Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Cream and Honeycomb

Chocolate mousseRecipe Courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2016) and taken from a book called Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe.

This chocolate mousse is improved by adding raspberries and cream, with honeycomb shards for pure theatre.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:  120g chocolate, with at least 80g dark chocolate; 4 eggs, separated; 1 tbsp caster sugar.

Honeycomb Shards:  165g granulated sugar; 1 ½ tbsp runny honey; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Raspberry Cream: 100ml double cream; ½ tsp vanilla paste (optional); 50g fresh or frozen raspberries

Step One:  First melt the chocolate, either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or gently in the microwave (on medium for bursts of 30 seconds).

Step Two:  Next, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks with a tiny pinch of salt, then slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.

Step Three:  Lightly beat the egg yolks, then add to the slightly cooled chocolate and use a whisk to combine.  Gently fold in about a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest.  Pour into a serving dish (or small glasses) and leave to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Step Four:  For the honeycomb shards, line a large tray with baking paper.  Combine the sugar, honey and 1 ½ tablespoons of water in a tall, heavy-based pan and heat until it registers 154oC (310oF) on a sugar thermometer.  This is called the ‘cracking stage’.  If you don’t have a thermometer, test by dropping a little of the syrup into a bowl of cold water and then fishing out the result: if it is still stretchy, keep cooking: if it ‘snaps’, it is ready.

Step Five:  Take the pan off the heat and sift in the bicarbonate of soda.  Be careful – the mixture is hot and it will foam and rise up the pan.  Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, then pour it onto the baking sheet, getting it as thin as you can and smoothing it out with a spatula.  Leave the honeycomb for at least 15 minutes to set.  Store in a cool, dry place – but not the fridge, or it will go sticky.

Step Six:  Just before serving, make the raspberry cream.  Whip the cream and vanilla to soft peaks.  Fold through the raspberries, crushing them a little as you go to give pretty red streaks, then spoon over the mousse.  Break honeycomb into shards and use to decorate.

Self-Saucing Dark Chocolate, Fig and Hazelnut Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine November 2015

Self saucing dark chocolate pudding

Slow-cooking isn’t just for savoury dishes – you can make delicious and comforting puddings and cakes in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.  They have used healthier alternatives to refined sugar, such as rice syrup, honey or, in this recipe, coconut sugar.  This pudding’s autumnal ingredients of figs and hazelnuts, and a rich chocolate sauce, mean it will be a favourite.

Serves : 6-8  –  Preparation Time : 10 mins  –  Cooking Time : 45 mins

Ingredients: 125ml melted butter; 235g coconut sugar; 225g self-raising flour, sifted; 1 egg, lightly beaten; 250ml almond milk; 2 tsp vanilla extract; 55g cacao powder; 6 dried figs, coarsely chopped; 100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped; 4 tblsp blanched hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF/Gas 4).  Grease a 2.5-3 litre baking dish.  In a bowl, combine the melted butter, 155g of the coconut sugar, flour, egg, almond milk, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the cacao powder.

Step Two: Fold in the figs, chocolate and 3 tablespoons of the blanched hazelnuts, then spoon into the dish, spreading it out evenly.

Step Three: Scatter with the remaining sugar, cacao power and hazelnuts, then gently pour over 625ml of boiling water.

Step Four: Cook in the oven for 40 minutes until set, then set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Some of the ingredients from Amazon:

Slow cooking recipe book:

Psychologies Magazine:

Passion Fruit and Mango Brulée

Although you’ll save even more time by using canned mango, peeling and cutting a fresh one is well worth the few extra minutes – the taste and texture is so much better.

Serves : 4  :   Prep : 6 mins  :   Cook : 4 mins  :  Cals per portion : 440

Ingredients: 1 large ripe mango; 2 x 200g tubs Greek yogurt; 2 passion fruit; 250g tub mascarpone cheese; 2 tbsp light Muscovado sugar

  • Cut flesh from mango. Put pieces into the base of four ramekin dishes.
  • Beat the Greek yogurt and the seeds and juice from the passion fruit into the mascarpone cheese to form a thick creamy mixture.
  • Spoon the yogurt mixture over the mango, then sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  • Grill until the sugar melts and forms a hard crispy caramel. Cool before serving.

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Serves : 4-6  :  Prep : 15 mins  :  Cook : 20 min

Rhubarb and apple make a delightful combination of flavours in this traditional favourite.

Ingredients: 1 oz / 25g butter; 1 1/2 lb/ 700g rhubarb, chopped; 1 lb/450g cooking apples, peeled and sliced; 1 tsp/5ml ground ginger; 3oz / 75g caster sugar; 3 tblsp/45ml water Topping: 6oz / 175g plain flour; 3oz / 75g butter, softened; 3oz / 75g demerara sugar; 2oz / 50g ground almonds; 2pt / 1.2 litre ovenproof dish

  • Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, then fry the rhubarb and apples.  Add the ground ginger and caster sugar and simmer gently, covered, for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to Mark 6 / 400oF / 200oC.
  • To make the topping, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and ground almonds.
  • Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the dish. Pile on the almond crumble, smoothing it to cover the fruit. Bake the crumble for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden.

Easy Upside Down Apricot Pudding

Always keep a couple of packets of sponge mix in the cupboard for a fast, easy pudding.

  • Stir 5 tbsp apricot jam into 225g / 8oz of no need to soak apricots and put into the base of a 1 1/2 pint pudding basin.
  • Make up 2 sponge mixes (you’ll find that one is not generous enough) according to the instructions on the packet and spread over the fruit.
  • Microwave on medium for about 8 minutes or bake in a tin half filled with water and entirely covered with foil at Mark 5 / 375oF/ 190oC for 40 minutes or until the sponge is risen, springy and firm to the touch.

A few things Apricotty and Puddinny that you may like …

Gingerbread

Makes 12 slices; Prep: 15 mins; Cook: 30-35 mins; Cals per slice: 233

Ingredients: 100g (4oz) butter; 175g (6oz) soft, light brown sugar; 100g (4oz) black treacle; 50g (2oz) golden syrup; 5cm (2in) piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated; 15ml (1 tbsp) instant coffee granules; 225g (8oz) plain flour; 5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda; 5ml (1tsp) ground cinnamon; pinch of freshly ground black pepper; 2 eggs, beaten; whipped cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Grease a 27 x 17.5cm (10 3/4 x 7 in) rectangular cake tin.
2. Melt the butter, sugar, treacle, syrup and ginger together in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, dissolve the coffee granules in 90ml (4 fl oz) water, then sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add a little freshly ground black pepper, make a well in the centre, then pour in the butter mixture, eggs and coffee. Beat well with a balloon whisk until smooth and slightly thick.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 25-30 mins until firm to the touch.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Cut into bars and serve warm or cold with freshly whipped cream. This pudding is also delicious served hot with custard.
Tip: If you haven’t got any fresh root ginger use 10ml (2 tsp) ground ginger instead. Real ginger lovers could also try adding chopped root ginger in syrup to the mixture too.

Banoffee Pie

A crisp biscuit base filled with the delicious combination of chewy toffee, bananas, cream and chocolate, this pudding is a real winner! The filling takes a little time and attention to make – it needs to be stirred continuously to prevent it from burning – but it’s well worth the effort.

Serves: 10; Cost: £3.20; Time to prepare: 20 mins; Time to cook: 23-33 mins; Cals per portion: 510

Ingredients: Base: 225g (8oz) oaty biscuits like hobnobs crushed; 75g (3oz) butter, melted
Filling and Topping: 405g can skimmed sweetened condensed milk; 100g (4oz) butter; 45ml (3 tbsp) maple syrup; 300ml (1/2 pt) double cream; 2 small bananas, peeled and sliced; 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice; cocoa powder and chocolate curls

1. To make the base, place the crushed biscuits in a large bowl and stir in the melted butter. Mix thoroughly then press mixture into the base and up the sides of a 20cm (8in) greased loosed-based fluted flan tin. Chill while making the pie filling.
2. To make the filling, place the condensed milk and the butter in a heavy-based pan and heat, stirring all the time, until the butter has melted. Simmer very gently, stirring all the time for 20-30 mins until the mixture thickens and turns a caramel colour.
3. Stir the maple syrup and 30ml (2 tbsp) of the double cream into the mixture and leave to cool for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Then spread the cooled mixture into the prepared biscuit case and level the surface. Leave to cool completely.
4. Toss the banana slices in the lemon juice then arrange them over the cooled filling. Whip the rest of the cream until softly peaking, then spoon in large swirls over the bananas. Dust thickly with the cocoa powder and decorate with the chocolate curls.

Sweet Sherry Apple Fritters

A recipe by Gary Rhodes from Sunday Magazine.

I’m sure you’ve eaten apple fritters before but not with a sherry-based batter. To make the flavour really strong, I also like to soak the apples in neat sherry for 30 minutes. You can imagine the wonderful rich flavour of the apples. I find that they go very well with pouring cream, vanilla ice cream or yogurt ice cream, which really lifts the sherry taste.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 2 eating apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 in (1.5cm) thick rings or 8 wedges; 4 tblsp sweet sherry; 2 eggs, size 2; 4 oz (100g) self-raising flour; 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional; 1 oz (25g) caster sugar; Oil for deep frying; 1 tblsp icing sugar, optional

  • Soak the apples in the sherry for 30 minutes. Drain off the sherry and put to one side.
  • For the batter, beat together the eggs, flour, cinnamon, if you’re using it, and caster sugar. Add the sherry. Dip and coat the apples in batter. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180oC/350oF and fry the fritters until golden. It’s best to cook 4-5 fritters at a time and then keep them warm in a pre-heated oven while the rest are cooking.
  • Sprinkle on icing sugar, if you’re using it.

In honour of it being a Gary Rhodes recipe, here is a recipe book of Gary’s

Apple and Pear Crumble

Golden autumn fruits combine wonderfully in this popular family pudding.

Serves: 4-6; Prep: 25 mins; Cook: 35-40 mins baking

Ingredients: 500g (1 lb) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped; 500g (1 lb) firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped; 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
Topping: 175g (6oz) plain flour; 75g (3oz) butter or block margarine, diced; 40g (1 1/2oz) caster sugar

  • Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6.
  • Put the apples into a heavy based saucepan. Add 125ml (4 fl oz) water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over gentle heat for 5 mins.
  • Drain the apples and add to the pears and sugar. Mix well with a large wooden spoon and turn into a 23cm (9in) ceramic flan dish.
  • For the crumble topping, sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter or margarine and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.
  • Spoon the crumble evenly over the apples and pears. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble is golden and the fruit is cooked. Serve hot, with custard or cream.

Cooks tip: There are several variations to try with the same crumble topping. A lovely summer recipe is to use 250g (9oz) of strawberries and 4 firm peaches. Slice up the two fruits and mix with 4 tbsp granulated sugar. Put straight into the flan dish and spoon the crumble mixture on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

A book with more crumble recipes and a dish to bake it in.

And something for the chef to wear.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

This delicious, indulgent, baked cheesecake is made with the same wicked ingredients as the creamy italian dessert tiramisu – almond-flavoured biscuits, plain chocolate, rich mascarpone cheese and coffee.

Serves 12; Cost £9; Time to prepare: 40 mins; Time to cook: 1 hr 10 mins; Cals per portion: 605

Ingredients:-
Base: 100g (4oz) amaretti biscuits; 100g (4oz) almond cookies; 50g (2oz) butter
Filling: 750g (1 lb 10oz) mascarpone cheese; 100g (4oz) caster sugar; 30ml (2tbsp) cornflour; 3 eggs, size 3, beaten; 15ml (1tbsp) coffee liqueur or coffee essence; 225g (8oz) plain chocolate
Topping: 200ml (7fl oz) double cream, lightly whipped until softly peaking; Chocolate curls to decorate;
Cocoa powder to dust

  • To make base, roughly crush the biscuits and cookies, and place in a bowl. Melt butter, stir in and mix well. Spoon into th base of a greased 23cm (9in) springform tin and press down evenly with a potato masher. Chill in the fridge.
  • To make the filling, place the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft. Beat in the caster sugar and cornflour, then gradually beat in the eggs to make a smooth mixture. Fold in the coffee liqueur or coffee essence.
  • Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave until just melted, then stir. Remove from heat and cool for 10 mins. Gently fold the melted chocolate into the mascarpone mixture.
  • Pour mixture over biscuit base. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake at 170oC, 325oF, Gas 3 for 1 hr 10 mins until set. Cool (see tip). For topping, gentle swirl cream over the cheesecake. Top with chocolate curls and dust with cocoa powder.

TIP: When the cheesecake is cooked, leave it to cool slowly insdie the turned-off oven – then will help to prevent the surface from cracking.