Category Archives: desserts

Something for after dinner

chocolate pots

This is for Luigi, a fan of this very simple but very good dessert.

I heat 285cl cream and add 200gm dark chocolate. I stir and when the chocolate is melted, I turn off the heat and add a knob of butter. Then I add two eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of brandy (if I have any!) and fill coffee cups or wine glasses with the mixture. They need to stay in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

I decorate the pots with a few raspberries.

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yogurt panna cotta

First I put gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes to soften. (I use a whole packet, enough to set 500 ml liquid). Then I heat 400 ml cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a vanilla pod. I squeeze out the gelatine leaves and add them to the cream. In a bowl I put 500 ml yogurt (full fat is best) and strain the cream on top. I mix well and put into a wetted dish. I cover and refridgerate.

To serve, I unmould the panna cotta and decorate with berries (blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants etc).

Alternatively, I set in a deep bread tin or in individual moulds. I sometimes make a warm fruit sauce by heating together berries and sugar. But whatever I do, this is always good!002

apricot tart

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My mother made this tart with shortcrust pastry, but I feel that sweetcrust is better. Anyway, making this is an act of love for me!

First I make the pastry in the Magimix with 150 g flour, 75 g butter, 75 g sugar and two egg yolks. I wrap the pastry in film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. I stone 6/7 firm apricots and cut into pieces. I toast a handful of almonds in a dry non stick pan and whizz in the Magimix. In another bowl I mix an egg yolk with two tablespoons of sugar and a glass of cream. I line a tart tin with the pastry, sprinkle the ground almonds on the base,add the fruit and sprinkle with 2/3 tablespoons sugar and a few flecks of butter. This cooks at 180°C for 15 minutes. Then I add the cream and egg mixture and continue cooking for 15/20 minutes. When cool, I unmould and put on a rack.

If you make this tart, be generous with sugar. The apricots need it!

crumble

Every now and then I use my Mother’s ramekins… she was very fond of them!… like when I feel like something sweet.

I butter three ramekins, peel and core an apple and cut it into small pieces. I fill the ramekins with the apple add a teaspoon of brown sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. I make the crumble with 50 gm flour and 25g of butter and 15g brown sugar and pile on top. I add a few flecks of butter and bake in the oven at 180°C for 40 minutes.

T004he plan was to have one for dessert and keep the other two for another day, but I ate the lot!

chocolate roulade

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A Swiss roll without flour? Intriguing, but perhaps beyond my technical skills. I haven’t eaten it yet but this is the procedure…

I turn on the oven at 180°C and line a tin with greaseproof paper. I melt 175 gm dark chocolate in the microwave and separate 6 eggs. I whip the whites to a firm peak. Then I whip the yolks with 175 gm sugar in another bowl and fold in the cooled chocolate. I fold in the whites and finally two tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder. I spread this mixture into the tin and cook for 15 minutes. I leave it to cool in the tin.

I whip 200 gm cream. I turn the cake out onto a sheet of paper dusted with icing sugar and remove the paper. I spread the cream onto the cake, leaving a 2 cm border around. I roll up as tightly as possible and transfer to a plate. A final dusting of icing sugar will cover the cracks!

Comment on taste is to follow.

french apple tart

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A big birthday party for Augusta last night and…. this was one of the desserts.

First I make the shortcrust pastry in the magimix with 250 gm flour, a pinch of salt, 125 gm butter and enough water to bind the mixture. I rest the dough in the fridge while I make the frangipane cream. I beat 150 gm soft butter, then add 100 gm sugar. When well mixed I add 150 gm ground almonds and a tablespoon of brandy and, bit by bit, an egg and two yolks, Finally a level tablespoon of flour. I roll out the pastry to fit a 30 cm tin and prick the base with a fork. I fill the case with the frangipane and put it into the fridge while I prepare the apples. I peel and halve four eating apples. I remove the pips and slice the halves thinly. I make a bicycle wheel pattern in the tin by pushing each sliced half firmly down into the frangipane. It cooks at 200°C for 15 minutes and a further 15-20 minutes at 180°C. I sprinkle the surface with sugar 10 minutes before the end. Just before serving I brush an apricot glaze all over the top. The glaze is simply made by heating a spoon of apricot jam with a squeeze of lemon juice in the microwave.

It must have been alright as not much was left over. I DO however have masses of rice left. What will I do with it? Watch this space…

creme caramel

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This is nice in individual portions. I use disposable foil pots.

First I make the custard by mixing an egg and two yolks with 60gm sugar. To this I add 250 ml milk which I heat to boiling point with a strip of lemon peel. Then I melt three tablespoons of sugar in a pan to caramellise it. I put the caramel in each foil pot, twisting it round to coat the sides too. I strain the custard into each pot and place them in a roasting tin. I pour boiling water into the tin and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. I cool the custard pots and then put them in the fridge. To serve, I loosen the sides with a knife and invert onto a plate.

This quantity makes four.

three fruit marmalade

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This is not my usual area of competence (i.e. Augusta is the family jam maker) but…

First the fruit needs to soak . I wash 2 lemons, a grapefriut and an orange and remove the peel with a potato peeler. I cut the peel into fine strips and add it to a bowl with 2 litres of water. I remove the white pith from the fruit and put it in a muslin cloth (actually, an old cotton napkin). I cut up the fruit and put any pips or pith in the the napkin. I add the fruit to the basin of water. I tie up the napkin well and add it to the basin too. I cover with a plate and leave for 24 hours.

I bring the fruit, water and bag of pith to the boil in a  very large pan and simmer for an hour and a half. I wash five jam jars and their caps well, dry them and put them in the oven at 100°C for half an hour to “sterilise”. I remove the bag of pith from the simmered liquid and squeeze out as much of the sticky liquid as possible into the pan (this is where the pectin is!). I add a kilo and a half of sugar to the fruit and boil rapidly for 20 minutes until setting point is reached. A little liquid on a cold plate will gel. I transfer the marmalade to a pouring jug and fill the jars to the brim. The caps must be put on immediately.

So, breakfast is now sorted for a wee while. 

orange salad

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Sometimes you need or fancy a dessert but there’s nothing in the house. An orange salad is a great solution.

I peel three or four oranges and remove as much pith as possible. I open the fruit in half and then cut it into slices across the sections. I arrange these on a large flat plate and sprinkle over a little sugar (white or brown) and a few tablespoons of brandy. I cover in film and refrigerate for an hour before serving. You can leave the orange whole but half slices are easier to eat!

For a Moroccan twist, try sprinkling cinnamon and orange flower water instead of sugar and brandy.

chocolate truffles

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Silvia gave a big birthday party, so we brought along some truffles for the coffee.

First I melt 400gm of good quality dark chocolate. I use the microwave, but you have to be careful not to burn the chocolate. I bring 200 ml of fresh cream to the boil and when it has cooled a bit, I add it to the chocolate with two or three tablespoons of brandy (rum would be good too). I leave the mixture to cool and  thicken for an hour. Then, I whip it with the electric whisk and  put the mixture into the fridge to harden.(another hour). Finally I take teaspoons of the mixture, form  balls, roll them in cocoa powder and place each truffle in a paper case.

Store in the fridge for not more than two or three days… but they’ll never last that long, believe me!