Category: Serious desserts

WARNING: you couldn’t eat these every night!

Summer berry and lemon tart

The freshness of this tart makes it perfect as either a summer treat with a nice glass of Pimms, or as a great finish to any meal. 
2 Eggs
100g Caster Sugar
2 Lemons, zest and juice
100ml Double Cream
Strawberries and blackberries for decorating
Half a pack dessert pastry rolled out to half a centimeter thick
Grease proof paper
– makes two large individual tarts –


1. Beat the eggs and sugar together until combined. Beat in the lemon zest and juice and then whisk in the cream. Chill for 1 hour.

2.  Grease two small tart tins, and lay out the pastry so that it’s snuggly fitted into each of the tins. Cut some grease proof paper, and lay out over the pastry. Pour on top some dried butter beans and bake in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes on gasmark 5.

3. Remove the tins from the oven, pour away the beans (save for another time!) and remove the baking paper. Pop the pastry back into the oven for a further ten minutes, or until it’s looking lightly browned.

3. Reduce the oven to gasmark 1. Place the tart tins on a baking tray. Pour in the lemon filling, being careful not to spill over the edges. Bake for 45 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes then transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. Top with the berries and Enjoy!


Rule Britannia red velvet cake

Inspired by a Kirsty Allsop topping, and the red velvet sponge of Lorraine Pascale, this cake is great to add colour to any afternoon tea-time get together. Not only does it taste amazing, but when you cut in to the rich red sponge, it looks very impressive indeed!


150g softened butter, plus extra for greasing

150g Caster Sugar

2 free-range eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

pinch salt

125g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tbsp red food colouring

250ml whipped cream

5 tablespoons strawberry jam

Mixed strawberries, blueberries and raspberries


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. Take the cake tin and draw round it twice on greaseproof paper. Cut out both circles. Measure the circumference of the tin with string, then cut a long strip of paper the length of the string and fold in half lengthways. Grease the tin with butter and place one of the paper circles into the base. Grease again, add a second circle, then grease once more. Grease the inside edge of the tin and line with the long paper strip.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, vanilla and salt, and half of the flour. Add the remaining flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and give it a final beat to mix together. Add the food colouring and mix well. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

4. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to cool for five minutes, then remove from the tin, peel off the greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Once the cake has completely cooled, carefully cut the cake in half lengthways, so that you’re left with a round top and bottom. Smear whipped cream in the middle to make a sandwich, then add a good helping of strawberry jam. Put the halves back together, place on a cake stand and then add whipped cream to the top of the cake. Slice the strawberries in half, and then lay out the pattern on top as per the picture above

6. Serve with a nice hot pot of tea and Enjoy!