Saturday, 16 May 2015

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Try this easy recipe for creamy panna cotta served with a simple raspberry sauce.


For the panna cotta
  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml  double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod split lengthways, seeds scraped out, I use 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 25g sugar
For the sauce
  • 176g sugar
  • 175ml water
  • 350g raspberries
  • splash of cherry liqueur, optional
To serve:
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • icing sugar, to dust

For the panna cotta, soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft.

Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds and sugar into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla pod and discard.

Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

Divide the mixture among four ramekins and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least an hour, until set.

For the sauce, place the sugar, water and cherry liqueur into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

Take the pan off the heat and add half the raspberries. Using a hand blender, blend the sauce until smooth.

Pass the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and stir in the remaining fruit.

To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with a sprig of mint. Dust with icing sugar.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Better than sex cake

Here I have a naught cake for you. Better than Sex Cake – with a name like this how can you go wrong? Chocolate cake, soaked with sweetened condensed milk, caramel topping, whipping cream( Cool Whip) and pecans. The name of the cake is naughty but the cake is awesome !!!!

If you are too lazy to make the cake from scratch, you can buy the ready mix chocolate cake in the box.

Ingredients for the chocolate cake
  • 50g good quality cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 125g soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

the topping:
  • 1/2 small can sweetened condensed milk ( 1 can is 14oz, so use about 7oz)
  • 1 bottle of caramel ice cream topping 
  • 1 packet fudge chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, whichever you prefer

For the whipping cream:

  • 350ml whipping cream
  • 2tsp gelatin
  • 30ml cold water
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Line the bottoms of a 9" x 13" pan with baking parchment and butter the sides.

Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy, 

Stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.

Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then add in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.

Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.

Pour the cake mixture into a prepared baking pan and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Notes: if you are too lazy to make the cake from scratch, you can buy the ready mix chocolate cake in box. 

Method for the topping:

 Pour gelatin and water into a bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place 80ml of cream in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once cream comes to a simmer, pour slowly over the gelatin. Mix with a fork until gelatin has dissolved. Allow to cool. Stir the bowl often or the cream will began to gel. 

Using the whisk attachment of a standing mixer, beat the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt on high until soft peak form, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Reduce to medium speed and drizzle the gelatin mixture into mixer bowl. Return to high and beat until firm peaks form. Mixture will resembel Cool Whip.

Assemble the cake:

Let the cake cool completely and poke holes about 1 inch apart using the end of a wooden spoon.
Pour the condensed milk into the holes of the cake. Pour the caramel topping over the cake and spread evenly.
Spread the cool whip over the caramel topping then sprinkle with the chopped pecans and toffee bits.
Refrigerate for about an hour or so then serve.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Spiced beetroot cake with mascarpone

With a rich flavour and crumbly texture, you wouldn't guess this cake is made with antioxidant-packed beetroot. This cake is tasty and full with goodness.

  • 375g unsalted butter
  •  375g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tsp mixed spice
  • 350g  brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 500g cooked beetroot, coarsely grated
  • ground cinnamon, to decorate

for the mascarpone filling:
  • 250g tub mascarpone cheese
  • 150ml double cream
  • 4tbsp icing sugar, sifted

  • Heat the oven to 180C or 160C fan. Prepare 2  x 23cm (9in) round cake tins, oiled and bases lined with baking parchment
     In a pan, melt the butter and leave it to cool. Sift the flour and spices into a large bowl then stir through the sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and cooled butter, mix in the grated beetroot and then add this to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir until well combined, spoon into the cake tins and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tins.
  • To make the mascarpone icing
    Beat all the ingredients until smooth. Spread over both cake layers before sandwiching them together and dusting the top with the ground cinnamon.