Having just returned from a fabulous break in Edinburgh at the Fringe festival and picking bags upon bags of plump blackberries from my neighbours wall – which are now stocked up in the freezer until crumble season is upon us – I wanted to attempt a twist on a classic Scottish dessert. Traditionally, cranachan is made with raspberries but seeing as I have a bounty of blackberries I went with the free fruit option. I have also added some chopped roasted hazelnuts and brown sugar for added crunch so this is my version of the dessert.
I really believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day and porridge with dates, apricots and cinnamon is what sets me up the best but in summer it’s not really an option. Bircher is a cold summer porridge and it’s essential ingredients of oats, fruit juice, grated apple and yogurt are a lovely blank canvas to add fruit, nuts, seeds and varying fruit juices of your choosing.
Created by a Swiss doctor for his patients it’s a satisfying, slow release start to the day.
During London’s heat wave I had a serious Mexican food craving to the point where I would consider going the long way home so that I could stop by Wahaca’s pop up Southbank Experience and grab one of their amazing pulled pork burritos. I had some left over spicy tomato sauce in the freezer so decided to whip up some taco inspired pizzas.
You can keep the dough in a well sealed freezer bag in the fridge for 24 hours or freezer for up to 3 months (defrost in the fridge overnight) and any left over tomato sauce can also be frozen.
My old housemate Rob used to make this chilli all the time. It’s the best chilli I have tasted but in an unusual no tomato or peppers kind of way and can imagine it’s not everyones cup of tea. With the addition of red wine and cinnamon, this to me feels like a more authentic, spicier chilli con carne with its depth of flavours. Its quite fiery so I serve it with soured cream to take the edge off some of the heat. This recipe is from Jo Pratt’s The Nation’s Favourite Food
Roskilly farm back in Cornwall make the most amazing ice creams and my favourite of theirs is Orange & Mascarpone. It is so creamy and refreshing I can’t resist it if I see that flavour in the display freezer. I adore nectarines and eat as many as possible during their short summer season so thought nectarine & mascarpone ice cream was a way to prolong the nectarine consumption. I used David Leibovitz’s Peaches and Cream recipe as inspiration and created possibly the creamiest ice cream known to man…….and I wonder why I have gained a few pounds since starting the blog?!?
After all this lovely hot weather we have been having in the UK I thought it would be rude not to get my christmas present ice cream maker out and give it another spin. Rum and raisin is probably my favourite ice cream flavour and was so easy to make…….I can see I will be using the recipe again very soon. Freeze the bowl for 48 hours before you will be making the ice cream. The ice cream will conveniently be soft scoop as the alcohol prevents it from setting hard.
Summer back home in Cornwall can mean only one thing……Cornish cream tea’s. Light and moist scones with lashings of strawberry jam and Rodda’s clotted cream served with a refreshing cup of tea. Following a trip home I used to bring scones back from the local bakery for my workmates in London to enjoy. That was until one Easter when I was travelling back early the day after Easter Monday and no bakeries had scones baked yet so I hurriedly threw some together the night I got back so I had something to take into work the next day. I have never been allowed to buy scones since as mine are better than the biggest bakery in Cornwall apparently!
So finally summer has come to London with 3 weekends in a row of lovely sunny weather, everyone is making the most of it as we don’t know how long it will last. Cherries are one of my favourite summer fruits and my local food market has them in abundance at the moment. Big dark juicy Turkish cherries that I felt should be used for something other than munching on at work.
Having always wanted to make cherry clafoutis, now seemed like a good a time as any to try it. Using Nigel Slater’s recipe as a starting point, I wanted mine more at the egg custard end of the spectrum rather than pancake batter puddingy end so reduced the flour content. With the addition of ground almonds it gained an almost fruity bread and butter pudding quality which wasn’t unwelcome but I may try it without next time for comparison.
I can see a theme developing with alcoholic desserts……Tiramisu is a big hit with my family but none of us had ever made it before. Baileys is also rather popular so when my aunt and cousin came for dinner recently I thought Nigella Lawson’s Irish Cream Tiramisu would probably be well received. It was really easy to make and one of those great desserts you make the day before serving so this is definitely on my Christmas menu for 2013! This recipe contains raw egg so use the freshest eggs possible.
I came across this Sarah Randell recipe for Strawberry Daiquiri Pavlova in the June issue of Sainsbury’s Magazine and being a huge fan of rum and pavlova knew I had to give this a go. Having always been daunted by making meringue I decided to bite the bullet a few weeks ago and I’m so glad I did. This dessert is what dreams are made of! The addition of vinegar gives the meringue a cloud like centre and the lime juice and zest cut through the sweetness leaving you with a perfect boozy BBQ show stopper. And what’s better, you can make the meringue and store it in an airtight container for a few days before needed.
My friend and awesome instagrammer Natalie hosted an Instagrammers London BBQ at the weekend so I took my chance to make this again and offered to bring along dessert. I can see this becoming a regular fixture in my baking repertoire so simple to make but so delicious.