Category Archives: Dessert

~scottish trifle~

After the traditional Burn’s Night meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties, this Scottish trifle always goes down well!


There are many different trifle recipes but this is the easiest and one of my favourites. It uses freshly made custard and if possible, homemade raspberry jam. It doesn’t include jelly or chocolate as others do.


Ingredients – serves 6-8

8 egg yolks

110g caster sugar

35g plain flour

450ml milk

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped.

about 9 sponge fingers (depending on the size of your bowl)

about 3tbsp raspberry jam

4tbsps liquid – orange juice or sherry

285ml thick cream

toasted almonds to decorate

optional – 1 or 2 bananas or some apricots

How to: For a simpler recipe use ready prepared custard and skip this first step! Otherwise first make the custard – whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale. Stir in the flour. Boil the milk, remove from the heat and add the vanilla seeds. Leave for about 15 mins. Remove the seeds and add the milk to the egg mixture stirring as you pour. Return the egg/milk mixture to a clean pan and whisk over a gentle heat until boiling. Keep whisking to get rid of any lumps. Once smooth, keep whisking for a minute or 2 until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film (to stop a skin forming) and leave to cool.

Cut the sponge fingers in half and spread one side of each half with jam – be generous! Place the sponges on the base and round the outside of your serving bowl. Pour over the liquid and tilt the bowl so all the sponges get thoroughly soaked. If using banana, slice as much banana as you like into small rounds, then place on top of the sponges. (Likewise if using apricots, place the apricot halves on the sponges). Pour the cooled custard on top. Then whip the cream (and sweeten if necessary) until thick. Spoon the cream onto the custard in a thick layer. Finally decorate with a sprinkling of almonds which have been toasted in a frying pan until golden brown. Chill until ready to eat.


Trifle is great the following day too when the sponge is deliciously soft and juicy!



Filed under Christmas, creams and sauces, Dessert, fruity, Scotland, Uncategorized, vegetarian

~mousse au chocolat~

This quick mousse is as delicious as the other and just as quick! In this mousse there are simply 2 ingredients – chocolate and eggs.


The quantities of chocolate and eggs can be varied depending on how many you’re making for –

For 5 little dishes use 150g chocolate (dark or milk) with 1 and 1/2 tbsps water and 3 eggs, for 10 little dishes use 300g chocolate with 3 tbsps water and 6 eggs.


How to: Break the chocolate into small pieces, melt it with the water in a clean bowl over a pan of simmering water -make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool a little. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl unitl they form stiff peaks. Add the yolks, 1 at a time to the cooled chocolate and beat together until well combined. Finally gently fold in the egg whites and divide among your serving dishes. Chill for about 3 hours before serving.


These little chocolate pots can also be frozen for up to 1 month!


Filed under chocolate, Christmas, Dessert, France, no-bake

~ Chocolate and red wine cake ~

This is a recipe slightly adapted from ”Décors et recettes de Noêl – traditions d’Alsace” which I recently got my hands on!

Also called Gateau au vin rouge or Roewin un Mûesbollekûeche, it’s a deliciously easy and moist chocolate cake perfect for freezing and defrosting later when needed.


It’s another of my favourite – “mix everything together and bake” recipes and is really simple and tasty.

The red wine doesn’t give a strong taste, it’s very subtle and the chocolate vermicelli means that the chocolate is evenly dispersed and doesn’t sink to the bottom!



110g Sugar

200g soft butter

200g plain flour

1Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 sachet of baking powder

100ml red wine

4 eggs

100g chocolate vermicelli

How to:  Put everything into the processor and whiz until you have a smooth cake mixture.

Pour the mixture into a grease proof paper lined cake tin, I used a circular 20cm tin but it’s also often made in loaf tins.  Bake at 180°c for 1 hour then test with a skewer to check if it is fully baked. When the skewer pulls out clean, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

As with all chocolate cakes this one can be decorated with any kind of icing. It’s not a very sweet cake so the touch of icing on the top is a little extra. It’s also delicious served with cream or custard.

CIMG5175 - Copie

Wrap well and freeze when cool (un-iced) if there is too much or it’s been made in advance.


Filed under Alsace, cakes, chocolate, Christmas, Dessert, France

~strawberry tart~

This really is an easy one!


Perfect for a hot day when you want more than bare strawberries.


Roll out about 250g of short crust pastry and prick all over with a fork. Either lay the pastry on a baking tray or put in a fluted flan tin. Bake at 200°c for 10 – 15 mins until golden. Warm  3Tbsp of redcurrent or strawberry jam then paste it over the hot pastry. Finally cut 500g of fresh strawberries into halves or slices and arrange over the pastry, drizzle with any remaining jam and hey presto dessert!

Delicious eaten on it’s own or with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.


It’s best eaten straight away otherwise the juicy strawberries can make the pastry soft and soggy 🙂


Filed under cakes, Dessert, fruity, tarts

~no cook chocolate tart~

This is a delicious easy chocolate tart, great for when you don’t want to turn the oven on!


Perfectly creamy with a good chocolate taste and a crunchy base.


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Filed under cakes, chocolate, Dessert, no-bake, tarts

~baked apple with mincemeat~

It’s not quite Spring weather yet so a hot baked apple was warming and perfect for lunch!


I was very happy to find a jar of mincemeat left over from Christmas and so my apple was ready in no time!


There really aren’t any ingredients, but this is nicer than a plain apple on cold days.

I cored 1 apple, then split the skin about a third of the way down and all the way round. I spooned the mincemeat into the hole where the core once was and also added a spoonful or 2 round the base so that I’d have extra if I wanted. I spooned over a tablespoon of water so that it wouldn’t be too dry and so I’d have some hot juice. Then I put it in the microwave and cooked on high for 3 minutes. This was perfect for a fluffy piping hot apple and the mincemeat was sweet and juicy.

When making more than 1 apple, I check after 3 minutes in the microwave and then increase minute-by-minute the cooking time (4 or 5 is good for 2 apples).


I enjoyed this plain but it’s also great with vanilla ice-cream, pouring cream or crème fraîche and topped with a sprinkling of crushed almonds.

If you don’t have any mincemeat, it can be replaced with a mixture of glacé cherries, raisins, a knob of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar.


Filed under Christmas, Dessert, fruity, no-bake, Uncategorized, vegetarian

~chocolate pear 85~

This is a deliciously light chocolate and pear dessert.


There is no flour in it – only ground hazelnuts!


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Filed under cakes, chocolate, Dessert, fruity, vegetarian

~5 minute jam sponge pudding~

This is a lovely easy winter warmer which only takes 5 mins to prepare and 5 mins to cook in the microwave!


   It is nice when you just want a hot pudding but don’t have time to turn the oven on.

It’s pretty rustic, so not dinner party material, but homely and family friendly.


Ingredients : to serve 6

100g self-raising flour

100g sugar

100g butter

2 eggs

2tbsp milk

4 tbsp raspberry jam

The ingredients can easily be halved to make a pudding for 3

How to:  Put the flour into a food processor. Add the sugar, butter, milk and eggs and whiz to make a smooth paste. Grease a glass pudding basin and dust the sides with a little flour. Spoon the jam into the bottom of the basin and pour the sponge mixture on top. Cover loosely with cling film and microwave on High for about 5 mins until the sponge is well spongy to the touch. (If making a smaller pudding, reduce the cooking time accordingly). Turn the pudding out onto a plate, slice and serve with cream, custard, yoghurt or ice-cream.



Filed under cakes, Dessert

~galette des rois 2013~

This year I made a galette filled with a mixture of frangipane and soft apple pieces.


Pretty similar to the traditional galette des rois but with less almond paste and lots of apple!

Ingredients (for 6 big people):

2 rounds of puff pastry or about 500g of puff pastry

80 g ground almonds

80 g sugar

1 large egg

80 g of butter

2 tablespoonfuls of créme fraîche or natural yoghurt

3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed

1 egg yolk to brush onto pastry before baking

A lucky charm (a figurine, a fève) to hide inside the cake

How to : Place 1 pastry round on the baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Sauté the apples in a little butter and a tbsp of brown sugar until softish. Leave to cool. Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients (almond powder, sugar, egg, butter, créme) together in the processor or in a bowl until you’ve got a thick paste. Mix the apples into the paste then spread the mixture over the pastry circle, leaving about a 2cm gap between the mixture and the edge of the pastry. Position the charm somewhere in the mixture – preferably towards the edge of the circle to minimize the chances of finding it when cutting the cake later.

Paint round the pastry edge with warm water, lay the second pastry circle on top and press the edges together well. Use a knife to gently score the pastry which will leave a nice pattern when baked. Paint the top pastry with beaten egg to ensure the cake is glossy when it comes out of the oven.  Finally, to avoid the cake swelling up or drying out, pierce a small hole in the center to allow air to escape. I read somewhere that the galette should then be chilled for 20 mins or so before being put in the hot oven as the sudden temperature change makes the puff pastry rise more evenly, so I put mine in the fridge and then baked it at 210 ° C for approximately 25 minutes (check the cake after 20 mins, but don’t hesitate to leave it for up to 35 mins if necessary). It can be eaten warm or cold, on its own or with ice-cream, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine…



Filed under Alsace, cakes, Dessert, France

~chocolate swiss roll~

Swiss roll, roulade, bûche de noël, chocolate log … whatever its called, it’s deliciously light and airy and it doesn’t contain any flour! A gluten free delight!

It is an impressive dessert and isn’t really difficult. I filled mine with crème fraîche and mango but there are  100’s of variations for fillings!

Ingredients for sponge

4 eggs (separated)

100g icing sugar

2tbsp cocoa powder

How to: Beat the egg whites until stiff, then slowly add the sifted sugar and cocoa to the whites, beating after each addition. In a different bowl beat the yolks until a pale yellow colour. Finally, using a spoon, fold the yolks gently into the whites/sugar. Spoon the mixture onto a swiss roll tin (mine is about 23cm x 23cm) which has been lined with grease proof paper. Smooth with a spatula and bake at 180°C for 20 mins until springy to the touch.

Remove the tin from the oven and sprinkle some caster sugar over the surface. Cover the sugary sponge with a tea-towel and then cover the tea-towel with another swiss roll tin. Turn the whole lot over so you have the hot swiss roll tin facing upwards. Lift the tin off and then using a spatula, peel the grease proof paper away from the sponge. Sprinkle this side of the cake with caster sugar. Roll the sponge up inside the tea-towel starting with a long side. Leave to cool while preparing the filling.

Filling  – mix 100g crème fraîche with 100g fromage frais and just enough sugar to sweeten (about 1 tbsp). Unroll the sponge carefully and spread with the filling before re-rolling. Don’t worry if it cracks a bit. Dust with cocoa or icing sugar.

Other ideas for filling

-beat 200g mascarpone, 100g melted chocolate and enough icing sugar together.

chocolate mousse

-mix a tbsp of sugar into 200g greek yoghurt and stir in the pulp of a couple of passion fruit, some mango (apricot or peach are good too) and raspberries.

-spread a mixture of 200g marscapone, 1tbsp maple syrup and 3tbsp double cream onto the sponge then scatter sliced banana over before rolling up.

Use Google to find your favourite filling!

In all cases, it’s best to put the filling on shortly before serving otherwise the sponge can get a bit soggy.


Filed under cakes, chocolate, Christmas, Dessert

~carrés au citron~

La recette en anglais est ici  – lemon squares et et je l’ai traduit en français pour Christine.

Ingrédients: pour environ 30 carrés (chaque carré étant d’environ 2cm x 2cm)

pour la base

175g de farine

50g farine de riz *

85g de sucre en poudre

140g de beurre (ramolli et coupé en dés)

1 cuillère à soupe de lait

* J’ai mis un peu de riz normale dans le bol du robot et j’ai mixé jusqu’à ce que j’ai obtenu la consistance souhaitée

pour la garniture

Zeste de 3 citrons

le jus de 4 citrons (environ 200 ml) **

3 oeufs

200g de sucre en poudre

25g de farine

** Si vous trouvez cela trop citronné, la prochaine fois utiliser moins du jus de citron et ajouter de l’eau jusqu’à 200ml.


 Faire la base-Préparer le moule, il est préférable d’utiliser un moule qui est au moins 5 cm de profondeur et l’aligner avec du papier sulfurisé. Cela arrête le débordement. Mon moule était d’environ 21cm carré.

Dans un saladier versez: la farine, le riz, le sucre et le beurre. Travaillez les ingrédients avec les doigts pour en faire une pâte sous forme de grosses miettes. Ajouter le lait et mélanger avec un couteau, puis utilisez vos mains pour former une pâte. Mettre la pâte dans le moule et presser uniformément. Cuire au four à 180 ° C pendant 20 minutes jusqu’à ce que doré. Si la pâte commence à gonfler pendant la cuisson, percer quelques fois avec une fourchette. Lorsqu’il est doré,  retirer du four.

Faire le dessus – Mélanger le jus de citron et les œufs avec une fourchette. Puis verser dans un bol contenant la farine, le sucre et le zeste. Fouetter jusqu’à consistance homogène, puis verser sur la base encore chaud. Remettre au four pendant 15 minutes jusqu’à ce que la garniture commence à prendre. Retirer du four et vérifiez qu’un cure-dent fourré dans le gâteau en ressorte propre.

Enfin saupoudrer de sucre en poudre et laisser refroidir avant de couper en carrés ou barres.

enjoy enjoy


Filed under biscuits/cookies, cakes, Dessert


I had 4 egg whites left over after making a tray full of posh jammy biscuits

so I made some meringues!

This meringue recipe is so simple and quick I don’t know why I don’t make them more often.

Only 2 ingredients!

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Filed under Dessert, vegetarian

~chocolate fondant dessert~

Rich, hot and chocolaty – the perfect prepare-ahead dessert for a cold day!

This is a Gordon Ramsey recipe and although I don’t make these very often, this is the fail-safe recipe I always go to when I need a fancy chocolate dessert!

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Filed under cakes, chocolate, Dessert, France

~apple crumble cake~

I love cooking with apples and this recipe is for a quick apple cake with a crumble topping. It’s a good way to use up windfall apples and makes a change from the usual crumble.

It can also be frozen which is a real benefit and defrosts so nicely, you’d never know it’d been frozen!

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Filed under cakes, Dessert, fruity

~orange and almond tort (no flour, no butter)~

This simple, quick, flour-free orange and almond tort is deliciously orangey, it has an orange marmalade tang to it!

It contains a whole orange, well everything except the pips, which gives it the strong orange flavour.

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Filed under cakes, Dessert, fruity, vegetarian

~tiffin chocolate crunchies~

This delicious speedy no-bake chocolate treat is great when you don’t want to turn the oven on!

Tiffin is a lovely chocolate mouthful and goes well with tea, coffee, cold milk etc.

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Filed under biscuits/cookies, chocolate, Dessert, no-bake, vegetarian

~peaches with vanilla and orange cream~

This is a lovely light summer dessert.

Peaches and cream.

Fruity and made in double-quick time!

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Filed under creams and sauces, Dessert, fruity

~ginger cake~

This is a big ginger cake –  easy, and fast using the melt-and-mix method!  It has a good gingery taste but is not overpowering.

 Ingredients also include cinnamon and pieces of crystallised ginger.

The lemony icing adds that little something to this ginger cake, but isn’t really necessary.

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Filed under cakes, Christmas, Dessert

~coconut cream~

This is a beautiful thick white cream made from fromage blanc and coconut cream.

It is nice served with fruit or used to dollop on top of other desserts like chocolate brownies. It’s especially good after a spicy meal!

To serve 4 as a dessert, use a fork to mix 300g of fromage blanc (0%), 200ml coconut cream (from a carton) and 40g of icing sugar together, keep tasting to get the coconut flavour and the sweetness that you want! Serve in bowls topped with chopped fruit or alternatively dollop a large spoonful on a portion of fruit salad/ breakfast cereal/chocolate cake  ….

This is pretty creamy as it is, but is also nice when the fromage blanc is replaced with greek yoghurt.


Filed under creams and sauces, Dessert, no-bake

~langues de chat~

These lovely thin biscuits are perfect for nibbling!

Golden, crunchy and not too sweet.

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Filed under biscuits/cookies, Dessert, France