Food: Peaches with apricot, cardamom & lemon fraîche

Here’s a quick recipe for a dessert perfect for cooling down in the Summer sun.  The flavours also give a taste of the exotic, so even if you’re stuck at home, you can feel like you’re on holiday

Serves 2

You’ll need:

  • 4 peaches ( I used doughnut peaches as they are in season)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 shot of lemon vodka (optional)
  • 2tbs sesame seeds, toasted

Apricot fraîche:

  • 1/2 tub of vegan crème fraîche/ yogurt ( I used Oatly fraîche)
  • 2tbs icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 apricots, chopped finely
  • 1tbs ground cardamom
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

 

Start by making the fraîche. Add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix throughly. You can either then place it in the fridge to firm or do as I did and use the freezer. It will start to create a slightly frozen texture, like a semi-freddo.

Whilst it’s in the fridge/freezer you can prep the peaches. Cut them in half and de-stone. This is usually a messy job, so I tried to keep it intact by poking the stone through the other side. once this is done, heat up a pan on a medium heat. Place the peach halves in the pan, flesh down. cook until they begin to colour. Flip and cook for a few minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over them and sprinkle them with the lemon zest. Take them out of the pan and place them into the serving bowls. This in an optional step, but I like pouring a shot of lemon vodka on them too! Take the fraîche out and dollop it on top. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. I’d recommend you pair it with a Tokaji wine.

Enjoy!

 

 

Food: Apple, Plum & ginger crumble

Here’s a recipe for a hearty and warming crumble with a speculoos/speculaas topping.

Makes 6 portions.

To make, you’ll need:

For the filling:

  • 8 medium apples,
  • 1 jar of sour plums,
  • Half the liquid from the plum jar,
  • 1 star anise,
  • Thumb size piece of ginger (grated),
  • 125ml of apple cider,
  • 20g of crystallised ginger,
  • 1 knob vegan butter,
  • 80g of brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon,
  • 1 tbs of golden syrup (agave/ corn syrup will work as well),

For the topping:

  • 120g of plain flour,
  • 60g of brown sugar,
  • 60g of vegan butter,
  • 60g speculoos biscuits,

 

To make the filling:

Peel, core and slice the apples then set aside. Begin by melting the butter in a pan, add the sugar and allow them to caramelise. Add the apples and stir them around until they’re coated. Then add the plums along with the juice, the apple cider, the star anise and allow to simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid off.

When the mixture has reduced add the grated fresh ginger, the crystallised ginger, the zest and juice of half a lemon and the golden syrup. Stir until combined and the golden syrup has loosened and melted. Spoon into a medium sized baking tin until you’re ready with the topping.

To make the topping:

Measure out and combine the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and breadcrumb by rubbing between your fingers. Smash the biscuits in a pestle and mortar (or in a plastic bag and bashed with a rolling pin) until they’re a mixture of crumb and rubble sized pieces. Combine the two and sprinkle over the mixture.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for forty minutes until the topping is rich and golden. Once out of the oven, leave it cool slightly and serve with some soy custard 😉

Enjoy!

 

Food: BPO pudding & salted caramel sauce

Here’s something I knocked up this evening, as I had a surplus of over-ripe bananas to use. Like most of my recipes, it’s a no fuss, all reward kind of deal 😉

To make you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1tsb peanut butter, smooth
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tbs of golden syrup (corn syrup/agave would also work)
  • 170g rolled oats
  • 60g muscavado sugar
  • 200ml non-dairy milk-  I used oat milk
  • Handful of sultanas
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt

To make the sauce:

  • 125ml water
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 125ml non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • Pinch of salt

Start by putting the milk on a medium heat on the hob. Add the salt, sugar and golden syrup. Stir until it dissolves. Next, add in the oats and cook out for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts bubbling and thickening like a big golden porridge.

In a separate bowl, add the peanut butter to the bananas and mash. The oat mixture should have cooked out by this point. Take it off the heat and leave it to cool, slightly.

Pour the oats into the bananas and combine both mixtures. Once it’s done, stir in the flour and cinnamon bit by bit until it comes together into a thick, sticky mixture.

Grease and line a square baking tin and fill with the oaty mixture. Put it into a pre-heated oven at 140°C for 1 hour.

While it’s cooking, you can make the salted caramel sauce.

To make, simply put the sugar and water onto the hob at a high heat. Add in 1tsp of cornflower to the milk and stir. This needs to be done, before putting it into the caramel. When the sugar has dissolved and is starting to caramelise add in the milk and stir. Turn down to a medium heat and leave it until it thickens. This can take 5-6 minutes. Once thickened, stir, take off the heat and add in the salt. Place into a jug/bowl and set aside. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Once the hour is up, take out the bake and test if it’s done with a toothpick. As it’s a pudding not a cake, it’s ok if the bake is slightly squidgy. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. It’s best served warm.

I served mine smothered in the sauce with a dollop of cremè fraîche on the side. I used Oatly imat fraiche – which seems to be only sold in Scandinavia atm (lucky I brought some back from my travels!) but soy natural yoghurt will also work.

 

Enjoy!

 

Food: Banoffee Trifle

Here’s a recipe for a fusion of two classic British puddings (and a good way to use up leftovers!)

 

You’ll need:

  • 140g banana bread, ripped up
  • 20ml Amaretto
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped

For the custard:

  • 230ml double cream
  • seeds of a vanilla pod
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g  icing sugar
  • 15g dulce de leche

To Decorate:

  • 200ml  double cream, whipped
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 20g icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g flaked almonds, toasted
  • A square of dark chocolate, grated
  • 1tbs Dulce de Leche
  • Splash of milk

 

During the week I made a banana bread, using this trusty recipe from the BBC. With all the will in the world (and plenty of Chai to wash it down!) Tom and I were never going to finish it all – we had a lot leftover. Not wanting to throw it away before it went stale, I wanted to rescue it. It had me thinking about how I could make it into a trifle/banoffee pie fusion – two of my favourite desserts. This is one’s a decadent dessert that certainly isn’t for anyone on a diet. It could easily feed up to 6. Here’s how to make it:

To start, tear up the leftover banana loaf and place into a suitable bowl. It needs to be high enough to take the amount of filling. I’d recommend a clear glass bowl, so you’ll be able to see all the layers.

After tearing up the banana bread, drizzle some Amaretto over it, so it soaks in.

Now, it’s time to make the custard.

First scrape a vanilla pod into the cream and begin to heat until gently bubbling at the edges. You can even put a whole pod in to infuse if you want.

Meanwhile, add the eggs yolks and the sugar and whisk until they’re combined. Here’s the tricky part, carefully begin adding the the cream into the egg yolks making sure you keep whisking as you go – then do it vice versa back into the cream pan. Keep whisking on the heat until it coats the back of a spoon easily. Once made, pour the custard into a jug and leave to cool.

Chop up 2 ripe bananas and place them in a layer on top of the cake.

To the custard, (when cool) whisk in 15g of Dulce de Leche into it until its a light brown colour.

Now with a spatula, spread this tan mixture on top of the bananas. Cover the mixture with a layer of clingflim (to alleviate a skin forming) and leave to set in the fridge for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

While it’s in the fridge add icing sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Add the double cream and whisk until stiff peaks before setting aside.

Toast the almonds in a pan on medium heat until golden brown. Don’t take your eyes away from them, as they can catch quickly.

Once the bananas and custard mixture is set to a firm wobble, take out the fridge and remove the cling. Now it’s time to assemble!

Spread on a thick pillowy layer of cream on the sand coloured mixture. Grate the chocolate on top and sprinkle the golden almonds on top.

For an extra bit of naughtiness, take a tablespoon of Dulce de Leche and a splash of milk into a separate bowl. Mix with a spoon until smooth and pouring consistency and drizzle on top of the dessert. It is now ready to devour.

Enjoy!