ALL AMERICAN BERRY TRIFLE

All American Berry Trifle

 
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Serves 8 

Ingredients: 

450g/3 cups of fresh blueberries 

375g/3 cups of fresh raspberries 

75g/2 ½oz  caster/superfine sugar

3 tablespoons crème de cassis (optional)

300g/7oz madeira/pound cake, sliced

400ml/1 cup mascarpone cheese

500ml/2 cups tub custard

1 tbsp vanilla extract

300ml/1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped

 

Method: 

1.        Place 2/3 of each of the berries and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then pour in the crème cassis and set aside to cool. 

2.      Place a layer of the cake at the bottom of a large trifle bowl, and spoon the berry mix on top.

3.      In a mixing bowl whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla extract and custard until smooth but make sure it doesn’t get to runny, you want it to remain slightly thick. Spoon on top of the cake and berries, followed by the softly whipped cream. 

4.      Chill for a couple of hours in a fridge and just before you serve decorate the top of the trifle with the reaming blueberries and raspberries. 

GUINNESS & BROWN BREAD ICE-CREAM

Guinness & Brown Bread Ice-cream

 
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INGREDIENTS:

300g/2 cups brown breadcrumbs, from at least one day old bread  

/½ cup brown sugar

250ml/1 cup milk 

250ml/1 cup double cream 

150g/¾ cup sugar 

5 egg yolks  

1 vanilla pod 

150ml/⅓ cup Guinness  

 

METHOD:

1.   Pre-heat oven to 180°C/360°F/Gas Mark 5. 

2.   Place the breadcrumbs and brown sugar in a bowl and mix well. Then sprinkle the sugared breadcrumbs on to a baking tray, and spread out evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are slightly darker and the sugar has melted. Stir occasionally while they are baking. Once they are baked, allow them to cool. 

3.   Pour the milk, Guinness and cream into a saucepan and place over a medium heat and stir in the sugar. Slit the vanilla pod down its length with a small sharp knife and scoop out the tiny black seeds and stir into the saucepan. Reduce the heat, and stir until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. 

4.   Place the eggs yolks into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Then slowly whisk in the warmed cream and milk mixture to the eggs. Then transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, and place over a low heat and stir until you get a custard consistency. 

5.   Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the cooled sugared breadcrumbs. Mix well. 

6.   Pour the ice cream mixture into container, and freeze until set.

Raspberry & Rosemary Pavlova

Raspberry & Rosemary Pavlova

 
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Makes 1 Pavlova

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the Pavlova:

9 egg whites 

500g/2½ cups caster sugar

2 tsps cornstarch

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp rosewater

For the filling:

500ml/2 cups whipping cream

1 tbsp icing/confectioners’ sugar

1 tbsp rosewater 

200g/1¼ cups fresh raspberries

 

METHOD:

1.    Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2.    Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until mixture is thick and glossy and the sugar completely dissolves. Add the cornstarch, vinegar and rosewater and gently fold until just combined. 

3.    Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking tray in a circle shape and use the back of a wooden spoon to shape the meringue into a nest. Place the meringue in the pre-heated oven and turn the heat down to 140°C and bake for 1.5hrs. Once the meringue is baked, turn off the heat, open the oven door and allow it to cool completely. 

When the meringue is cooled and ready to serve you can start assembling the filling. You don’t want to add the cream too far in advance as it will soak into the meringue. Gently whip the cream until it thickens and then whisk in icing sugar. Fold in the rosewater and then spoon the filling into the centre of the meringue. Add the fresh raspberries on top.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

 
Lemon Drizzle Cake
 

INGREDIENTS: 

225g/8oz butter, softened 

225g/8oz caster sugar

4 eggs

4 tbsp milk

275g/9½oz self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 lemons, grated zest only 

Juice of one lemon ½

For the lemon drizzle

175g/6oz icing sugar

2 lemons juice only 

Garnish with the zest of one lemon 

METHOD: 

1.   Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/Gas mark 4. Grease a 20-22cm round cake tin and line the base with parchment paper. 

2.   Place the butter in a large mixing bowl with the sugar and beat together with a whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk. Next fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. 

3.   Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula. 

4.   Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden brown. Check by inserting a skewer into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. 

5.   While the cake is still hot and in the tin prick it with a skewer and pour over the lemon juice. Leave the cake in the tin to cool. 

6.    Make the drizzle. Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until it forms a smooth paste. Remove the cake from the tin and smooth the lemon drizzle over the cake. Garnish with lemon zest. 

Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting

Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting

 
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Makes 1 Cake (10 portions) 

INGREDIENTS: 

3 eggs 

140ml/5floz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 

220/7oz light brown sugar 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 

350g/12oz grated carrots, (grated weight) 

100g/3½ oz golden raisins 

100g/3½ oz walnuts, chopped 

200g/7oz self-raising flour 

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

For the orange blossom frosting 

300g/10½ oz cream cheese, chilled 

70g/2½ oz butter, at room temperature 

300g/10½ oz icing sugar, sifted 

1 orange, zest only 

2 teaspoons of orange blossom water 

 METHOD: 

1.          Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.        For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrot, raisins and chopped walnuts. 

3.        Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re using a ceramic baking dish then you’ll need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time. 

4.       Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. 

5.        For the orange blossom frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and finely grated orange zest and mix until the frosting is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. 

6.       Decorate with orange zest on top of the frosting.

Rhubarb & Ginger Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb & Ginger Upside-Down Cake

 
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I adore Rhubarb and Ginger and this is a harmonious cake perfect with a big dollop of creme fraiche and a cup of tea.

 Makes 1 Cake

INGREDIENTS:            

40g/1½ oz unsalted butter
200g/7 oz soft brown sugar
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
350g/12 oz rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g/7 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml/7 fl oz buttermilk
2 medium eggs
100ml/3 fl oz vegetable oil

METHOD:

1.     Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.   Melt the butter in a 24cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in half the sugar and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add in one third of the crystallized ginger. Remove from the heat and add the sliced rhubarb, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
3.    Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl
4.   In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining sugar with the buttermilk, eggs, oil and the rest of the crystallized ginger. Fold in the flour mixture and mix well. Pour over the rhubarb and smooth the surface.
5.    Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert on to a serving plate. Serve with crème fraiche.