Cakes & Desserts

Roasted Raspberries with Vanilla Ice Cream (Serves 1)

You will thank me for this simple recipe!! It’s such an obvious idea, I wonder why I never thought of it until I saw the recipe in a magazine some years ago. Winter raspberries often lack flavour, but by roasting them you can intensify the flavour and produce a lovely warming treat at the same time!

100g raspberries

1 tablespoon caster sugar

A dusting of icing sugar (2-3 teaspoons)

A scoop of vanilla ice-cream

  1. Put the raspberries in an ovenproof dish. Cook in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for about 15 minutes until the juices have come out of the raspberries but they are still keeping their shape.
  2. Remove from the oven, either serve at the table in the oven proof dish or transfer to an individual bowl – either way sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
  3. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

‘Crumbles in a Cup’

Ok, we all need a homemade sweet treat now and again, and this one is perfect for student life as not only is it easy to prepare but it can be cooked straight from the freezer. It is a great recipe idea that I have taken from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook, ‘Nigella Express’. The idea is to freeze the crumble topping and some summer berries, then at any given time you can quickly make up a ‘Berry Crumble in a Cup’! You just need to cook them from frozen for 15 minutes! I have changed the recipe slightly; I make my crumble topping with the addition of ground almonds as I think it improves the flavour. You can either make the crumbles in a cup/small mug or in a ramekin, the measurements of the ingredients will differ slightly depending on which you choose – see below

For the Crumble Topping

200g plain flour (gluten free if required)

125g butter, cold and cubed

50g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

50g soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Place the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the caster sugar, ground almonds, soft brown sugar and ground cinnamon – stir to combine.
  3. Place in a freezer bag and freeze until needed for a ‘Crumble in a Cup’ – see below.

‘For a Crumble in a Cup’ (approx. 300ml capacity)

100g summer fruits (see note above)

1 teaspoon corn flour

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or regular sugar and a drop of vanilla essence)

75g frozen crumble topping

‘For a Crumble in a Ramekin’

50g frozen summer fruits

½ teaspoon cornflour

1½ teaspoons of vanilla sugar (or regular sugar and a drop of vanilla essence)

30g frozen crumble topping

(To serve – ice cream or thick cream)

  • Put the summer fruits in either the cup or ramekin, sprinkle with the cornflour and sugar – stir gently.
  • Sprinkle the frozen crumble topping over the fruit ( if desired you can add a little more topping)
  • Bake in a preheated oven, 220’c fan; for the cups 20 minutes, and for the ramekins 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a scoop of ice-cream or a dollop of thick cream.

‘Proper’ Homemade Hot Chocolate (Serves 1)

This is more of a dessert than a drink, it is seriously the best hot chocolate you will ever have – a ‘hug in a mug’!!…It really is the real deal, forget those mixes you get in a tin – even the ‘quality’ ones –  this recipe is one you will return to again and again!… I warn you it is rich and indulgent, but hey, we all deserve a treat now and again…

See the video of this Hot Chocolate being made here!

150ml full fat milk

60g plain chocolate (I use Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate), roughly chopped

1 ½ teaspoons good quality cocoa (I use Green & Blacks)

Pinch of salt

1-2 drops vanilla extract

Whipped cream to serve (optional)

  • Put the milk in a saucepan and bring just to boiling point.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in all the ingredients until melted.
  • Return to the heat, whisk vigorously until it returns to a gentle simmer.
  • Pour into mugs and if using add a dollop of whipped cream!

Emergency Chocolate Brownies (2 – 4 )

The perfect treat for any day – just make sure you’ve always got the ingredients at hand!!

This is a brilliant recipe from Nigella Lawson – only she could have come up with the idea of ‘Emergency Brownies’ – the idea of a small batch for those days when you urgently need a chocolate fix!  This recipe makes 2 very generous brownies, so on a good day you’ll get 4!

This recipe is cooked in a foil appox. 18 x 11 x 5cm, so there is no need to line or grease it!

50g unsalted butter, softened

50g soft light brown sugar

1 tablespoon golden syrup (or maple syrup)

3 tablespoons plain flour, gluten free if required

3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I use Green&Blacks)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g walnut pieces (optional)

50g chocolate chips (plain or milk)

1 x foil tin approx. 18 x 11 x 5cm

  1. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  2. Mix together the flour, cocoa and salt, then beat into the butter mixture in the pan, until smooth.
  3. Whisk the egg with the vanilla and then stir it thoroughly into the pan mixture. Finally fold in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces (if using).
  4. Pour the mixture into the foil tin.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven, 150’c fan, for 15-20 minutes until it is beginning to come away from the sides and the top has dried a little around the edges.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack in the tin and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.

*Click here to see the video of this Brownie recipe!

Chocolate Crispy Cakes

These, in my opinion, are the perfect student no bake chocolate fix! They were the staple children’s birthday party food when my son was a toddler, but honestly they should not be reserved only for children – everyone deserves these! I make them with Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate, which gives them a more adult flavour; they are certainly not a childish treat – yet you feel indulgent like a kid when you eat them – what a winner!!

50g unsalted butter

4 tablespoons golden syrup

100g Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate (or other good quality plain chocolate)

75g cornflakes

  1. Gently melt the butter, syrup and chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie).
  2. Stir in the cornflakes.
  3. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases or if you don’t have cases, just spoon large spoonfuls onto a buttered baking tray, and place in the fridge until set and enjoy the ultimate, quick chocolate fix!