Category Archives: DESSERTS

Vanilla layered cake

Vanilla layered cake

This vanilla layer cake is one of our bakery staples that we are frequently asked for and if you make it in a food processor it takes no time at all. As with most vanilla cake recipes, the list of ingredients is fairly standard, but factor in good-quality ingredients, careful measuring and weighing and setting the correct oven temperatures, and the result is fantastic. We use this as the basis of many a birthday cake, not least because it can be iced and decorated to any effect. Vanilla layer cake is a fairly simple dessert to make, and it is certainly cake that will be popular in your family. What makes this vanilla layer cake our favourite is the fact you can use different fillings, different tastes and adjust the recipe to any season to use fresh products.

Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake is traditionally prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese or cooked roux icing. The cake can be a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. When foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beet juices to enhance the color of their cakes. Beets are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture. Traditionally, red velvet cake is iced with a French-style butter roux icing (also called ermine icing), which is very light and fluffy, but time-consuming to prepare. Cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting are variations which have increased in popularity. The rich red colour of this recipe makes this cake very attractive and well-known around the world.

Rhubarb and ginger crumble

Rhubarb and ginger crumble

This is a classic rhubarb crumble recipe bit with a little twixt by adding stem ginger and porridge oats to make the best crumble mix ever. It is an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and can be really nicely served with thick Jersey cream or cold custard. There are two different types of rhubarb available: forced and naturally grown. The forced rhubarb is brighter pink in colour, has delicious spindly shoots and is much more tender. Rhubarb dating back to 2000 BC in China, where it was used only for medicinal purposes. It is funny fact, because it is not actually very nutricious – it is mainly made up of water. Wash and trim the rhubarb stems before use. Discard the leaves as they are poisonous. If using outdoor-grown rhubarb, remove any stringy outer layers. Cut into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Forced rhubarb is very fragile so poach or bake only briefly to prevent it from disintegrating into a mush. Use a thick sugar syrup as it releases a lot of juice. Outdoor-grown rhubarb has a sharper taste and more fibrous texture, so requires a slightly longer cooking. Both varieties of rhubarb are good in pies, tarts, fools, jellies and ices.

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflé is is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with coffee granules and cocoa powder. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or, more loosely, “puff up”—an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites. When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and it will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does). It may be served with the top punctured and sauce poured on (for example, chocolate or vanilla). Soufflés can be made in containers of all shapes and sizes but it is traditional to make soufflé in ramekins. These containers vary greatly in size, but are typically glazed white, flat-bottomed, round porcelain containers with unglazed bottoms and fluted exterior borders.

Eton mess

Eton mess

Eton mess is an easy recipe, perfect for summer family gatherings in the garden or nice desert after dinner. It is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue, and cream. It is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School. The word mess may refer to the appearance of the dish, or may be used in the sense of “a quantity of food”, particularly “a prepared dish of soft food” or “a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together”. A recent myth is that Eton mess was first created when a meringue dessert was accidentally crushed by a dog while travelling to picnic at Eton College, but what could be salvaged was served as a crushed meringue with strawberries and cream. Classic Eton mess is a quick, crowd-pleasing dessert when made with shop-bought meringue. It’s also a great way to use up broken homemade meringue. Classically Eton mess is made with whipped cream, meringue and strawberries, but you can add anything from a dash of port to a splash of ginger cordial for a twist, or try it with raspberries, bananas and pineapples.