Category Archives: Puddings

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 

5 from 1 vote
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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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Strawberry Pavlova

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Marshmallowy in the centre with crisp and chewy edges piled high with whipped cream and delicious fruit. Now if that doesn’t scream perfect summer desert to you, I don’t know what will!

I decided to make a pavlova after a trip to Borough Market where I bought the most delicious looking strawberries. I instantly thought they would make a perfect topping to pavlova. It also meant I got to use the whisk attachment to my mixer which I have rarely used. Feel free to make this recipe by hand, but I would really recommend using an electric whisk if possible to avoid your arm seriously aching! Then you won’t be able to lift the fork to your mouth to eat it!

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I’d never made pavlova, or even meringue before, so I thought it was definitely time for me to try. Most pavlovas are topped with whipped cream and then a selection of fruit. You can choose a number of different fruit that work well together or lots of one type like I did here.

Usually when I bake or make desserts I make them for other people to enjoy too so Rien and I don’t end up eating it all. However with this pavlova, over a few days we managed to eat the whole thing! It was so delicious we kept going back for more and of course the strawberries make it healthy…I can definitely see me making this a number of times over the summer, I might even share it next time! I loved the crisp chewy outside of the pavlova mixed with the soft, melt in your mouth marshmallow centre.

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6 egg whites
pinch of salt
270g caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
2 tsp cornflour

  1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC. Draw a 8″ circle on baking paper and turn it over onto a baking tray so the pencil won’t touch the pavlova

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  1. Whisk 6 egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form

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  1. Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time as this allows the sugar to disolve. Keep whisking until the egg whites are smooth and glossy with no trace of sugar

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  1. Carefully fold in the vinegar, vanilla and cornflour
  2. Dab a small amount of mix on each corner of the baking tray to secure the baking paper to the tray. Pile the mix onto the baking tray trying to keep inside the line. Shape it like a cake – you can either flatten the top for a more traditional look or spike the top for a dramatic effect

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  1. Bake in the oven for 1 to 1½ hours, you’ll know it it’s done by lightly tapping the top and it’s hard. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open. Leave the pavlova to cool completely

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For the topping
300ml double or whipping cream
Strawberries – as many as you like!
2 tbsp sugar 

  1. Hull the strawberries and then put roughly half of them into a bowl. Gradually add the sugar, tasting as you go until the strawberries are the perfect sweetness. Put them aside for 30 mins or so

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  1. Whip the cream using the whisk attachment (or if you’re brave, by hand) until the cream is soft but holds its shape. If you whip for too long the cream will become over whipped and not look smooth and silky

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  1. Add the whipped cream to the top of the pavlova and spread out. The strawberries with the sugar should look glossy and have a thick syrup now. Add these on top of the cream and then add the remaining hulled strawberries

I got the recipe for the pavlova here –  http://www.theinternetchef.biz/292/how-to-make-pavlova-new-zealand-style#sthash.cFUGO1qd.dpuf

 

Raspberry & Mascarpone Sponge Pudding

Decadently creamy with the tart raspberries to cut through the sweetness. This dessert is definitely a treat! 

This is one of my family’s favourite desserts. It is so rich and creamy with the raspberries there to add a tart flavour as well as a delicious freshness. The taste truly is yummy. 

This is a delicious pudding my family has been making for years, but cannot take credit for. It was my sister’s friend’s Mum, Mrs Betts that we owe for this recipe. She had something similar in a restaurant and loved it and recreated it herself at home. She is one clever lady!

This dessert is really easy to make. You literally need no baking skills or special equipment to put this together. It also means you can get your children to help out which is something my sister and I always did when we were younger. I did use a mixer to combine the mascarpone and condensed milk because it is quicker to do this, but doing it by hand doesn’t take too much effort. Just make sure you mix them together well and get rid of any lumps. 

Do not turn your nose up at the tinned raspberries. I am generally not a fan of tinned fruit and didn’t know you could get tinned raspberries before eating this. But you do really need them, and their tasty syrup to make this dessert. 

My sister, Ally made this for pudding on Boxing Day. It was a welcome change instead of something like Christmas pudding that none of us are really that fond of. We’d had a lovely roast dinner cooked by my Mum (she cooks the best roasts) and a few hours had passed when the raspberry pudding was calling my name from the fridge. Initially it was just my brother-in-law and myself who wanted some, but after I brought his into him, Ally and my Mum soon decided they could find some room. Then when Mr Curly remembered what we meant by raspberry pudding, he had some too. My brother-in-law then went back for another ‘small piece’ and came back with a bigger bowl than his first!

You can also use low fat mascarpone cheese in a feeble attempt to reduce the calories. If you use all low fat mascarpone, you may find that the pudding is slightly more liquid – especially the next day. I would recommend using half full fat and half low fat because this seems to have the right combination to still provide the right thickness to hold the pudding together. 

When making this pudding, my final layer always seems to have the fewest sponge fingers but they are the ones that have been soaked for the longest in the raspberry syrup. This is because I always pack the sponge fingers in tightly for the bottom layer and also don’t let them soak in the syrup for too long because I don’t want to run out! If this happens to you, just spread your final layer of sponge fingers out more. Once it is fully assembled no one will be able to tell anyway!

This pudding keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, if it lasts that long. I’ve lost count of how many times I have eaten this for breakfast because I didn’t want to wait any later in the day to eat some more!

Updated 2017. 

Serves 8 (generously!) 

500g mascarpone
397g condensed milk
400g sponge fingers
600g tinned raspberries in light syrup
150g fresh raspberries
Small grating of dark chocolate

  1. Mix the mascarpone and condensed milk together in a bowl or using your mixer making sure there are no lumps 

  1. Drain the tinned raspberries reserving the syrup in a shallow bowl
  2. Dunk the sponge fingers a couple at a time in the reserved raspberry syrup. Make sure the fingers are completely covered in the syrup. You want to give them a couple of seconds so they can absorb some of the syrup but don’t leave them in there for longer than that or else they will soak up too much and you’ll run out of syrup!

  1. When you have a few of the sponge fingers that have absorbed some of the syrup, line them next to each other in a dish roughly 23x23x5cm. Once you have covered the bottom of the dish completely with sponge fingers, scatter with half of the tinned raspberries

  1. Pour 1/3 of the mascarpone mix on top of the sponge fingers making sure the fingers are completely covered

  1. Repeat again with another layer of soaked sponge fingers, tinned raspberries and mascarpone mix but lay the fingers in the opposite direction
  2. Add a third layer of soaked sponge fingers in the dish. Add the final third of the mascarpone mix and spread evenly
  3. Place the fresh raspberries on the top and grate the dark chocolate using a fine grater
  4. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to chill and then serve

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New York Cheesecake

Thick, creamy cheesecake with a crisp biscuit base. With just a hint of lemon, New York Cheesecake is subtle in flavour but oh so indulgent!

The tradition of baking New York Cheesecake 

New York Cheesecake is Mr Curly’s favourite sweet treat. He’s not one for cakes but give him a slice of this cheesecake and he is a very happy man. I first made this cheesecake for him roughly 3 years ago for his birthday. I still lived at home so I was able to use all of my Mum’s baking equipment which was far better than the basic equipment I had at uni. For some reason, I managed to get myself incredibly flustered and stressed making it. Mr Curly loved it but I vowed that I would never make it again. 

Two years ago, Mr Curly and I moved into our flat together. It was the week of his birthday so thankfully there was no mention of the dreaded cheesecake. So that brings us to this year, I had no excuses; the cheesecake had to be tackled. When I came to find the recipe on the BBC Good Food website, I remembered why I hated the cheesecake; it was the badly written recipe, not the actual cheesecake. I knew then that I would rewrite the recipe to help myself, but hopefully make it easier for others too. 

The recipe does have a few steps, but when you read the recipe in full first and understand the steps, you will have no problems at all. This recipe is definitely made easier if you have a mixer in my opinion but you can obviously still make it if you don’t have one. 

Personally, I’m not a huge cheesecake fan and haven’t eaten a lot of it in my time. Mr Curly has definitely eaten his fare share of cheesecakes with New York Cheesecake being his favourite. So although I don’t always completely trust his opinion on everything; cheesecake is something I can count on his opinion for. After all these years of me baking countless things, this New York Cheesecake is hands down still his favourite.  

The most popular recipe on my blog 

Not only is it Mr Curly’s favourite, it is also the most popular recipe on my blog with so many people having made it. I love hearing when people have made my recipes and also how they have tweaked them. One of my favourite tweaks was when someone served this New York Cheesecake with a raspberry coulis. This would go really well with the richness of the cheesecake and add a delicious sharpness. 

I have been making this cheesecake for years, and as you can see I have made some tweaks along the way. I am now happy that I have got this cheesecake exactly as I’d like it. 

UPDATE 2015 

The annual cheesecake making happened again! After last year I have tweaked the recipe slightly, definitely for the better. Mr Curly loved the cheesecake as always, but said that if the base could be slightly thicker and less lemon then it would be perfect. From his comments, I increased the biscuit base and reduced the lemon and it was far better. 

UPDATE 2018 

It’s that time of year again and after a couple of year’s of getting away without making this New York Cheesecake; this year it couldn’t be avoided. This year Mr Curly said it was the best ever. I don’t know whether that is simply down to me using a food processor to crush the biscuits!

It also gave me the opportunity to update my photos this year. I still haven’t worked out how to remove the bottom of the tin and the parchment paper from the cheesecake before serving though. Please let me know if you have in the comments below!

5 from 6 votes
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New York Cheesecake

Thick, creamy cheesecake with a crisp biscuit base. With just a hint of lemon, New York Cheesecake is subtle in flavour but oh so indulgent!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword New York, Cheesecake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Cooling Time 10 hours
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 14
Calories 304 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the base

  • 115 g butter melted
  • 300 g digestive biscuits crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For the filling

  • 900 g full fat cream cheese
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of ½lemon
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 200 ml soured cream
  • 15 g unsalted butter melted

For the topping

  • 226 ml soured cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan or 180ºC non fan) and set a shelf to the middle. Line the base of a 9 inch (23cm) spring form cake tin with parchment paper.

  2. Blitz the biscuits into fine crumbs using a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. 

  3. Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave and then stir in the crushed biscuits and sugar until the biscuits are evenly coated.  

  4. Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the tin using the back of a spoon or your hands making sure it is an even layer. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then allow to cool while you make the filling.

  5. Increase the oven temperature to  200ºC (fan or 240ºC non fan). In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at a medium-low speed for approximately 2 minutes until it is creamy. Reduce the mixer to a low speed and gradually add the sugar, flour and a pinch of salt.

  6. Change the paddle to the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice to the cream cheese and mix. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time making sure you scrape down the bowl. Add the 200ml soured cream and mix on a low speed making sure you don't over beat. The mix should be light and smooth.

  7. Brush the sides of the spring form tin with melted butter and put the tin on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the tin wiggle the tin to help the filling settle flat. Bake for 10 minutes.

  8. After 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 90ºC (fan or 110ºC  non fan) and bake for 25 - 40 minutes. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Check after 25 minutes and keep baking for a further 5 minutes until you have the slight wobble. 

  9. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave the door closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours.

  10. One the cheesecake is cooled, make the topping. Whisk the soured cream, sugar and lemon juice together in a jug. Pour over the cheesecake and spread out right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight

  11. When serving, run a pallet knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges before unlocking the side. 

Recipe Notes

Letting your cheesecake cool in the oven is meant to reduce the likelihood of it cracking. As you can see, mine has cracked this time - sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. But don't panic if yours does crack because the topping will cover it.

I serve my cheesecake on the base of the tin because I am too scared to try and get it off the tin and remove the parchment paper!

Nutrition Facts
New York Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 198mg 8%
Potassium 84mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Sugars 27g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 8.9%
Vitamin C 0.9%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 6.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake

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I wanted to make something for my brother-in-law’s birthday, and after talking to my sister, we decided on a chocolate cheesecake. After looking through a few recipes, I decided on this one by Mary Berry (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/americanchocolaterip_6334). We all love a bit of Mary Berry!

I have slightly adapted the original recipe because I found there was no where near enough base mixture on the original recipe. Even though the base is the part of a cheesecake I’m not fond of, there is no way you can make a cheesecake without a proper base! I also used milk chocolate digestives for the base and a mixture of plain and milk chocolate in the cheesecake mix simply because I like milk chocolate more.

For the base
300g milk chocolate digestive biscuits
150g melted butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C and lightly grease a spring release tin. The one I used was 9″ which is 22cm
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits until they are a fine crumb texture. I do this by putting the biscuits in a food bag and bashing it with a rolling pin
  3. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuits. Tip into the tin and press the mix down so the bottom of the tin is evenly covered

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For the cheesecake
100g plain chocolate
50g milk chocolate
700g full fat cream cheese
225g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

  1. Split the chocolate into chunks and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool slightly
  2. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until soft. Add the sugar and beat again until well mixed. Then add the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time making sure everything it combined
  3. Spoon half of the mixture onto the biscuit base making sure there are spaces between them

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  1. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining cheesecake mix and stir until fully mixed. Spoon this mix into onto the base, in between the other mix already in the tin. Swirl the top to create a marbled effect

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  1. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes or until it becomes slightly puffy around the edges but still looks soft n the centre. In my oven, it took roughly 40 mins to get to this stage so keep an eye on it. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven
  2. Once the cheesecake has had time to cool in the oven, put in the fridge to cool completely before serving

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My cheesecake didn’t turn out as marbled or rippled as I would have liked. I think this was because my vanilla ‘half’ of the mix wasn’t quite half! This meant there was more chocolate mix which made it look more layered than rippled. It still looked and tasted really good though, so make it look however you want! Not bad for only the second cheesecake I have made!