Don’t let those post-bank-holiday blues get you down, enjoy this short sunny week by baking some absolute show-stoppers…
We have four dessert recipes which are bound to lift your mood, from a strawberries and cream baked Alaska to a gin and tonic drizzle loaf, and they’re all incredibly simple to follow and are perfect to serve at a mid-week dinner party.
Strawberries & Cream Baked Alaska
Not only does this dessert look pretty impressive with decorative meringue swirls and peaks, it is also incredibly light, fluffy and absolutely delicious.
This dessert is perfect for a dinner party, and you can make it a day ahead and pop it in the freezer to stay fresh!
1 Litre Clotted cream ice cream
150g Strawberries, roughly chopped
90g Self-raising flour
3 Egg whites
250g Caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 165°c (fan). Set 120g of ice cream to one side for the sponge base.
- Place the remaining ice cream in the large mixing bowl and mix it with the spoon to soften it up. Stir in the chopped strawberries before spooning the whole mixture into the cling film lined bowl. Place the whole thing (in the bowl) in the freezer while you make the sponge base.
- To make the sponge base, pour the 120g of reserved ice cream (this should be melted by this stage) into the large mixing bowl and combine with the self-raising flour and 50g of the caster sugar until a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake for 20 minutes until springy to touch. Allow to cool completely.
- When the sponge is cool, you’re ready to make the meringue. At this stage you should also heat your oven to the maximum temperature it will reach. Pour the egg whites and remaining 200g of caster sugar into the (clean) large mixing bowl and place the whole thing over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk the egg whites and sugar together either by hand or with an electric whisk. You want to see the steam against the outside of the bowl dissolve the sugar into the egg whites. This will take around 5 minutes, and you can tell when this is done when you can no longer feel grains of sugar when you rub the mixture between two fingers. (It will get warm, so be careful). Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and whisk up the meringue (again, by hand or electric hand mixer) until thick and glossy and stiff peaks are formed when you lift the whisk from the mixture.
- To assemble, place the sponge layer on your heatproof serving plate, remove the ice cream dome from the bowl and place on top. Spread the meringue all over, creating peaks and swirls and then bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the meringue just starts to brown. Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice with a hot knife to serve.
Bakewell Tart Traybake
You cannot go wrong with the brilliantly British Bakewell tart, and this recipe is particularly special.
It is easy to make and is bursting with delicious almond flavours with a sweet jam centre and topped with a sprinkle of icing sugar. This is a perfect afternoon treat so get baking and enjoy!
150g Plain flour
150g Caster sugar, split into 50g and 100g
200g Unsalted butter, softened, split into 2 x 100g
150g Ground almonds
200g Raspberry jam
Handful of flaked almonds
Icing sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 165°c (fan).
- Put all of the plain flour and 50g of caster sugar in the mixing bowl before rubbing in 100g of unsalted butter with your fingertips. When the mixture resembles crumbs, pour it into the lined traybake tin, spread it evenly and press it down so the crumbs loosely join together. Bake the base for 15 minutes.
- While the base is baking, combine the remaining 100g of butter, 100g caster sugar, ground almonds and the egg in the mixing bowl with a spoon to make the frangipane topping.
- When the base has had its 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and add the jam, spreading it with the back of the spoon to make an even layer over the top, followed by all of the frangipane mix (this will be a thicker layer) and a sprinkling of flaked almonds before returning to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
- When the traybake is golden on top, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust the whole thing with icing sugar, slice into bars and top with more flaked almonds. Enjoy!
Pistachio & White Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Try something a little different this week with this delicious indulgent treat. Sandwich together two crispy cookies with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and roll them in lightly chopped pistachios.
This is a perfect treat to start making with your kids! (Or just by yourself!)
120g Unsalted butter
225g Light brown sugar
300g Plain flour
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp Salt
300g White chocolate, roughly chopped
100g Pistachios, roughly chopped
Tub Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 165°c (fan).
- In the large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with the electric hand whisk.
- Add the egg and mix until combined, before adding the flour, bicarbonate and salt. Mix well with your hands. When the dough starts to come together, add 150g chopped white chocolate and 50g of chopped pistachios. Bring together to form a ball of dough.
- Roll the dough into 12 evenly sized balls and place on the lined baking tray, 6 at a time as the cookies need space to spread as they bake.
- Bake in the oven for 7 minutes, turn the tray and bake for a further 7 minutes then allow the cookies to cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough balls.
- When the cookies are cool, sandwich two together with a generous scoop of ice cream and decorate as you wish – melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave in 10 second increments (stirring between each to be careful that it doesn’t burn) and dip them, roll them in the remaining chopped pistachios, do both or leave plain!
Gin & Tonic Drizzle Loaf
This is a moist, fluffy loaf with a light gin syrupy glaze, a fun twist on the classic lemon drizzle cake. Add just enough Gin and you’ll get a lovely botanical flavour!
Makes 1 large loaf!
1 Grapefruit/orange or 2 x lemons/limes
175g Self-raising flour
175g Caster sugar + 75g for soaking syrup
175g Unsalted butter, softened
120ml Gin split into 50ml and 70ml
75ml Tonic water
150g Icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 165°c (fan).
- Take whichever citrus you are using and cut half into slices for decorating (½ grapefruit/orange or 1 whole lemon/lime). Zest and juice the other half using the fine grater/zester to zest and the fork to get the juice from the fruit.
- In the large mixing bowl, combine the self-raising flour, citrus zest and 175g of caster sugar. Add the butter, eggs, 50ml of gin, 2 tbsp of citrus juice and mix with the electric hand whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes until golden and springy to touch. Remove from the oven but leave in the tin.
- While the loaf is cooling slightly, pour the remaining citrus juice, tonic and 75g sugar into the saucepan and heat on a medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow to cool slightly before stirring in the remaining gin (70ml). Set aside 3 tbsp of the syrup for the glaze.
- Poke the loaf all over with the fork and drizzle with the syrup from the saucepan. You can do this while the loaf is still warm.
- When the loaf is completely cool, remove from the tin. Wipe clean your mixing bowl and then use it to combine the 3 tbsp of reserved syrup with the icing sugar to make a glaze and pour over the top of your loaf, slightly pushing it down the sides with the end of a spoon to create a drip effect. Decorate with citrus slices and serve.
Recipes courtesy of UK Flour Millers | www.fabflour.co.uk