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

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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

Avocado Chocolate Mousse


Avocado choc mousse

Avocado and chocolate in the same sentence??? Kind of hard to get your head around isn’t it? Can you think of any nicer way to eat something healthy and good for you than in a chocolate mousse??? Bring it on, I hear you say! Any time I mention the words avocado and chocolate in the same sentence, people turn their noses up BUT they are people who have never tried it. It is also possibly the quickest, simplest and healthiest chocolate mousse there is. Continue reading