CUSTARD & SUMMER FRUIT CAKE
When it comes to cake I’m the kind of girl who will go for the simple sponge rather than the double cream chocolate fudge cake. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with cakes, creamed and iced to oblivion. However, nothing beats a moist sponge cake, especially when paired with creamy custard and fresh summer fruit. And that is why I ended up making this cake twice in one week.
Although not the most attractive piece of baking it was a real hit with everyone at work and generally anyone who tried it. - When it came to round two, it ended up being the mister’s birthday cake… and he was well chuffed, having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (because you’re allowed to have cake for every meal on your birthday ;))
You will have to try this. It’s the ultimate spring/summer cake and lends itself perfectly for picnics and barbecues.
MAKES 1 CAKE
PREPARATION 20 mins
COOKS 90 mins
- 300ml ready made custard
- 300g fresh or frozen berries (defrosted), you can use any berries you like, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or cherries
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 125ml milk
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 23cm/9inch round cake tin.
- Mix half your crushed berries into the custard until well combined.
- In a separate bow or food mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Now add the eggs, one by one until smooth and mixed thoroughly.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder, milk, and the remaining crushed berries.
- Pour half the mix into the cake thin then add the custard on top. Make sure you leave a 2cm edge around and only pour the custard in the middle. Now top with the remaining cake mixture.
- Sprinkle with the brown sugar and bake for 90mins. The baking time can vary slightly depending on your oven. Check by inserting a wooden skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean it’s done.
- Make sure you leave your cake to cool for about 1 hour. I mean seriously, leave it… don’t try to take it out or you’ll break it (yep, I did that).
Once cool, remove from the tin and demolish, with a nice cuppa of course. Yuuum!
Custard and Summer Fruit Cake recipe taken from Simon Rimmer and adapted by Etta.
I’m a real sucker when it comes to puff pastry. I mean who can resist a light, buttery, fluffy croissant, straight from the oven. Especially when it’s filled with beautiful ingredients, such as ham ‘n’ cheese, Belgian chocolate or marzipan.
We happened to have some puff pastry in the freezer and loads of stuff, that needed eating, in the fridge… and so the idea of the puff pizza was born. - If you’re incredibly health conscious, stop here and come back tomorrow for the healthy chicken and spring vegetable stew… but if you don’t care and the yum factor is all you seek, please read on.
You can throw anything onto your pizza. Below is what I did. ENJOY!
SERVES 4 (the two of us ate all four portions :-S Does that make us pigs?)
PREPARATION 10 mins
COOKS 15-20 mins
- 1 pack of rolled puff pastry (these come on baking paper and are ready to bake)
- 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 pepper-dew peppers, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped olives
- 1 ball of mozzarella, torn
- a handful of fresh basil
- a handful of fresh spinach
- 150g dried chorizo, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Fry your garlic on medium heat in a little olive oil for about 2 minutes (make sure you don’t burn it). Add the tomatoes, peppers and olives and cook until reduced by a quarter and all the watery bits have evaporated.
- Spread out your puff pastry on a large baking tray and set aside.
- Fry your chorizo for a few minutes until the outside starts to brown (no need to use oil as there is plenty in the meat). Don’t chuck the oil, you’ll be needing that.
- Spread your tomato mix all over the puff pastry base leaving an edge of about 2.5cm/1inch. Cover in all you ingredients, finishing with the mozzarella, basil and spinach.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Then drizzle with the remaining chorizo oil.
Now devour this sinful dish of deliciousness. It’s plenty for four but I guarantee that two of you can finish this easily. :)
I made these the other day and made soooo many … well way too many for two little people to eat without getting bored of them. So we had to be creative and this is what I got this morning. Absolutely delicious! The sweetness of the maple syrup and muffin work so well with the smokey saltiness of the bacon.
You can find the muffin recipe here.
Fry up some streaky smokey bacon in a little olive oil until crispy and brown. Cut your muffins in half, place the bacon on top and drizzle with maple syrup. This is all it takes for a lovely, slightly different breakfast.
I love cake… in any shape or form… fluffy, eggy, sweet and buttery. Who could resist? And just that it should be. I don’t believe in “healthy”, fat or sugar free cakes because it takes away everything that’s good about them. So until this day I have resisted making wholesome cakes because if you want to be healthy you shouldn’t have cake, or muffins, or cupcakes…
I have been asked to try and make my cakes “good for you” just that little bit too often and ultimately I succumbed and gave it a go.
I have to admit, these ones are good. Pretty, pretty good… but if you are looking for that cakey, buttery moistness, stop here. This is, primarily and soley, a breakfast muffin, full of fibres and lovely nutty seeds. It’s moist and very filling, because of the wholemeal flour that’s used. Don’t be put off by the courgette, it won’t taste like a vegetable muffin bust simply add moisture. I mean, carrots are vegetables and we all love a carrot cake, don’t we?
So here we go: beautifully cinnamony and nutty breakfast muffins. If you like it a little sweeter, up the amount of honey or add a little brown sugar. Another thing I’d like to try next time is to add a dollop of jam or sweetened cream cheese into the middle.
Happy baking :)
PREPARATION 10 mins
COOKING 25 mins
• 225g wholemeal flour
• 1½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• a pinch of salt
• 200ml milk
• 2 eggs
• 4 tbsp vegetable oil
• 7 tbsp clear honey (you can replace this with brown sugar)
• 150g courgette, coarsely grated (this is approximately one small courgette)
• 40g mixed seeds such as pumkin, sesame, and sunflower
• 25g oats (this equals one sachet of porridge oats)
• cream cheese or jam to add to the middle (this is optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a muffin tray with muffin cases. Mix together the oats and seeds and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. In another bowl mix together the eggs, milk, oil, honey/sugar and courgette. Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients and carefully combine. Don’t over-mix it as you’ll start to chop up your courgette too much, just make sure everything is incorporated.
- Spoon your muffin mix into the tray (about 2/3 up as your muffins will rise). Sprinkle with the seed/oat mix and bake for 25 minutes. Check whether the muffins are done by inserting a wooden skewer and making sure it comes out clean.
- Cool for a few minutes and enjoy with honey, cream cheese, greek yoghurt or jam and a nice cup of coffee. Yuuum ;)
I’m sure you’ll all agree there is nothing better than a cupcake… apart from maybe cheesecake.
In Swabia (that’s the south of Germany for those of you who wondered), where I grew up, every bakery sells their own version of a creamy baked cheesecake, packed with raisins, vanilla and quark. I used to absolutely love walking into the bakery when the cakes had just been baked and queuing up to be served by the grumpy baker’s wife. I would then carry my newly purchased treasures, wrapped in thin grease proof paper, home and then enjoy them with the most terrible filter coffee imaginable. Best memories ever… and despite the rude service and terrible beverage, the cake was still delicious.
So here’s my version of the baked cheesecake, with lovely cherries and a crunchy biscuit base. Divine!
PREPARATION 20 mins
COOK 30 mins + chill for 1hr
For the biscuit base
- 12 oaty biscuits (such as Hobnobs)
- 70g butter, melted
For the filling
- 500g cream cheese (use the full fat one. There’s no point using low fat cheese in cheesecake! It’s not creamy enough and too acidic)
- 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
- 130g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 150ml soured cream
- 48 cherries (I am being very exact here, you don’t have to be), from a jar, tin, frozen or fresh. You can also use raspberries, blueberries or blackberries or any berries for that matter
- serve with whipped cream, creme legere, ice cream or a dusting of vanilla sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large muffin tray with 16 muffin cases. Mine only has 12, so I ended up baking my cupcakes in two lots.
- If you have a food processor, blend your biscuits until very fine. I don’t own a food processor (sigh… I know :( ) so I placed them into a doubled up freezer bag and bashed them with a rolling pin until I had fine crumbs.
- Mix the crumbs with the melted butter until well combined. Now equally distribute the mixture into the base of the muffin cases and press down firmly. It is really important that you create a firm biscuit base as you don’t want it to fall apart later on. I used a pestle and a strong boyfriend ;) You can also use the bottom of a flat jar or glass.
- For the cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add the flour, caster sugar, vanilla extract, egg, egg yolk and soured cream until the mixture is light and silky.
- Place approximately three cherries (or fruit of your choice) in the bottom of each case and then pour the cream cheese mixture on top, distributing evenly between the cases.
- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes. The filling should be set, slightly golden but still a little wobbly.
- Once cooked, set the cupcakes aside to cool for approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Remove them from the tray and chill in the fridge for another hour or even better and if you can bare the wait, until the next morning.
- Serve with cream, ice cream, berries, creme legere or just on their own. Absolutely phenomenal with a glass of bubbly :)
These brownies are every chocaholics dream. I don’t think it gets more chocolaty than this. You’ll only need a teeny bite to satisfy your cravings and the crunch of the cookies adds that little something.
Super easy to make, I think these are probably one of the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Try for yourself :)
PREPARATION 30 mins
COOK 30 mins
- 110g Butter
- 200g dark Chocolate, chopped
(if you’re too lazy you can also use chocolate buttons.
Although I think chopped chocolate is definitely worth it ;))
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 165g Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 100-150g pack of Chocolate Biscuits (approx. 12 biscuits)
the crunchier the better
- Icing Sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 20cm square baking tin or Pyrex baking dish with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.
- Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add chopped chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder and half of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.
- Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares.
Dust with icing sugar.
- Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream, Creme Fraiche or just a glass of milk.
Taken from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe on www.bbc.co.uk/food and adapted by Toni.