Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

ChocMousse (1)I am not ashamed to say I love my desserts but at the same time I am quite picky.  So when I watched this chocolate mousse being made in my honour, I didn’t have high hopes for it. especially when I saw the ingredients – how wrong I was.  If velvet could be described as a food then it would be this chocolate mousse.  Not only is it smooth tasting but it has a deep intense chocolate taste that dissolves in the mouth.  It is without a shadow of a doubt a grown up dessert.

Since commandeering this recipe for myself I have now made it over and over again.  As with all much-loved recipes I have made a change, which was to remove the orange zest which I feel distracts from the main ingredient – the chocolate. I know that there are so many flavours such as chilli and others that would compliment the chocolate but this recipes calls for top quality chocolate, so why ruin what is a luxury and delicious ingredient by masking it with another?  There are other reasons I love this recipe and why I continually make it and that is its simplicity and the four ingredients that are always in stock in my larder.  Eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate.

It has a decadence about it and it’s not a dessert that you want to rush. It’s quick to make and a little goes a long way.   Not even I, who doesn’t have an off switch when it comes to eating chocolate, can manage two helpings.

So thank you Sophia (whose recipe it is) this recipe is now set firmly in my repertoire of tried, tested and much loved desserts.

Chocolate Mousse


makes 6 small pots

100g dark chocolate at least 70% cocoa such as Green & Blacks or Montezumas
65g unsalted butter
3 eggs
90g caster sugar
Chocolate covered coffee beans for decoration.
(and an orange for zest IF you want it)
  1. Break the chocolate up and with the butter put into a Bain Marie or into the Microwave.  Heat until melted.  Stir to combine.
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until very pale.  Add the melted chocolate (and orange zest if required).
  3. Whisk the egg whisk until the white peak stage and then fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour into little pots or glasses and chill in a fridge for at least three hours.
Serve on their own or with a little clotted cream.



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Tiramisu – I think everyone has heard of Tiramisu, it can be found in nearly every supermarket and corner shop in small plastic containers.

I don’t know if it has been done to death but I have to admit that I really love the homemade version.   It’s light to eat, with a boozy creamy texture and easy to make.

Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’ in Italian.  What is surprising is that is not an old recipe.   It was first made and eaten in a restaurant called ‘Le Beccherie’ in a town called Treviso in Italy.  I wonder back in the 1970’s did they ever imagine how popular that dessert would become?

I don’t know what the original Tiramisu recipe was but I hope that this one doesn’t disgrace itself.  There are no real short cuts; neither do I feel I would want to substitute any of the ingredients for cheaper ones. I have put down the make of sponge fingers as Savoiardi because I have made the recipes with supermarket brands and the results are not as good. There are so many versions of this recipe but, this is the one I really like.

This is definitely a pudding worth making yourself.

Tiramisu – Pick me up


20 Savoiardi biscuits (these are worth looking out for)

180 ml/6 fl oz strong black espresso coffee

5 tbs Marsala

250 g/9 oz Mascarpone

2 eggs separated

2 tbs castor sugar

4 drops vanilla extract

cocoa powder to decorate


Make the coffee – I use a Bialetti Brikka stove top two cup coffee maker, I fill the filter with illy coffee to the top not pushing it down and fill the base up to the top with water. This is my version on how strong I like my coffee you can adjust this part of the recipe if you like. When its ready I pour the coffee into a dish and add the Marsala and stir. Leave it to cool a little.

Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until pale and then add the Mascarpone and mix gently – don’t over beat but make sure it is mixed in well. In the other bowl beat the egg whites until stiff and sitting up in peaks now fold them into the Mascarpone bowl.

One packet of Savoiardi biscuits usually comes in two sections – this recipe will use one section of biscuits leaving the other section for another day. Take each biscuit and dip it into the coffee and Marsala and place in a shallow dish (I have found a dish which is just wide enough for a row of biscuits and one biscuit on its side) don’t leave too long in the dip as the biscuit sucks up the liquid and will break. After I have dipped all the biscuits and covered the bottom of my dish with them I pour over any left over liquid.

Pour the Mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and level with a knife – put in the fridge and leave. If I am making this for the following day I cover with cling film.

Before serving dust with cocoa powder.

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There seems to be a bit of a mystery about making meringues and they have the reputation of being difficult to make. Perhaps because they are so easy, those in the know are keeping the secret to themselves.  I always think that most recipes can be adapted but this is one that needs to be mastered before you tinker with the ingredients.  After all there are only two ingredients to them and the real secret is in the beating – if a secret at all.

These were my brother’s favourite sweet.  When I was a child my older brother was seriously ill and had spent several years in hospital, then towards the end of his stay he would be allowed home for the weekend.  Of course everything at home had to be perfect for these weekend visits.  All his favourite meals were prepared and an order to the local baker would be placed for a box of fresh cream meringues. These involved two plump oval meringues sandwiched with fresh cream topped with a cherry, a sprinkling of nuts and then packed with five others into a white cardboard box, which was then tied up with red ribbon.

hen Saturday came I would be duly despatched to go and collect them.  This for me would entail a dawdle on the way there, taking great interest in the plants along the hedgerow and a short fantasy – I was a bit of a dreamer as a child so would invent all sorts of scenarios with me being the heroine of the day. Other Saturday pick ups might involve a detour to the swings, but I knew once the precious box of meringues were collected it was straight home with only a very slight hope of getting a taste of one of these delicacies.  Of course there was not a hope in hell, for my brother would wolf the lot down in one.  Even when I went to the bakers with my mother, and was asked which cake I would like, I often pointed to the fresh cream meringues only to be told they were too fancy and sophisticated for a little girl like me, no mention that they were fine for my big brother to wolf down in one!

My Meringue eating brother Rudy

As the years rolled by these remained my brother’s favourites, and whenever I visited him I would always make him a box full, and he would never disappoint me in wolfing the lot down in one without a morsel offered my way.

So like a lot of food we eat and things we smell, making meringues always reminds me of my brother Rudy and the sheer gluttony he had for them.



Whites of 2 eggs

4 oz caster sugar

1 oz granulated sugar

Oven needs to be turned on to Gas mark 1/4 /225F.

Wipe the bowl you are putting the egg whites in – there needs to be no trace of grease.

Beat these until stiff and peaky.  Add some of the caster sugar and beat again and keep adding until all the sugar has been used up.  I normally beat these on medium speed on my Kenwood mixer or fast speed on my hand held mixer for at least five solid minutes.  The mixture will turn into a glossy creamy texture and when you lift the mixer blades out the egg whites should form stiff white peaks that don’t collapse.

At this point add the granulated sugar and fold into the mixture.

A baking tray needs to be lined with greaseproof paper (to hold the edges down just dab a little of the meringue mixture on each corner and it will stick the paper to the tray).

You have two choices here, either put the whole mixture onto the greaseproof paper and with a knife mould into a round disc, drawing the edges up to form a sort of bowl or put the mixture into a piping bag and pipe ovals of meringue onto the paper (should make approx 16) or use two dessert spoons, one to form the oval and one to push it off the other spoon.

Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours.  Remove from the oven, carefully separate them from the paper, turn them upside down and return to the oven for a further hour.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Meringues store well in an airtight container but they are best eaten at their peak, which is just cooled from the oven.

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