Raspberry Brioche Pudding

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Another use up the leftovers I’d forgotten about recipe. The brioche was lurking in the dark depths of the bread bin, the jam was one of many opened over Christmas and the cream was a remnant from a pavlova. Together they made a harmonious cloud of sweet deliciousness, the perfect Sunday night pudding. You can adapt this to whatever you fancy or need to use up. Chocolate chip brioche rolls would work nicely, with cocoa powder in the custard to make a chocolate version. Or add some dried fruit. Or use up your panettone. Or whatever!

For 4-6 portions you need:

  • 8 slices of brioche
  • Raspberry jam
  • 250ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Make jam sandwiches with the jam and brioche. Don’t butter the brioche as it’s already enriched and will go too greasy.
  2. Place the brioche sandwiches in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla. Pour over the brioche and leave to stand for 15 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and then bake in a bain marie for 30-45 mins at 170 degrees. The pudding should be crispy on top and puffed up. The custard should just set.

Triple Layer Pavlova

Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one pavlova. I usually make a huge one and then struggle to fit it in the fridge… Having watched the Bake Off Showstopper challenge this series, I fancied a go at a triple layered version for this year. It worked! I used raspberries and mixed summer berries in ours but you can use whatever you want as long as it’s not horrible crunchy passion fruit seeds or pomegranate 😉

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For 8-10 portions you need

  • 6 egg whites (use the yolks in something else)
  • pinch salt
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 x 250g packs of frozen fruit, defrosted (or whatever you want to fill and top it with)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Line three baking sheets with baking parchment.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking all the time on a slower speed until they are stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and vinegar.
  4. Spread 1/3 of the mix on each baking sheet fitting to the size of whatever serving dish you will be using.
  5. For the final layer, spread out a circle and then pipe the remaining meringue mixture to form peaks.
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 130 degrees and bake the meringues for 1-1.5 hours until they are risen, golden brown and crispy.
  7. Switch off the oven and leave the door open a crack by wedging a spoon into the door. Leave to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, whisk the cream to soft peaks and layer up the pavlova with the fruit and cream finishing with a layer of fruit.
  9. Stand back and admire your creation.

Quick and Easy Lemon Cheesecake

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I had some lemons to use up, and google told me to make a quick lemon cheesecake. So I did. You can assemble this in 10 mins or under, but it does need to sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to firm up. You can scoff it in under 10 seconds 🙂

For 12 portions you need

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 X 200g tubs cream cheese (tbh a little more or a little less doesn’t matter)
  • 1 packet ginger nut biscuits
  • 80g butter
  • Zest and juice of four lemons

Begin by melting the butter and whizzing the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. With the motor running, pour the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs.

Line a 20cm springform tin with clingfilm. Press the buttery biscuit crumbs into the base of the tin.

Mix together the cream cheese, condensed milk and cream using a hand whisk. Add the zest and juice and mix until thickened (it will naturally start to thicken when the lemon juice hits the creamy mixture).

Pour into the tin, cover with clingfilm and wait patiently for it to set. Enjoy with summer fruit compote. Yummy.

Perfect Potato Dauphinois 

 

We’ve inherited a milk glut so I’m working my way through recipes that will deal with it. As it’s Sunday, we needed something to be the centrepiece of our evening meal. And this recipe made enough for leftovers tomorrow for a speedy working Monday dinner, win. 

For six portions you need

  • 900g new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 150ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g strong cheddar, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

The secret to making a good gratin, that doesn’t need weeks in the oven, isn’t in danger of burning and always ensures fully cooked potatoes is: par boil the potato slices in the milk/cream mixture. I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across this piece of advice. For years I’d been struggling with gratins either taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cook or having to deal with undercooked veg. Not a nice thing in a potato. 

So with that in mind to make this you simply:

  1. Slice the potatoes and onions (extremely carefully!) with a mandolin to ensure even wafer thin slices. 
  2. Place the potatoes and onions into a pan containing everything else apart from the cheddar. 
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. 
  4. Once par cooked, tip into a baking dish, cover with cheese and bake at 160 for 30-40 mins.
  5. Serve as you wish. We had carrots, cauliflower, peas and nut roast. Yummy. 

Creme Caramel with Cardamom, Nutmeg and Vanilla

  

I do love a creme caramel. Adding a little spice to it rings the changes in an otherwise St Delia classic recipe. 

For 6-8 portions you need

Caramel

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Custard

  • 150ml milk
  • 300ml single cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6-8 cardamom pods, seeds crushed in a pestle and mortar

Begin by heating the sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Once it starts to go liquid (about 5-10 mins) agitate the pan a little to distribute the sugar and continue until it’s all dissolved. 

Carefully add the water, it will hiss and spit, and put back on the heat if you need to make a smooth caramel sauce. 

Tip 2/3 of the caramel into an oven proof dish and swirl to cover the base and sides. 

Add the milk, cream, crushed cardamom seeds and nutmeg to the caramel pan. With a whisk, gently heat the mixture until all the caramel has dissolved into the cream and milk mixture and it’s come up to just below boiling point. 

Pour the hot milk into a jug with the eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly then strain into the caramel lined dish. 

Put into a Bain Marie and bake in a 150 degree oven for about an hour. Leave to chill overnight and then scoff.