes a lovely end to a roast dinner.  You could say it is a light dessert, but that is then counteracted if you follow it up with a serving of apple crumble and then a serving of crème caramel – oops!  Oh well, it was a Sunday.

200g chocolate coated biscuits ( I used chocolate Hob Nobs)
100g butter, softened

400g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g icing sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
300ml double cream

To decorate – the finely grated rind of 1 lime and some finely grated chocolate

Method

Place the biscuits into a food processor and whizz until crumbs.  Add the butter and whizz again until well mixed. (If you don’t have a food processor then place the biscuits into a food bag and bash with a rolling pin or a can.  Melt the butter in a small pan and add the biscuit crumbs and mix well. )

Press the crumbs into a 20cm springform tin, making sure they are well pressed down.  Now you can leave it like this or you can bake it in a preheated oven at 180 °c, gas mark 4 for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.  Leave to go cold.

In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, icing  sugar and the rind and juice of 2 limes.  In another bowl lightly whip the double cream and then combine with the rest of the ingredients.  Spread this over the crumb base, levelling with a palette knife.  Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  When you are ready to serve grate over the rind of one more lime and a chunk of chocolate.

Stem Ginger Truffles

At Christmas Mr OC buys me a big box of chocolates – he knows how to keep me sweet.  He normally asks for mainly cherry chocolates – you see, he definitely knows how to keep me sweet.  This year the chocolate shop ignored his request. This was initially a bit disappointing as there was only one cherry chocolate in the box – horrors!  But as it turned out it was a good thing as I got to try every chocolate in their selection and a particular favourite was the chocolate coated crystalized ginger.

I knew I had to make some and soon.  I have a jar of stem ginger in syrup in the cupboard, so I decided to use this as the flavouring in my truffle recipe. I made them yesterday as a present for Mr OC.  They aren’t as beautiful as a shop bought truffle, but they are very tasty. One tip though – don’t leave them by a warm radiator before you give them to the lucky recipient, this only leads to disaster.  They are best kept in the fridge.  Oh well, lesson learned.

Makes about 20 truffles.

100g best quality dark chocolate
200ml double cream

60g stem ginger in syrup, chopped finely
25g caster sugar or cocoa powder to coat the truffle

Method

Break the chocolate into small pieces or whizz to rubble in a food processor and place into a bowl.  Pour the cream into a small pan and heat to just below boiling point.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave for a minute and then stir until smooth.  Place in the fridge for about two hours until the mixture is thick enough to roll into truffles.  Add the chopped ginger to the mixture and stir well.

Now, you can roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into small balls like I did yesterday, or you can shape them roughly into ball shapes using two spoons.  I think I like the rough and ready look a little better.  Take a look at my Cherry Truffles and see what you think.

Then coat the truffle in caster sugar or cocoa or even chopped nuts, whatever takes your fancy.  Store in the fridge and enjoy regularly.

Choclette recently made some gorgeous looking Ginger Chocolates so pop over and take a look at her lovely recipe.

Lemon meringue

First, I apologise for the poor quality of this photo.  It was after Sunday dinner and I was serving nine people a choice of either baked apples or lemon meringue ( or both if you are Mr OC) and they were anxious to dig in.  I felt bad delaying them whilst I tried to get a decent shot.  So I gave up and took this one. It doesn’t do the pie justice at all.  A lemon meringue is a thing of beauty, a crumbly biscuit base, tangy lemon filling and pillowy meringue – heaven.

I always use Mary Berry’s recipe from her The Aga Book (published by Aga Rayburn) as it is completely fail-safe and makes a very good pie indeed. You can make a biscuit base  or you can do a sweet pastry base.  Both are good but I think biscuit may just have the slight advantage so this is the one I tell you about here. Now, because I always make this in my Aga I am going to concentrate on telling you this method and then tell you how Delia Smith cooks hers so that you can use this information for whatever oven you have.

These instructions are for a 23cm loose base metal flan tin

Biscuit base:

175g (6oz) digestive biscuits
50g (2oz) butter, softened
Mary Berry adds 45g (1½ oz) demerara sugar but I don’t think this is necessary so I omit it.

For the filling:

2 large or 3 small lemons
40g (1 ½ oz) cornflour
300ml (½ pint) water
3 egg yolks
75g (3oz) caster sugar

For the meringue:

3 egg whites
120g (4½ oz) caster sugar

Method

For the biscuit base, place the biscuits in a food processor and whizz to crumbs. Add the softened butter and whizz again until combined.  If you don’t have a food processor, then place the biscuits into a large plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin (or similarly heavy implement) until crumbs.  Place the crumbs into a bowl.  Melt the butter and add to the crumbs and mix well.

Place the crumb mixture into the flan dish and press down with the back of a spoon until   it covers the base evenly and goes slightly up the sides of the tin. Place the tin onto a baking sheet and place in the roasting oven of the Aga, or into a preheated oven at 200°c, gas mark 6, for 6 minutes until lightly browned. Leave to one side whilst you make the filling.

For the filling:

Pour the water into a pan and bring to the boil.  Place the finely grated zest and the juice of the lemons into a bowl and add the cornflour and stir to blend. Pour in the boiling water and mix well, then return the mixture back to the pan and heat until the mixture thickens. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl and then add to the cornflour mixture and stir on the heat allowing it to bubble a few times.  Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little before pouring evenly over the biscuit base.

To make the meringue:

Beat the egg whites until forming stiff peaks and then add the sugar one spoonful at a time beating well after each addition.  You should have a thick glossy mixture when finished.  Spoon this over the top of the filling making little peaks, which will brown nicely and become crunchy, contrasting with the soft meringue underneath.

For the Aga, place the pie (still on the baking sheet) on the grid shelf positioned on the third set of runners of the roasting oven for 2-3 minutes until gently golden.  Transfer to the simmering oven for a further 15 minutes.  You can serve it warm or cold, it’s delicious either way.

For an ordinary oven Delia recommends preheating the oven to 150°c, gas mark two and cooking at this temperature for 45 minutes.

Cherry Cheesecake

Staying with the cherry theme…

I can’t really take the credit for this as Mr OC made it.  I did however hover nervously, not quite in the background, interjecting occasionally.  I am the back seat driver of the kitchen it seems.   I did make the cherry sauce for the top though, as I needed to have some contribution to the proceedings ( a control freak – moi?).

250g digestive biscuits
150g soft butter

400g cream cheese (room temperature)
60g icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon juice

For the topping:

1 can of cherries in fruit syrup
2 tsp arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
Glug of cherry brandy (optional and to taste)

Method

Put the biscuits in a food processor and whiz until crumbs.  Add the soft butter and whiz again until combined. (If you don’t have a food processor then place the biscuits in a freezer or sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbs.  Melt the butter and pour in the biscuits and stir to combine.)  Press the crumbs into a loose based springform tin measuring 20cm.   Using the back of a metal spoon is the easiest way of doing this.  Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the cheese part.

Place the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a bowl and beat until smooth.  Softly whip the double cream and then lightly fold it into the cream cheese mixture.  Spoon this onto the biscuit base and smooth with a palette knife.  Chill in the fridge until just before serving.

Make the sauce ready to pour on top just before serving.  Empty the cherries and the syrup they are in into a saucepan.  Add the arrowroot and water solution and stir well.  Place on a gentle heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.  Add a glug of cherry brandy to taste.  Pour into a bowl and chill until you are ready to pour over the cheesecake before serving.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release the springform tin.  Keep the cheesecake on the base of the tin and place on a serving plate.  Spoon the cherries and as much of the sauce as the cheesecake will take over the top.

Chocolate roulade, with a touch of the Black Forest

This was another of my contributions to my Dad’s birthday pudding bonanza.  It’s a flourless creation, which means that my gluten-intolerant sister can enjoy it.  I really like Black Forest gâteau, and anything with cherries and cherry brandy in it is always a big hit with me.  So I opted to add these, but you could add Marron Glaces for a chestnutty treat or just opt for the simpler (but nearly as delicious) chocolate and cream combo.

When I rolled it, I had as usual added far too much filling and it all oozed out.  But, actually I like it this way, it makes it look a lot more decadent and that can never be a bad thing, surely?

For the roulade (recipe from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course):

6 eggs, separated
150g (5oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) cocoa powder

A swiss roll tin (a shallow sided tray) measuring 29cm x 18cm, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Whisk the egg yolks until they begin to thicken, then add the sugar and whisk again until the mixture thickens a little more, but you don’t want it to be too thick.  Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined.  In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they make soft peaks.  Add one-third of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture to loosen the mixture and then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites, retaining as much air as possible. Carefully pour this mixture into the tin and lift the tin to spread the mixture evenly.

Place in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or on the middle shelf of the Aga’s Baking Oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the cake is springy to touch. Leave it in the cake tin to cool.

Make the chocolate ganache:

225g (8oz) good quality dark chocolate
225ml double cream
Cherry Brandy (to taste, I tend to put a good swig in, I know that isn’t very scientific, but keep on tasting until it suits you)

Chop the chocolate finely and place in a shallow and long dish. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just under boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to melt for a few moments.  Stir gently until well combined and then add the cherry brandy to taste.

Softly whip 200ml of double cream and drain a can of cherries.

Place a fresh piece of baking parchment on the worktop, it should be a little bigger than the cake.  Dust this with cocoa powder and turn the cake onto it.  Peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of the cake.  Spread the chocolate ganache over and then dot with the cherries.

Spread the softly whipped cream on top and then taking hold of one the shorter edges of baking parchment use this to roll the cake over to make a log.  If the filling oozes out, don’t worry just use a knife to spread it back onto the ends of the roulade.  If the cake cracks then that’s a bonus part of its appeal.

Enjoy in thick slices.