Making Brandy Snap Baskets

Making brandy snap baskets

I love those occasional weekend days you get when there’s nothing to do. The boys are entertaining themselves watching football/watching motorsport/playing cars/doing boy stuff (delete as appropriate) and I’m free to just potter in the kitchen for an hour or two.

What I really fancied making was a cake, but I’d run out of eggs and couldn’t be bothered to trek to the shop, so I searched for something else instead. And what I settled on was Brandy Snap Baskets.  Just because I’d always meant to try them but had never got around to it.

The mixture is easy to make, but the rest of it takes a little more patience and a bit of trial and error.  The spoonfuls of mixture spread ENORMOUSLY when they cook (a tablespoon spreads to be approx 6 inches across) so you have to leave MUCH more room than I did in the picture below. Also, watch the oven like a hawk for the last 2 minutes of cooking, they go from underdone to burned very quickly.  They’re well worth the effort though, they make a scoop of vanilla ice cream into something really special!

Ingredients:

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Strawberry Swirled Meringues

Strawberry swirled meringues

There’s little in life as delicous as a home-made meringue, especially when they’re served with whipped cream *sigh*

I made these meringues for our Halloween Harry Potter party and thought that the strawberry swirl would make them look suitably ghoulish. I called them ‘Bloodthirsty Meringues’ and they didn’t last long at all!

They’re super-simple to make. Just make regular meringues and swirl some strawberry sauce through the mixture before you pop them into the oven. The strawberry sauce makes for a slightly gooey strawberry-flavoured toffee-type swirl on the top of the powdery meringue. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 3  egg whites
  • 175g white caster sugar
  • Strawberry sauce (like the kind you put on ice-cream)

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Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Chocolate raspberry pudding

This wonderful deep, rich and warming pudding is a variation the Chocolate Pear Pudding from Nigella Express. I tried the original recipe and wasn’t sold on the idea of pears with chocolate, so decided to try remaking it with some raspberries I had in the freezer.

This version is wonderful and would be even better served with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of the hot pudding (which is all melty in the middle). *Pudding heaven*

Devastatingly, we didn’t have any ice-cream in the freezer when I made this.  Oh well, I guess that just gives me the perfect excuse to make it again next week.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g soft butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF and grease 6 small ovenproof ramekins or dishes.
  2. Put all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor and blitz until you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
  3. Mix in the raspberries then spoon into the dishes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Let stand out of the oven for 5 or 10 minutes (otherwise there will be very burned mouths) then top with a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy! *sigh*

Chocolate raspberry pudding Chocolate raspberry pudding

Losing my Chocolate Eclair cherry

Chocolate Eclair recipe

It was my mum’s birthday a few days ago, and when I asked her if she’d like me to make her a birthday cake she asked for Chocolate Eclairs.

NOT quite what I was planning I have to admit, and the idea of making my own eclairs for the first time was pretty daunting but now that I’ve tried them I can confirm they’re actually really easy to make. Plus they were DELICIOUS and look very impressive too!

The recipe was from my trusty, tatty and ever dependable ‘Good Housekeeping’ book although (as always) I’ve fiddled with the recipe a little and added my own tips 🙂

Chocolate Eclair

Ingredients:

For the choux pastry:

  • 65g plain white flour
  • 50g butter
  • 150ml water
  • 2 eggs

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Super-simple mini meringue (and chocolate meringue) recipe

Vintage kitchen: French meringues

Meringues are one of my favourite desserts – not only are the delicious, they’re also low-fat, look splendid and they’re super-easy to make. ONCE you have the right recipe that is. I lost my meringue-confidence a few years ago after trying out some different recipes and cooking techniques and it just taught me not to mess with perfection 😉

My original recipe is super simple and works a treat. Just serve with lashings of whipped cream and sigh with delight!

Go to the recipe >