Category: Serious desserts

WARNING: you couldn’t eat these every night!

REALLY easy Sticky Toffee pudding with Baileys

This recipe is originally from Nigella Lawson but I’ve recommended changing the milk to Baileys for a special twist. Obviously you could use milk if you’d prefer, but the Baileys gives such a rich luxurious taste that I’d recommend you try it – at least once!

For the cake:

  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 125ml of Baileys (or Milk if you’d prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g chopped dates


  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • Approx. 25g unsalted butter in little blobs
  • 500ml boiling water

– serves 5 to 6 –


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and butter a large oven-proof pudding dish
  2. Add all of the cake ingredients (except for the dates) to a mixing bowl and then well combined add the dates and mix in.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the pudding dish
  4. Sprinkle over the 200g dark muscovado sugar and dot with the butter blobs. Pour over the boiling water, pop in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. The top of the pudding should be springy and spongy when it’s cooked (test with a skewer to ensure the mixture is cooked) underneath, the butter, dark muscovado sugar and boiling water will have turned into a rich, sticky sauce.

Delicious served with hot vanilla custard.



Mothers day honeycomb

mothers day honeycomb 2

It’s always nice to give a personal touch to a Mothers Day gift, and what better way than to make this delicious honeycomb – aka ‘Hokey Pokey’ by Nigella Lawson. Wrap up chunks of the golden honeycomb in baking paper and tie with string for a rustic look, or place some tissue paper into a pretty box to give it a decadent feel.


100g white caster sugar

4 tblspns golden syrup

1 and half teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

100g milk cooking chocolate (optional)

1. Add the sugar and syrup to saucepan. Stir together, and then once incorporated, turn on the hob to a medium heat and leave to melt.

2. Once melted, turn up the heat slightly, enabling the mixture to bubble – leave for approx 2 minutes

3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda, and with a whisk, mic everything together so that it bubbles – don’t whisk for too long as the air will go.

4. Add some baking paper to a shall baking tray and then pour the mixture onto it.

5. Place in the fridge to set for at least an hour then remove and smash into pieces.

6. Once you’ve smashed the pieces, you can either eat as is, or if you’d like to coat in chocolate, simply melt some milk cooking chocolate into a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and then dip in each piece of honeycomb until covered. Return to the fridge for the chocolate to set.


Super-fast lemon cheesecake

This is such a quick and tasty dessert to make but looks like you’ve spent ages preparing. I’ve used lemon and sour cream as a topping, but you could add any fruit that you like…


2 lemons

4 eggs

600g soft cheese

10 tbsp caster sugar

8 digestive biscuits

70g butter

150ml sour cream


1. Place the biscuits into a plastic bag, then wrap with a t-towel and bang with a rolling pin until smashed into breadcrumbs.

2. Mix the biscuits with melted butter and push into the base of a cake baking tin so that it’s even and compact. Place in the fridge for half an hour

3. After this time, turn the oven to gas mark 2, whisk together the cheese, the juice of one lemon and sugar until it’s completely mixed then add the eggs and continue to whisk until everything’s nicely mixed together.

4. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and cook for 35 minutes then leave for one hour in the oven with it turned off. Once cooked, remove and leave to chill for half an hour before serving.

5. When ready to serve, mix the sour cream with the juice of one lemon and serve with a big dollop on top of a slice of cheesecake.


Banoffee trifle

Picture 4

Two of my favourite desserts – banoffee pie, and trifle. I came up with this recipe one night when I had a craving for either, but didn’t have the right ingredients to make one so had to mix – the outcome is heaven! 



1 small tin condensed milk

4 digestive biscuits 

1 ripe banana 

one piece of chocolate (finely grated) 

4 tablespoons cold custard 

– serves 2 – 



1. Boil the condensed milk in a saucepan of water for 2 hours (ensure the tin is covered and keep topping up the water so that the pan doesn’t run dry) 

2. Smash up the digestive biscuits and place into two ramekins 

3. Slice the banana and place a layer on top of the biscuit base 

4. add a tablespoon of the custard to each of the ramekins 

5. Once the condensed milk has cooled, spread a layer on top of the custard then add another layer of banana, another layer of the milk and then then finish with a final layer of the custard and sprinkle the chocolate over the top. 


Chocolate and banana on the BBQ – Guest Blogger


This months guest blogger from Beckenham has sent in a recipe that has a perfect way to use the rest of the life that’s in the coals at the end of a sunny BBQ day. This is such a simple dessert, and so tasty. 



3 whole rippened bananas 

2 small bars of Toblerone chocolate (if you’re allergic to nuts then simply use a good milk chocolate)

3 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur (optional)

– serves 3 –



1. Place the whole bananas (still with skins on) onto the BBQ and cook until the skin of the banana has turned completely black (approx 20 mins) 

2. With the banana sitting rounded side down, carefully peel back one piece of the skin from the inside of the banana 

3. Taking a knife, make several cuts into the flesh of the banana and insert pieces of toblerone triangles into the gaps. 

4. Put back the banana skin and pop onto the BBQ for a further 5 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted.

5. Add the banana into a bowl for serving and pour a teaspoon of Amaretto over the gooey chocolate and banana


Wholemeal, wheat free Hot Cross Buns



250g Wholemeal rye flour, plus extra for dusting
200g Wheat-free white bread flour
1 tsp Salt
50g Caster sugar
1 tbsp Ground mixed spice
85g Butter
14g Easy-blend dried yeast
325ml Milk, slightly warmed
4 Medium eggs, beaten
135g Sultanas
50g Mixed peel, finely chopped

Crosses and glaze
100g Wheat-free and gluten-free bread flour
½ tsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp Caster sugar

– makes 12 buns –



  1. Grease 2 baking sheets with oil, then dust them with rye flour. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, sugar and mixed spice. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast. Pour in the milk and eggs; beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the dried fruit until evenly dispersed. Using a tablespoon dipped in cold water, spoon 6 widely spaced heaps onto each baking sheet. With a table knife dipped in water, shape them into rounds; take care not to flatten them as they don’t rise as much as regular buns.
  2. Cover each tray with greased clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30–40 minutes until doubled in size and small holes formed by yeast bubbles have appeared on top.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Make the paste for the crosses by beating the flour, baking powder and oil together with 100ml water until smooth. Place a 2–3mm nozzle in a piping bag and spoon in the paste. Once the buns have risen, remove the clingfilm and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Mix the milk with the caster sugar and brush over the buns; return them to the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The perfect pancake


It’s pancake day!! Follow this perfect pancake recipe and all you’ll have to worry about is getting you flipping technique right….

180g plain flour

200ml milk

2 x eggs

pinch salt

1 tablespoon sugar

75ml water

200ml milk

30g butter (melted) plus extra for frying

– serves 4-



1. sieve the flour into a mixing bowl 

2. add to the flour the salt, sugar, eggs, milk, water and melted butter 

3. whisk until you have a smooth, silky consistency with no lumps

4. Heat a non-stick frying pan on the hob and add a small nob of butter to the centre. Once melted, pour in a ladel full of the mixture move the pan around so that the mixture is spread evenly. Leave for approximately 40 seconds, or until you can see that the mixture has begun to set 

5. remove the pan from the heat, tilt it forwards so that the pancakes slips slightly to the edge and then flick the frying pan so that you toss over the pancake. 

6. Heat the other side for a further 40 seconds (or until a nice patchy golden brown colour)

7. Place on a plate and then serve with your favourite toppings… 

      – banana, chocolate sauce and cream?

      – lemon and sugar?

      – grand marnier, lemon and sugar?

      – perhaps savoury ham and cheese?

Whichever topping you are – enjoy! and happy Shrove Tuesday.

Munchy Meringues



Thanks to this months guest blogger, Emma Harvey who baked these Munchy Meringues in aid of ‘Wear It Red’ for The British Heart Foundation charity day. The meringues are crunchy on the outside with light fluffy marshmallow filling – perfect either on their own, or served with a good helping of strawberries and cream. Thanks Emma!

3 egg whites
160g of sugar
∏ teaspoon of corn flower
Dash of vanilla essence
Dash of vinegar



1. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks, then add sugar slowly (one large spoon at a time) continually beating and with the last spoon add the corn flower.

2. Add in the vanilla essence and vinegar (still beating) – your end consistency should be like thick cream and quite glossy.

3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, pop them in and then reduced the heat straight away to 120 degrees and cook them slowly for around an hour (make sure you make a few extra’s so you can test them along the way – part of the fun 😉

Top tip: 

My mum always made them over night and left them in the oven whilst it was cooling down, which we did last night – so don’t know if this is the secret!


Lemon drizzle cake

I originally saw this recipe on the Waitrose website and gave it a little twist of my own. It’s the most lemony, luxurious drizzle cake ever!



2 large egg yolks
2 lemons, juice (50ml) and finely grated zest
30g unsalted butter
125g mascarpone
75g caster sugar

Lemon sponge
2 lemons, finely grated zest
200g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour, sifted


3 medium sized lemons. juiced 
75g granulated sugar


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4

2. Making lemon curd for the filling (and it’s also great on toast if you have any left over!) Beat the egg yolks with the sugar using a wooden spoon in a small, heavy-based saucepan until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, grated zest and butter, and heat for 3–4 minutes on a medium heat. Don’t let it boil otherwise the butter will split, stirring all the time until it thickens. Once it’s thickened up, allow to cool; cover and chill until needed.

3. Grease a 20cm, round cake tin and base-line it with a disc of baking parchment. Place the sugar, softened butter and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it’s pale in colour, with a fluffy texture. 

4. Add the beaten egg a little at a time until it’s all added and well mixed in. Finally, add the flour and beat well until it’s all mixed in. Spoon the mixture into your cake tin and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes until it is shrinking away from the side. Test it with a knife to see if the mixture is cooked in the centre; it should come out clean or with crumbs, not with any gooey mixture. Remove from the oven once it’s cooked and prick all over with a cocktail stick about 20 times.

5. Make the syrup – Stir the strained lemon juice into the sugar so it dissolves a bit, but not fully. Drizzle over the cake, slowly, waiting a few moments before adding more, so that it all sinks in. It should leave a crust on the cake as the juices sink in. Remove from the tin carefully and place on a wire rack to cool.

6. Using a bread knife, slice in half horizontally, turning the cake not the knife to help you slice it straight. Set aside, and finish off the filling by placing the Mascarpone in a small bowl and swirling in the lemon curd. Lift off the top half of the cake and spread the base with the lemon curd and Mascarpone mixture. Replace the top half. Cover and leave at room temperature. If you want to keep it for longer than a few hours, wrap well and don’t add the Mascarpone until you’re ready to serve.


Apple and blackberry panacotta


I love fruity and creamy desserts, and I was originally inspired to make this dessert as a strawberry and cream version. Unfortunately when it came to dinner party time I didn’t have any strawberries to hand and so decided to give it a go with apple and blackberries instead – a success if I do say so myself, the only problem was that the guests asked for seconds and I’d only made enough for one each!



350ml of double cream 

125ml of full fat milk

1 vanilla pod

6 lemon jelly cubes 

1 large cooking apple, peeled and roughly chopped 

20 ripe blackberry’s 

2 sheets of gelatine 

1 dessert spoon of caster sugar 

3 tablespoons water

4 x small metal ramekins 

– serves 4 –


1. Add the cooking apple, blackberries, water and sugar to a small saucepan and cook on a low simmer until the apple has turned to mush. 

2. Add the lemon jelly cubes to the saucepan and stir until melted. 

3. Divide the mixture between the 4 ramekins and place into the fridge for 1 hour 

4. Place the gelatine strips into a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. 

5. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add into a small saucepan with the milk and cream. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes. 

6. Ring out the gelatine strips and add them to the saucepan stir until the strips have melted into the mixture. 

7. Leave the mixture to cool for 15 minutes 

8. Stir the mixture and pour into the ramekins that contain the apple and blackberry mixture. Return to the fridge for approx 3 hours or until set. 

9. When ready to serve, run the base of the ramekins under a hot tap and then tap onto a plate to release.