Lime and Plum Trifle

A British classic, this dessert has many variations. Originally it consists of sponge cake soaked in syrup, topped with fruit and custard and whipped cream to finish it off. I decided to experiment with the numerous limes that my tree had borne this year. Asian limes are much stronger than lemons and so a little bit goes a long way.

I also wanted something without too many calories and so I substituted Greek yogurt for the cream. I also made a coconut milk custard instead of the usual egg custard, which is both dairy free and eggless. You can make this completely vegan by using vegan cake and coconut milk yogurt. 

Lime and coconut is a wonderful combination. Trifle is all about layering. The bottom layer consisted of sponges sandwiched with lime jam that I had made earlier. These were soaked in syrup and topped with the coconut milk custard. Then I topped this off with the plum compote and the final layer was the lime curd folded with the Greek yogurt.

The layers blended well together and the result was a lovely trifle with a decidedly sharp lime flavour. I love lime and lemons and so I found it delicious. You can let your imagination run riot and experiment with various fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, oranges, etc.

PREP:  20 minutes  COOK TIME:  40 minutes

Ingredients

6-8 trifle sponges or shop bought cake cut into slices

400 ml+ 3 tbsp coconut milk

3 tbsp cornflour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

600 ml water

350 grams sugar

1 tbsp lime zest

500 gms plums

400 ml Greek yogurt

1/3 cup lime/lemon curd

6-8 tbsp lime/lemon jam 

3-4 tbsp vodka (optional)

Instructions

First, make the sugar syrup by boiling the 600 ml water with the 350 gms sugar for about 10-15 minutes until you obtain a syrup. Add the lime zest and allow it to cool.

Cut the plums around the middle and twist to remove the stone from the centre. Place the plums in a small pan and add about a cup of the sugar syrup. Cook for about 10 minutes until the plums are softened but still whole. You can also cook them completely to make a sauce but I just left them whole. Reserve some of the syrup for decoration.

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Mix the 3 tbsp coconut milk with the cornflour to make a slurry. Place the 400 ml coconut milk in a pan with the 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla extract  and add the slurry. Heat the mixture, stirring vigorously until the mixture thickens to a custard. It will take about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Place the lime curd in a bowl and fold the Greek yogurt through it, until they are well blended. Do not overmix.

Sandwich the sponges with lime jam or any other jam that you prefer. Place the sponges in a wide glass dish and spoon about a cup of the sugar syrup on them to soak them completely. Splash the vodka on top. Next spoon the coconut milk custard on the sponge layer and then the plum compote. Finish the dessert with the lime curd and Greek yogurt mixture. Decorate with the reserved plum syrup and enjoy.

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Last-Minute Christmas Pudding

The classic end to a traditional Christmas dinner – this recipe is amazingly quick to make. The end result tastes just as wonderful and it looks superb. Nobody will know that you made this as a last minute pudding.

The usual way of making this pudding is to steam it for 4-8 hours. This recipe just requires 20 minutes in the microwave. Serve with brandy butter or cream. I used some whisky to flambé the pudding at the end. It adds to the flavour of the pudding.

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PREP:  15 minutes  COOK TIME:  25 minutes  SERVES:  6-8

Ingredients

300g good-quality mincemeat

140g fine-shred orange marmalade

225g molasses cane sugar

4 tbsp black treacle

3 eggs, beaten

4 tbsp whisky

100g butter, frozen and coarsely grated

225t g self-raising flour

4 tbsp whisky to flambé (optional)

Brandy butter or cream to serve 

Instructions

Butter and line the base of a 1.5 litre or 21/4 pint pudding basin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, stir the ingredients together, adding them one at a time in the order they are listed, until everything is completely mixed.

Tip the pudding mixture into the prepared basin and cover with a circle of parchment. Place the pudding basin on a plate and microwave on Medium for 20-25 minutes until cooked and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then turn out onto an attractive cake stand. Place the whisky in a small bowl and use a match to set it alight. Pour the burning whisky on to the pudding. Serve with brandy butter or cream.

 

 

 

Poached Mangoes with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers. I got this recipe from her.

She passed away some years ago, but I continued to cook the recipes she gave me. Beryl used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.

yoghurt and matcha swirl with mango

This modern and elegant dessert shows how well matcha goes with yogurt, chocolate and fruit. I was surprised when I tasted this lovely dish. It was wonderful to taste the silky combination of mango with the white chocolate and yogurt and I could get the subtle flavour of matcha too. It’s the perfect ending to a special party! Keep your guests wondering  what actually goes into making this super easy and delicious dessert.

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This superb dessert recipe is from http://www.epicurious.com and was created by Meryl Rothstein.

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PREP: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into small cubes

4 tsp sugar divided

31/2 oz high-quality white chocolate

11/2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tsp matcha powder

Instructions

Mix the mango with two teaspoons of the sugar and macerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly and gradually whisk in the yogurt. Divide the mixture between two small bowls.

Whisk the remaining two teaspoons sugar and matcha powder in another small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon hot water and whisk to form a smooth paste. Add the paste to one bowl containing the white chocolate-yogurt mixture. Whisk to blend well.

Divide the mango into four and place them in attractive glasses. Make a well in the green yogurt mixture and pour the white yogurt mixture into the centre. Fold gently once or twice just enough to create swirls. Spoon over the mango, dividing equally. Chill until you are ready to serve.

Coconut Cheesecake with Mango Caramel

 This rich and luxurious cheesecake, which is perfect for a special occasion, is particularly hard to resist.  The delicious moist filling is topped with a heavenly mango caramel.  I love making cheesecake because it’s so versatile. It can take on so many different types of flavours. It’s much better than store bought ones definitely!

I have used Greek yoghurt instead of cream cheese, which makes it much lighter. Coconut and mango is a great flavour combination and the sweetness of the mango caramel is offset by the coconut filling which is not too sweet. 

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This cheesecake is extra special. I used vanilla wafers for the base and it’s a cheesecake lover’s dream! The crumbly base with the velvety coconut filling and the luscious mango caramel makes it phenomenal. I used some mixed candied fruits for the decoration.

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This cheesecake can stay for up to a week in the fridge. I’m sure that you and your family are going to love it. This recipe makes a 10 inch cheesecake. It’s best to make the filling and topping the day before and refrigerate overnight. I got the recipe for the mango caramel from here – cacao-barry.com.

PREP:  25 minutes  COOK TIME:  75 minutes

Ingredients

11/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed in a food processor

3 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp butter, melted

Filling

700 gms Greek yoghurt

1 cup sugar

15 gms cornflour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp coconut extract

Mango caramel

250 gms sugar

170 ml mango puree

50 ml whipping cream

1/2 tsp mixed spice

15 gms butter

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare a 10 inchspringform pan by lining it with aluminium foil on the outside of the pan bottom and up the sides. 

Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar together. Stir in the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture against the bottom and the sides of the pan by using your hands. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Reduce the heat to 160 C. For the filling, place the yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and beat well. Add the sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until smooth and add the eggs slowly, beating continuously. Add the coconut milk and extract and beat until well combined.

Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and scoop the cheesecake mixture into it. Add hot water to the roasting pan until it is halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the roasting pan and allow to cool thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.

For the mango caramel, place the sugar in a small heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar starts to caramelise. Add the mango puree and whipping cream. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the mixed spice, butter and salt. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until use. 

Carefully, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan on to a serving plate. Spread the mango caramel on top of the filling and return to the fridge for a few hours before slicing and serving. 

 

 

 

Olive, Lemon and Coconut Pots

I have been intrigued by savoury desserts for some time. The concept is not new, but many chefs have taken this to a whole new level. I had earlier made a Tomato Soup Cake which fits the bill for savoury desserts. However, I wanted to try something different.

Olives and lemon are a great combination and I thought of including coconut with these flavours. I used Greek yoghurt instead of cream and the dessert was light and creamy.

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For those of you that love savoury foods, this recipe will be ideal. If you’re also looking to cut down on your sugar cravings, this dessert is perfect.

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Anyway, the result was surprising, but in a nice way. I loved the taste – the olives were more prominent and I could taste the other ingredients, though it was more subtle. It’s quite filling and you can snack on these without feeling too guilty!

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 40-50 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

400 gms Greek yoghurt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cornflour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

!/8 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/8 tsp coconut extract, optional

1/3 cup black olives, pitted

2 tbsp lemon juice

Olive and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Grease four ramekin dishes with a little butter.

Place the olives in a blender and process until smooth.

Place the Greek yoghurt in a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt and beat well.

Add the beaten egg slowly and mix well. Add the coconut milk, olive paste, lemon juice and coconut extract and beat until combined. Spoon the mixture into the ramekin dishes. Place them in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water and bake 40-50 minutes until it is set. Remove the roasting tin carefully from the oven and remove the ramekins. Cool.

Cover with clingfilm and place in the refrigerator. It will store for up to a week. Garnish with the olive and lemon slices before serving.