Blackcurrant and Violet Mousse Hedeghogs – an absolute delight

These little delights certainly tested my skills and also resulted in a huge thumbs up from my harshest critic, the beloved-whose-palate-must-be-pleased-and-thrilled.  They are a delicious confection from Adriano Zumbo (more on him later) consisting of 10 elements based around blackcurrants which certainly tested my skills and used ingredients I have not come across before. The…

Fruity Meringues – a zingy revelation

These little marvels were discovered by me in Adriano Zumbo’s recipe book “The Zumbo Files”. What makes them a total revelation is the freeze dried fruit powder.  This is folded into the meringue mixture, and not only does it give the meringues their colour, it also gives them an intense fruit flavour. These one’s are…

Nut Praline

Nut Praline is a patisserie basic that is used to provide crunch and flavour to chocolates and cakes.  It was, as with so many other things in the world of patisserie, invented in France by a french chef called Clement Lassagne. It is made by coating roasted nuts in caramel, which is then broken up…

Inverted Sugar Syrup

I have recently done a recipe that called for inverted sugar, an ingredient that I have not come across before.  It is used by Patissieres because it crystallises less easily than normal sugar,  and baked items made from it tend to retain moisture more easily so have a longer shelf life.  It can bought commercially…

Raspberry and Vanilla Buche – leftovers can be fun

The beloved and I have a constant battle over the freezer (actually make that freezers).  Our wartime-born mothers taught us that waste is a sin, so all left overs go in the freezer. The problem is they have a tendency never to re-emerge from them.  A recent audit revealed some most suspect unlabelled objects that…

Spicy Redcurrant and Rosemary Chutney

In a tiny interlude from baking, I am diverting to the world of preserving, something I haven’t done for a while.  I have one redcurrant bush in the garden and providing it is protected from the predations of the local birds, it normally gives a decent crop.  This year I forgot to net the bush…

Honey Custard, Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse Entremet

I have definitely gone slightly entremet mad since Christmas, and whilst I am also trying to be good and avoid too much sugar, we do still have a social life and we still like to entertain friends.  I made this for a garden party we hosted last week for the participants in the biennial Open…

No Sugar, Low GI Cheesecake

After achieving my new slim body,  I have been investigating whether no sugar, low GI baking is something that may help me maintain my weight and still enjoy the products of my baking. I have had a few mini experiments but this was by far the the best one and deserves a blog post. After…

Rhubarb and Custard Buche

Now I have to confess to be slightly late in posting this one, so apologies and please store it up for when Rhubarb is in the shops again.  That being said Rhubarb and Custard is an absolute English classic and frankly cannot be beaten as a flavour combination, be it in a Crumble (a personal…

Chocolate and Raspberry Kidney Bean Cake

This recipe is straight out of the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet cookbook which has been so successful in helping me lose weight.  It was also my first attempt at a style of baking  that uses less/no  flour and sugar. I wouldn’t call it sophisticated baking, more at the chocolate brownie end of the spectrum…

Of Baking and Happy Buddha Bellies!

I have been off the grid for a while I am afraid.  Part of that was sheer busy-ness in both work and home life, a fabulous part was a wonderful 3 week trip to Vietnam, but the main reason has been, after a number of false starts, I have finally been dealing with my weight….

Checkerboard 30th Birthday Cake

My niece Phoebe hit 30 this weekend. 30 ! When on earth did that happen?  To celebrate she had a big party with 80 people coming so it definitely called for a big celebration cake. When I was planning this I realised I don’t do cakes that often, and certainly not big celebration cakes.  The…