‘Good for You’ Chocolate Mousse

Ok guys, no excuses not to make this easy-peasy dessert with just 3 ingredients – chocolate, cream and eggs and a measly 207 calories per portion!  Not only is it simple but it makes it into my ‘healthy eating’ category because there is no added sugar. If the fact that it is super delicious, easy to make and low in calories isn’t enough to convince you to make it then the fact that dark chocolate is also good for your heart, circulation and brain should be the deal clincher! The other bonus is that this is ready after just 2 hours in the fridge.

The only sugar in this recipe is whatever is contained in the dark chocolate itself. I  used chocolate with 74% cocoa solids (from Lidl).

The recipe is adapted from a recipe contained in Rachel Allen’s book Rachel’s Favourite Foods.

Makes 6 small (50ml) glasses

Ingredients

120g (4½ oz) dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids)
120ml (4fl oz) cream
2 eggs, separated

How to make it

  • Break up the chocolate into small pieces.
  • In a saucepan, bring the cream up to the boil then turn off the heat.
  • Add the chocolate to the cream and stir until the chocolate is melted.
  • In a separate large clean & dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff
  • Stir a quarter of the egg white into the chocolate mixture
  • Gently fold in the rest of the egg white, being careful not to knock all the air out.
  • Spoon into little glasses or cups
  • Leave for an hour or two in the fridge to set
  • Decorate / serve as you like, with a raspberry on the top, blob of whipped cream or a little gold dust.

My advice then is to hide and keep it all for yourself!

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Rhubarb Fumble!

The star of this recipe is the crumble which is so so easy to make – perfect for kids to make as it is completely foolproof. The recipe makes a full jar of the delicious crumble just like the one in the photo. Since I made this last weekend I have had to hide the jar as fistfuls were disappearing overnight! Think of crumbled home-baked cookies and you get the idea. The crumble will go on anything ………ice cream, fruit, custard for example and is delicious cold. This recipe has 3 parts to it, all very useful on their own i.e. poached rhubarb, custard and crumble. If you don’t make the rhubarb or the custard please give the crumble a go – eat it on its own or serve it with some fruit e.g. strawberries and ice cream or natural yogurt.  I have rhubarb growing in my garden so I am always looking for recipes to use it up as I hate wasting it. It is the easiest plant in the world to grow, needs absolutely no care or attention so if you have any space at all buy a couple of plants and you will have a supply year after year.  Continue reading

A treat for someone you love!

 

strawberry-m-ice-cream-cake-2017I thought I would post this recipe again as it is such a yummy dessert – an absolute winner, guaranteed to impress and have people asking for seconds. Perfect for a dinner party or a romantic dinner for 2 and because it is prepared in advance there is no stress on the night.

Imagine  strawberries & cream, strawberry ice cream and meringue all combined into a delicious, beautiful ice cream cake.  All you have to do when you want to serve it, is take it out of the freezer, leave it for about 5 minutes and decorate with some fresh strawberries. Don’t be put off by the length of the instructions as each step is really easy. I do this in two stages – make the meringues in the evening and leave them to dry out in the oven overnight (with the oven door ajar). Then the next day whip the cream, whizz the strawberries, mix it all together, scoop it into the tin and pop in the freezer.

You will need a 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Ingredients for meringues:
4 egg whites*
pinch of salt
300 g (11oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the strawberry sauce:
200g (7oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
juice of 1 lemon
50g (2oz) icing sugar
500 ml (18fl oz) regular cream

Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F), Gas mark 1,

  • Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or use two silicon baking sheets
  • Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean bowl, add the salt and whisk into soft peaks.
  • Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition. Continue whisking until all the sugar has been added and the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.
  • Using a large spatula or metal spoon, fold in the vanilla extract.
  • With a tablespoon or dessertspoon, scoop up a heaped spoonful of the meringue mixture, then use a second spoon to scrape the mixture onto one of the lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining mixture, leaving a little room in between each meringue. (Note – the meringues are going to be broken up anyway so don’t worry if they are a bit uneven or messy looking!)
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. (To test whether the meringues are ready, gently lift up one and press the base – it should be crisp but give way with a bit of pressure.
    If possible, allow to cool down completely in the oven, with the heat switched off and the door slightly ajar.
  • Transfer the cooked meringues to a wire rack – they will crisp up further as they cool.
  • Line the cake tin with a double layer of cling film.
  • In a food processor or blender, whiz the strawberries with the lemon juice and icing sugar
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds left in the sieve. (You can get away without doing this, believe me, I have done it several times!)
  • Pour the cream into another bowl and whisk into soft peaks,
  • Crumble the meringue into the whipped cream and stir together to mix.
  • Add the strawberry sauce, swirling it through the cream and meringue mixture.
  • Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.
  • Wrap the tin in cling film and freeze for at least eight hours or preferably overnight.

To serve: Take the frozen cake from the freezer, unclip the tin and carefully lift out the ‘cake’. Remove the cling film from the sides of the cake, then use a palette knife or metal fish slice to carefully transfer the cake from the base of the tin to a serving plate. Cut into slices to serve, either on its own or with fresh strawberries.

*1 egg white weighs 25g or 1 oz

Fresh Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset 1

Time was at a premium last weekend so I was looking for a tasty quick dessert to have for dinner on Sunday. This Lemon Posset fitted the bill perfectly, quick and easy to make with a light creamy delicious fresh lemon flavour.  This recipe is adapted slightly from one that was part of a wonderful 3-day course I did in The Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan last Summer.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Chilling Time: 4-6 hours in fridge

Ingredients

500ml cream

140g caster sugar

¼ vanilla pod

Zest and juice of 2 lemons (preferably unwaxed*)

Method

  • Put the cream, sugar and vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring to a simmer
  • Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk well.
  • Bring the mixture back to a simmer for 20 seconds while stirring constantly.
  • BEWARE : DO NOT LET  THE MIXTURE BOIL OR IT WON”T SET !
  • Take off the heat and pour into glasses or little cups.
  • Cool and put into a fridge for 4-6 hours to set.

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*It is relatively easy to remove the wax coating from a citrus fruit. Put the fruit in a colander and pour over water from a recently boiled kettle or rinse the fruit under a hot running tap. Scrub the fruit all over with a stiff brush, such as a vegetable brush, under a cool running tap but try not to use a brush or scrubbing sponge that you use for dishes as this could cause some soap residue to get on to the fruit. Rinse the fruit thoroughly with cold water and leave to dry, or dry with paper towels.

Caramel & Chocolate Blondies

Blondies 1

You have just got to try these beauties, voted by my regular testers here at home as better than my Oreo Brownies which is really saying something. As sweet treats go these are well up there and well worth making because they are just so yummy. What more can I say to convince you to give these deliciously sweet, buttery, chocolatey, caramel squares a go??!!   Continue reading

Buttermilk Panacotta with rhubarb

Buttermilk Panacotta 1

 

Apologies to all my dear subscribers for the lack of a post last week –  I was swimming in Newry in the Ulster Masters – once you are over 19 years you qualify for Masters events! Oh to be 19 again! Swimming is something I did when I was a kid, thanks to my parents but I gave it up when I was 16 (over the hill in the swimming world!). I took it up again after watching the last Olympics when I was just past my 50th birthday and having a bit of a mid-life crisis. From initially swimming 3 times a week to relieve stress and get fit, I now swim / train 5 or 6 times a week and will be swimming in the European Masters Championships in the Olympic Pool in London at the end of May. So my life is all train, eat, sleep and work at the moment so forgive me if new posts are a little erratic in the next few weeks. In my wildest dreams would I have thought I would ever be able to do this and yes I am terrified but also excited. Continue reading

Dutch Apple Cake

Dutch Apple Cake 3

I think it’s fair to say that any apple dessert, cake or tart goes down well in my house and while I adore an apple tart I am pretty hopeless when it comes to making pastry so I only make them occasionally. (Promise I will share my most reliable tried and tested recipe for apple tart in a future blog post!).  This Dutch Apple Cake is an absolute winner – delicious, beautifully light, moist and fluffy and can be served warm with some cream, custard or ice cream for dessert or with a cup of tea or coffee.

The recipe is from the same book as last week’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake recipe (Darina Allen’s Easy Entertaining) – gosh did I enjoy that cake last week. At the end of a busy day I would wait until I was on my own, put the kettle on, make a mug of tea, cut a very small sliver of the cake and savour every mouthful. So, so good. Continue reading