Category Archives: Puddings

Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests

 Looking for an easy pudding that is perfect for the summer? These Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests look impressive without loads of effort. 

I’m a big fan of puddings that look and taste great but don’t take lots of effort. This is especially true in the summer when you’d rather be out enjoying the sunshine rather than spending all day in the kitchen. 

These Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests are a fantastic example of this. The meringues are the only element which take a bit of time but most of that is leaving them to do their own thing in the oven. At which point you can be in the garden with your feet up and a glass of something cold in your hand. 

Whether you are looking for a tasty pudding for a family BBQ or something a bit more special looking to finish a dinner party; these Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests work so well for both. You can make the meringue nests a couple of days in advance and whip the cream up a good few hours in advance. It is then as easy as some simple assembling and you’re good to go! Don’t be tempted to assemble these too far in advance though as the cream will soften the meringues. 

If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own lemon curd. Personally, I think using a good quality shop bought lemon curd is perfectly acceptable. It helps add a lovely fresh flavour to cut through the richness of the cream – yum. 

These Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests look and taste so summery that you’ll find yourself making it again and again. 

Are strawberries more your thing? Why not try my Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses

5 from 5 votes
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Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests

 Looking for an easy pudding that is perfect for the summer? These Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests look impressive without loads of effort. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Meringue, Raspberry, Lemon curd
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 247 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

Meringue nests

  • 80 g egg whites (2 large eggs)
  • 150 g caster sugar

Filling

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp lemon curd
  • 250 g raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 100ºC (fan assisted or 120ºC non fan)

  2. Make sure you have a very clean bowl before cracking in the egg whites. You must not get any of the yolk in the bowl

  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff - you will be able to hold the bowl over your head when they are stiff enough

  4. Add the sugar gradually, a large spoonful at a time

  5. After all of the sugar is added, keep whisking for five minutes until the egg whites are glossy and smooth. If you rub a small amount between your finger and thumb, you shouldn't be able to feel the sugar grains. If you can whisk for a bit longer

  6. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and use a small dab of the meringue to stick the paper to the baking trays

  7. Add a piping nozzle to a piping bag and snip off the end. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag. Pipe a blob of meringue onto the baking tray and then pipe a circle around it twice, piping the second circle on top of the first 

  8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins until the meringues easily come off the baking paper and are hollow when you tap the underneath

  9. Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely in there

  10. When the meringue nests are completely cooled, make the filling. Whisk the double cream until it is in soft peaks. You want it to be firm enough to hold it's shape, but still soft and smooth. Keep watching the cream to make sure you do not over whisk it

  11. Stir the lemon curd together in a bowl to make it runnier before adding it to the cream. Gently fold the lemon curd through the cream with a spatula. You don't want to completely fold the lemon curd through, it is nice to have a rippled effect 

  12. Spoon the cream into the middle of the nests and top with the raspberries. Serve immediately 

Recipe Notes

Store meringue nests in an airtight container and only top with the cream when you are ready to serve. If you prepare them too far in advance they will become soft 

Nutrition Facts
Raspberry & Lemon Curd Meringue Nests
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 52mg 2%
Potassium 91mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 11.2%
Vitamin C 10.2%
Calcium 3.2%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Meringue Kisses

Meringue Kisses are really easy to make and look so pretty. They are great in a dessert but also to add something extra special to a celebration cake. 

I have admired Meringue Kisses for a few years now. I know that sounds weird, but I love how cute they look but have never made them. Finally I bit the bullet and decided to make them to decorate the Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake I made for my sister’s birthday. 

As it was the first time I made them, I followed a recipe. I don’t know whether I was doing something wrong, but they didn’t turn out great. They were yellow in colour and tasted like the sugar was burnt. I don’t know whether this was because the recipe called for heating the sugar in the oven before adding it to the egg whites, or whether it was because the oven temperature was quite high; or a combination of the two!

My sister didn’t know I was making the for her cake, so I showed her my failed attempt. At the time I didn’t realise she had secret meringue knowledge. She works in a school and had the pleasure of a term of making meringues in food tech. I showed her the recipe I had used and she said they had tried lots of recipes and the best ones didn’t heat up the sugar and cooked the meringues at a far lower temperature. 

So with my sister’s help, I ditched the recipe and came up with my own. It’s not ground breaking stuff, but this recipe works really well for me and produces the incredibly cute Meringue Kisses I was looking for. 

An advantage of these Meringue Kisses is that you can make them any colour you like incredibly easily. You can either stripe them like I have, or mix the food colouring gel into the meringue to get a completely coloured kiss. You can also leave out the food colouring and have white kisses which look lovely. 

I would recommend using gel food colouring and not the standard ones you can buy in most supermarkets. The gel food colouring has a much brighter colour and is a lot easier to paint because it is thicker.  

Another great way to use these Meringue Kisses is in Eton Mess. The Meringue Kisses are mixed with softly whipped cream and fresh strawberries; a delicious summer dessert. 

5 from 1 vote
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Meringue Kisses

Meringue kisses are really easy to make and look so pretty. They are great in a dessert but also to add something extra special to a celebration cake. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword Meringue, Kisses
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 144 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 70 g egg white (roughly 2 medium eggs)
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • Gel food colouring

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 100ºC (fan assisted or 120ºC non fan)
  2. Make sure you have a very clean bowl before cracking in the egg whites. You must not get any of the yolk in the bowl
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff - you will be able to hold the bowl over your head when they are stiff enough
  4. Add the sugar gradually, a large spoonful at a time
  5. After all of the sugar is added, keep whisking for five minutes until the egg whites are glossy and smooth. If you rub a small amount between your finger and thumb, you shouldn't be able to feel the sugar grains. If you can whisk for a bit longer
  6. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and use a small dab of the meringue to stick the paper to the baking trays
  7. Turn a piping bag inside out over a large glass. Using a food paint brush, paint the gel food colouring in stripes down the inside of the piping bag
  8. Carefully turn the piping bag back the right way and spoon in the meringue mix
  9. Cut off the tip of the piping bag and pipe the kisses onto the prepared trays. Squeeze lightly on the piping bag slowly puling up before quickly lifting off to create the tip
  10. Bake in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes until the meringue kisses lift off the parchment paper. If they don't lift off easily, put them back in the oven for a few minutes
Nutrition Facts
Meringue Kisses
Amount Per Serving
Calories 144
% Daily Value*
Sodium 29mg 1%
Potassium 28mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 35g 12%
Sugars 35g
Protein 1g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Oaty Rhubarb & Port Crumble

My Oaty Rhubarb & Port Crumble is a twist on a British traditional pudding. The port helps bring out the sweetness in the rhubarb and the topping has an extra added crunch from the oats and almonds. 

Rhubarb crumble is a pudding we have had for years. It is comforting and delicious and really easy to make. My parents and Mr Curly’s Nan both grow rhubarb so I do tend to to end up with quite a lot of it each year. 

As I receive more than I can eat, I freeze it so I can get it out and make a tasty rhubarb crumble at any time of year. Although a traditional rhubarb crumble is great, I wanted to tweak it slightly to make it a little more interesting. 

When cooking down the rhubarb, I quite like to make sure it is really soft which does make it go a bit mushy. If you would like more definition to your rhubarb, then cook it for slightly less time. The port helps bring out the sweetness in the rhubarb and tone down the tartness. If you don’t want to add port however you don’t need to. 

My family have always been partial to a glass of port. When I was a child, we spent quite a few holidays in Portugal where my parents along with my Grandad would sample the local port before bringing a box of their favourite home with them. Then when I went to uni, we used to have ‘Port Tuesday’s’ where we would sit around and catch up over a bottle of port. 

The idea for the topping came after I had made my Apricot & Almond Flapjacks. I really liked the taste of the almonds and the oats together and thought they would add a lovely texture to a rhubarb crumble. 

You can easily make this dessert vegan by using dairy free margarine. I’m a fan of dairy free margarine and always have some in my fridge these days. It’s readily available in most supermarkets. Use gluten free flour and oats to make this gluten free too. 

My choice would always be to serve this with cold double cream, but I know lots of custard lovers so the choice is yours. 

Serves 4

For the rhubarb
600g rhubarb

100g caster sugar
3 tbsp port

For the crumble topping
100g self raising flour
85g unsalted butter (use non dairy margarine to make this vegan)
50g brown sugar

40g porridge oats
50g flaked almonds

  1. Cut the rhubarb into thumb length pieces and add to a saucepan along with the port and sugar
  2. Cover and simmer the rhubarb on a low heat for 15 minutes. Taste and add some more sugar if it isn’t sweet enough

  1. When the rhubarb is soft, pour it into a medium baking dish
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC or 180ºC fan
  3. Make the topping by adding the flour, butter and oats to a bowl and rubbing the ingredients together with your fingertips until you have a soft crumbly texture

  1. Add the sugar and flaked almonds and mix together with your hands. Scatter the crumble topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden brown

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Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding

This Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding is the perfect Easter desert. It is a great way of turning the humble hot cross bun into something a little bit fancier. 

I love hot cross buns and am very happy when I start seeing them in the supermarkets again. Although a warm hot cross bun dripping in melted butter is absolutely delicious, I wanted to come up with another way to eat them.

I took inspiration from my Christmas Pudding & Brioche Bread & Butter Pudding to come up with this Hot Cross Bun version. 

Hot cross buns are packed with dried fruit and subtle spices. I have made them before, but it is much easier and quicker to buy them instead! As they are a bread, they tend to become stale relatively quickly. My Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding is a great way to perk them up again.  You can buy so many different flavours of hot cross buns these days. I must admit I still prefer the traditional type with sultanas and mixed peel which is what I have used in this recipe. I do also like the apple and sultana hot cross buns you can buy. If you wanted to use these you could add some dried apple along with the sultanas. You could also add some orange zest to enhance the flavours in the hot cross buns. 

This Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding would make a great desert during Easter. You could double the quantities if you wanted to make it for a larger family gathering. It also reheats really well so you can always make more than you need you can enjoy it the next day too! I like to serve this with lots of double cream. 

Serves 4 

5 hot cross buns, torn into large pieces
40g unsalted butter, melted
75g sultanas

2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
25g caster sugar
115ml milk
75g double cream
2 tsp Cointreau 
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt 
Icing sugar to serve

  1. Rip each hot cross bun into roughly five pieces. Add to a large bowl and put in the microwave for one minute to soften them up 
  2. Brush the inside of an ovenproof dish with some of the melted butter 
  3. Add the hot cross buns to the buttered dish along with the sultanas 

  1. Spoon the remaining melted butter over the hot cross buns 
  2. Whisk the eggs, extra yolk and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  3. Add the milk, cream, Cointreau, cinnamon and salt to the eggs ans whisk again
  4. Pour the egg mix over the hot cross buns making sure it is all covered. Gently push the hot cross buns down into the custard and leave to absorb for 15 minutes 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan assisted)
  2. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until it is just set and a lovely brown colour

  1. Dust with icing sugar to serve 
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Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding

Soft delicious custard soaked brioche with tasty Christmas Pudding with crispy edges. Once you have eaten this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding, you will struggle to eat it any other way again. 

This recipe is one of my absolute favourites that my Mum made every New Year’s Day. She’d made her delicious Honey Glazed Ham followed by this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding. It was definitely a meal we all loo forward to all year. 

I don’t know about you, but Mum always bought a Christmas pudding every year with the intention of us having it for pudding on Christmas Day. I’m not sure I can ever remember us actually getting round to eating it though. This was partly because we were all so full and also partly because apart from my Dad, we are all not particularly fond of Christmas Pudding. 

New Year’s Day was always a day we saved room for pudding though because Mum would make this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding. She found the inspiration for this recipe in a Sainsbury’s Magazine years ago and tweaked the recipe from the original Panettone version to be the one we know and love today using brioche, Cointreau and orange zest.  

This definitely is the best way to eat Christmas pudding. The soft, sweet brioche and the orange flavours really compliment the Christmas pudding and make it far more exciting than just eating Christmas pudding by itself. 

I have been known on more than one occasion to eat any leftovers for breakfast the next day. At Christmas you can get away with eating pretty much anything for breakfast so I take full advantage of this. You can heat it up again in the oven or just use the microwave which is what I do. This still keeps the crispy bits of the brioche crisp. 

My preferred way of serving this is with lots of double cream; and I mean lot of. Double cream is a glorious thing and should never be used sparingly in my opinion!

This pudding will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. 

 

Serves 6-8 

225g brioche
450g Christmas pudding
75g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
40g caster sugar
225ml milk
150ml double cream
Zest of one orange
2 tbsp Cointreau
Pinch of salt 
Icing sugar for dusting 

  1. Cut the Christmas pudding into roughly 2cm chunks. Add to a microwaveable bowl and heat for one minute to soften the pudding 
  2. Brush the inside of an ovenproof dish (with a capacity of 3 pints) with some of the melted butter
  3. Cut the brioche into roughly the same sized pieces as the Christmas pudding and add both to the buttered dish 

  1. Spoon the remaining butter over the brioche only 
  2. Beat together the eggs, extra yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy 

  1. Add the cream, milk, orange zest, Cointreau and salt and mix to combine 
  2. Pour the liquid mix over dish and allow to soak for 15 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan assisted)
  2. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until it is just set and a lovely brown colour 

  1. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving 

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Gluten Free Nutella Choux Buns

Crisp choux pastry filled with deliciously soft whipped cream, topped with Nutella and roasted hazelnuts. These Gluten Free Nutella Choux Buns are pretty amazing. 

I have only made choux buns once before which is when I was at University. I decided to make them for my friend’s birthday because it was a family tradition of hers to have profiteroles for her birthday. I intended for mine to be profiteroles, but they were far too big so turned out to be choux buns! 

I came across this recipe on Rebecca’s blog; Glutarama – make sure you check it out. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to give it a go. I couldn’t have found this recipe at a better time as I was going for a girlie weekend in the Cotswold’s with my friends from uni. Rebecca’s recipe was even more perfect as one of my friends, Zoe, is a coeliac.

We rented a lovely cottage for the weekend and Zoe and I knew we were going to get there mid afternoon before the rest of the girls arrived in the evening. This gave us the perfect opportunity to do a bit of baking. The choux buns were very simple to make and we were very happy with how they came out. 

When the other girls arrived, we had delicious freshly baked choux buns waiting for them which they just automatically assumed Zoe couldn’t eat and were very surprised when we told them they were gluten free! Personally I think you know a free from recipe is a success when people can’t tell any difference from the normal recipe. 

I decided to adapt Rebecca’s recipe as I have made eclairs before and also because they made choux buns on this week’s Great British Bake Off. I love choux buns; pastry, cream and chocolate – what’s not to love?! The classic whipped cream and melted milk chocolate is a hard combination to beat, but when I was thinking of how I could make them a little different, obviously my brain automatically drifted to Nutella. To be honest about 50% of the time my brain is thinking about Nutella!

There are some slight differences when making gluten free choux compared to standard choux pastry. You don’t cook out the flour, the mixture seems harder to pipe and you don’t cook it at two temperatures. Even with all of these differences, the end result is delicious. 

My choux buns may not look the prettiest, but I quite liked their homemade look! 

Makes 10-12 choux buns 

For the choux pastry
130g butter
130ml water
200g gluten free flour
4 eggs 

For the filling & topping
300ml whipping cream
200g Nutella
20g hazelnuts, toasted 

  1. Add the butter and water to a pan and bring to the boil

  1. Take off the heat and add all of the flour and then stir quickly to combine making sure all of the flour is mixed in

  1. Leave to cool for at least 5-10 minutes. If you can be patient enough, leave it to cool for longer as if it is too hot there is the risk of the eggs curdling 
  2. Whilst waiting for the mix to cool, line two baking trays with baking paper and then set aside. Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan assisted or 220ºC 
  3. Beat the eggs and add them roughly one egg at a time making sure you stir quickly after each addition and making sure each egg is combined before adding more

  1. Spoon the mix into a piping bag with a large round nozzle. Pipe large circles of the mix onto the prepared baking trays 

  1. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes making sure you don’t open the door! Remove from the oven if they are a lovely light brown colour

  1. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before cutting them open. If they are a little bit stodgy inside, put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes so they full crisp up

  1. Leave to cool whilst you make the filling
  2. Toast the hazelnuts for a couple of minutes in a dry pan and then chop into small pieces
  3. Whip the cream until it it forms soft peaks and then pipe into the bottom half of each choux bun

  1. Melt the Nutella for approximately 30 seconds in a heatproof bowl in the microwave, you’re just looking to get it a bit easier to spead
  2. Add the tops of the choux buns back onto the cream filled bottoms and then spread with the Nutella before finally sprinkling with the toasted hazelnuts 

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Rhubarb Crumble

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Not pretty, not fancy but a really tasty and comforting pudding. This is a perfect recipe for a cold winter’s evening.

I’m sure people will tell me that you can make crumbles look pretty but that isn’t what I want from my crumble. They remind me of home cooked meals which are rustic and simple and above all else; delicious. Part of a crumble’s charm is when the rhubarb escapes from under the crumble topping and bubbles up so don’t worry if this happens!

This rhubarb crumble uses rhubarb from my Boyfriend’s Nan’s garden. When she gave it to me, I didn’t to use it immediately so I cleaned it and cut it into roughly 5cm lengths. I then bagged it up and froze it ready for a later date. That later date came when Rien’s Nan was coming to stay for the weekend, so what better time to make a rhubarb crumble?!

The recipe is by Grey Wallace from the BBC Good Food website.

500g rhubarb
100g caster sugar
3 tbsp port 

Crumble topping
140g self raising flour
85g butter
50g light brown sugar

  1. Cut the rhubarb into thumb length pieces and add to a saucepan along with the port and sugar

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  1. Cover and simmer the rhubarb on a low heat for 15 minutes. Taste and add some more sugar if it isn’t sweet enough

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  1. When the rhubarb is soft, pour it into a medium baking dish

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  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC or 180ºC fan
  2. Make the topping by putting the flour and butter into a bowl and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until you have a soft crumbly texture

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  1. Add the sugar and mix together with your hands. Scatter the crumble topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown

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Milk Chocolate Tart

Crisp shortcrust pastry filled with rich, soft and deliciously smooth chocolate. This tart is chocolate heaven!2015-10-04 16.40.55

This week was chocolate week on GBBO; always a good week in my opinion. The contestant’s made chocolate tarts, chocolate souffle and a chocolate sculpture. If you follow my blog you’ll know by now that I wasn’t ever going to attempt a chocolate sculpture and a souffle seemed too scary; so a tart it was!

My tart experience is extremely low. Last year when I was baking along to the Bake Off, I made a savoury tart and that was my first. Baking along this year has meant I have made my second tart! I would like to get more practice with tarts and pastry in general. As you can see from my photos, my pastry isn’t the neatest but I suppose that will improve with practice.

I had a look through some recipes and decided that I wanted to have a go at a milk chocolate tart with normal shortcrust pastry. On the show, most of the contestants used chocolate shortcrust pastry and mentioned that it was harder to work with so I thought I would keep it as simple as I could and find a recipe using normal shortcrust pastry. The recipe I found was by Andy Bates on the Food Network UK website (http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/milk-chocolate-tart.html). I only realised while I was writing up this recipe that there was a video as well as instructions (my iPad didn’t want to share this with me!). After watching the video, I think mine turned out quite well in comparison. I was pleased to see that his pastry was quite crumbly too – my crust in particular proved tricky to hold together when cutting.

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The recipe requires a 28cm tart tin, however mine was roughly 24cm and not quite the 4cm deep required. I had pastry and chocolate filing left over, so I made two mini tarts too. I used the same method and timings all the way through until when I baked them with the filling, the small tarts only needed 25 minutes.

My Mum has kindly lent me her food processor which her Mum bought for her years ago (possibly over 25 years ago). Since borrowing it I have used it when making chutney, buttercream and the pastry for this recipe. I thought using my K-Mix to make buttercream was fast but the MagiMix was something else – silky smooth buttercream in seconds! Making this pastry was also a breeze – add all the ingredients and pulse a few times and you’re done. I’ll definitely be adding one to my Christmas list!

The tart is very rich so I recommend a small slice. If you’re feeling really extravagant, you could serve the tart with some cream or ice cream. The chocolate filling is so soft and smooth it really does melt in your mouth.

For the shortcrust pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
150g butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk

By hand

  1. For the pastry, mix together the flour and sugar. Add the salt and butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Beat together the egg yolk and whole egg and gradually add these at the same time as bringing the dough together until a ball forms
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough

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  1. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC
  3. Lightly flour the surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2mm

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  1. Carefully line the tart tin (28cm) cutting off most of the excess, I leave a small amount hanging over to allow for any shrinkage during cooking

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  1. Put the tart tin on a baking tray and allow to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes
  2. Line the tart tin with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Make sure you get them as close to the edges of the tin as possible as this will help the pastry keep its shape. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes

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  1. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until the pastry starts to tun golden brown

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  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the overhanging pastry

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  1. Turn the oven down to 140ºC

For the filling
450ml single cream
600g milk chocolate (over 35% cocoa)
150ml whole milk
3 eggs

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl

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  1. Bring the milk and cream to the boil and then pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined. It will look a little messy at first but keep stirring and it will come together

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  1. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes and then add the beaten eggs. Stir until the eggs are completely combined

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  1. Fill the tart with the chocolate filling. Carefully put the tart in the middle of the oven to bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the filling looks set but has a slight wobble when shook

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  1. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before serving

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Chocolate Éclairs

Crisp, airy pastry filled with vanilla cream covered in delicious chocolate. Éclairs are fantastically indulgent and one of my favourite treats.

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I love éclairs – fresh cream and chocolate can never be a bad thing. The choux pastry acts a tasty shell for the softly whipped cream and is then smothered with melted chocolate. I was inspired to make these by GBBO, however I was definitely not even slightly tempted to make a structure out of them like the contestants did! I haven’t baked along for a couple of weeks now due to being on holiday for pastry week and then just not being interested in Victorian baking. So when I realised éclairs were on the show, I knew I coudn’t give them a miss.

I’ve only made choux pastry once before when I was in my third year of uni. Don’t all third year uni students spend their evenings baking? It was my friend’s birthday and I can’t remember if I asked her what she would like me to make her, or whether I just remembered her telling me her Nan usually makes her profiteroles. Anyway, I decided to make profiteroles for her. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of the profiteroles, but I do remember them being huge, much more like choux buns. She did say they were very tasty though, but she is so lovely she could have just been being polite!

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So four years later, I decided it was time to give choux pastry another go. I chose Paul Hollywood’s recipe because I thought it was a safe bet (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_chocolate_clairs_59944). I was really chuffed with how they turned out! The only thing I will change next time is to put slightly more pressure on the piping bag as I’m piping the dough as this creates a slightly fatter éclair. Some of the first one’s I piped were a little thin as I didn’t put much pressure on the piping bag. They still looked good, but they didn’t have as much room inside for the cream! So a nice thick éclair means more room for cream!

I took these to my friend’s house who was holding an Afternoon Tea as a baby shower for another of our friends. The éclairs went down very well, someone said they were exactly like shop bought éclairs. Rien said they tasted even better than éclairs you can buy in shops – very unlike him to give such a nice compliment unprompted!

For the choux pastry
65g plain flour
pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter
2 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a baking tray with baking parchment
  2. Put 120ml of water into a medium sized pan along with the salt and butter. Heat gently until the butter melts making sure you do not let the water boil

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  1. Once the butter has melted, quickly bring the mixture to the boil and then add the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a smooth dough

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  1. Put the pan back on a low heat and beat for a minute to slightly cook the dough, it should come away from the sides of the pan and become smooth and glossy
  2. Tip into a bowl to cool until it is only slightly warm

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  1. Beat the eggs and then gradually add them to the dough and mix. Keep adding the egg until the dough falls off a spoon when lightly shaken
  2. Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a 1.25cm plain nozzle. Pipe 12, 10cm lengths onto the baking tray

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  1. Sprinkle the tray, not the dough, with a few drops of water and bake in the oven for 15 minutes
  2. Without opening the oven, reduce the oven to 170ºC and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp
  3. Take the tray out of the oven and make a small hole in the side of each éclair with a skewer to allow the steam to escape. Put them back in the oven for 5 minutes

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  1. Allow the éclairs to cool completely on a wire rack

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For the filling
200ml whipping cream
5 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form

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  1. Carefully cut down the side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream

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For the topping
100g milk chocolate

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl
  2. Spoon chocolate in a strip over each éclair. Allow the chocolate to set before serving

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Make sure you head to www.mummymishaps.co.uk and www,bluebirdsunshine.co.uk to see what else people have baked for #GBBOBloggers2015

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Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses

Crisp meringues with a squidgy centre covered in deliciously smooth whipped cream and topped with juicy strawberries. This Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses is perfect for early summer when British strawberries are at their best.
Eton Mess is a fantastically British pudding that celebrates strawberries that are so delicious in early summer. Although you can buy strawberries year round, it is in early summer that the British strawberries are in the shops. These are the sweetest, most delicious strawberries which don’t need much doing to them. 

Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses is the perfect way to showcase your British strawberries. The simple but complimentary flavours of strawberries, meringue and softly whipped cream is a match made in heaven. 

You can make meringues in whatever shape you like for Eton Mess. You could even use shop bought meringues if you are looking for a time saving option. However I think making Meringue Kisses makes the Eton Mess extra special and gives it a more sophisticated look. 

I think the best way to serve Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses is to scatter your serving dishes with strawberries and some of the Meringue Kisses before spooning over the cream and adding more Meringue Kisses and strawberries. Obviously you can add it all to a big bowl and mix it around before serving it, but you will risk crushing your pretty Meringue Kisses!

Click here for the Meringue Kisses recipe 

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Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses

Crisp meringues with a squidgy centre covered in deliciously smooth whipped cream and topped with juicy strawberries. This Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses is perfect for early summer when British strawberries are at their best.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword Meringue
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 282 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 300 g strawberries

Instructions

  1. Make the meringue kisses as per the recipe above
  2. Pour the double cream into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a slow to medium speed for a couple of minutes. You are looking for it to become thicker but not loose its smooth texture. It is better to keep stopping the mixer and checking on it rather than over whipping the cream!
  3. Hull the strawberries and cut them into pieces
  4. Assemble the dish by adding the meringue kisses, whipped cream and strawberries to a serving bowl
Nutrition Facts
Eton Mess with Meringue Kisses
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Potassium 171mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 22.1%
Vitamin C 54%
Calcium 6.1%
Iron 1.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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