Posts Tagged ‘Raspberries’

Fabulously chocolatey gooey pavlova with raspberries and whipped cream – if you don’t try this you are a fool!!

February 15, 2011

Honestly I mean it. You would have to be slightly mental not to absolutely love this Pavlova. Many many years ago one of my friends handed me a tatty photocopy of a Nigella Lawson Chocolate Pavlova recipe and made me promise that I would make it. She assured me that I would not be disappointed. And was spot on. I have no idea where the original recipe is now but this makey-uppy version is now one of my “old faithfuls”. Meringue is honestly not difficult to make. The best thing about it is even if it cracks and looks like an absolute disaster it still tastes and looks amazing as soon as you cover it with whipped cream and fruit. Perfect!

Ingredients serves (8 – 10)

6 egg whites (large eggs ideally free range organic)
400 grams caster sugar
teaspoon of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of best quality cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks)
100 grams best quality dark chocolate finely chopped (I used Green and Blacks 70%)
2 teaspoons of corn flour
600 mls double cream
2 punnets of fresh raspberries


Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

Take a large mixing bowl and wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water to ensure there is absolutely no oil in it. Meringue hates oil!!

Separate the eggs and add only the white to the bowl – do not get ANY yolk in the egg white this will affect the whites from whisking properly.

If you do get some yolk or egg-shell in your whites use one of the halved egg shells to remove it rather than a spoon – sounds daft but it makes getting the shell/yolk out much easier.

Weigh out your caster sugar.

Whisk whites until stiff peaks form – I used an electric whisk – you can use a manual whisk but prepare for arm burning.

Slowly add sugar a couple of table spoons at a time and whisk. Keep doing this until all the sugar is combined and mixture is shiny and thick.

Add tsp of white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, finely chopped chocolate and 2 tsp of corn flour and gently fold through until combined.

Dollop mixture onto a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper, spread out into a round or oval (consider what you are serving the pav on and try to make the shape suit the serving dish). Remember the meringue will spread out a little bit so make it smaller than the serving dish.

Pop it in the oven and immediately reduce the temp to 140 degrees (fan forced).

Bake for 45 mins and then allow to cool in the oven. The centre should still be squidgy a little like a baked chocolate mousse.

Once cool remove from oven and pop onto serving dish flipping the meringue over so that the bottom side is up.

Whisk cream until soft peaks form and spread over the Pavlova, cover the top with raspberries and voila – joy on a plate!

You can grate a little chocolate over the top too or dust with icing sugar if you are feeling “creative”, I have also made these as individual small meringues which is great for a party – they do not need as much time in the oven – about 20 mins.

Just to say again – you have to try this recipe!!!!!


Wild raspberry jam

July 26, 2010

It is so exciting there are tons and tons of wild raspberries everywhere! I had been looking forward to making jam during bramble season (blackberries) and had completely forgotten about raspberries. I actually don’t remember ever seeing wild raspberries before but they are here and there are tons of them. It would be a crime not to pick them and make jam.

Ingredients (makes about 3 – 4 jars)

1 kg raspberries (you could use frozen)
1 kg sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
Juice of 1 lemon

Raspberry jam

Place the raspberries in a large non reactive bowl and layer with the sugar.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge over night.

Next morning add the lemon juice and place in a large pan (ideally enamel). Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until jam reaches setting point.

Tip: To check to see if the jam is at setting point put a spoonful of jam onto a cold plate and leave for 20 seconds. Then run your finger through the middle. If the line stays and the jam doesn’t run back, the edges of the jam wrinkle a little the jam is set. If not keep simmering until it does reach setting point.

Raspberry jam

Skim the top then fill sterilised jam jars.

Tip: To sterilise jars wash lids and jars then boil in water for 10 – 15 mins.

Sterilising jars

Sterilised jars drying

Note: If I do this again I would probably pass half of the raspberries through a sieve so that you do not end up with too many seeds.

I recommend you eat the jam with homemade scones (see recipe). Yummy!!

Lazy raspberry and strawberry cheese cake (without the cheese)

June 3, 2010

Lazy berry cheesecake

I love cheese cake but there really does seem to be a lot of mucking around for something creamy with a bit of crumbly biscuit. Soooo I decided to make my own version the easy way with no baking, chilling and waiting. The eat straight away version!!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Digestive biscuits
Double cream (400 ml)
1 punnet of fresh raspberries 200 grams (or some thawed frozen ones)
1 small punnet of really good strawberries (if you can’t find good ones just add more rasps)
Caster sugar
White chocolate (ideally Green and Blacks)
Flaked almonds (approx 100 grams)

Finely slice strawberries and leave to macerate in a bowl with a dessert spoon of caster sugar mixed through.

Crush approx 10 digestive biscuits. Melt 50 grams of butter and add the digestive biscuits. Stir until biscuits are coated. Leave to cool.

Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan ensuring they do not burn (they burn easily so do not take your eye off them). Leave to cool.

Grate 100 grams of white chocolate.

Whisk cream with 1 dessert spoon of caster sugar until the cream forms soft peaks. Do not over whisk. Fold through raspberries (do not add any of the juice if there is any) and also fold through a 1/3 of the strawberries.

Find some nice sundae glasses or similar and layer up the ingredients as follows.

Layer of biscuit crumb (approx table-spoon), sprinkle of toasted almonds, teaspoon of grated chocolate, 2 tablespoons of cream and fruit mix, table-spoon of strawberries. Then layer again and top with cream mix and some flaked almonds.

I would recommend that these are made layered just before you serve so that the biscuit and almonds stay crunchy.

I topped mine with grated white chocolate…..not a good idea as it looked like Parmesan (tasted good though). Tee hee.

Raspberry shortcake

May 10, 2010

Raspberry shortcake

My sister and I popped into Sainsburys on Friday night to pick up bits and bobs to make pizza. On our way out they were giving out little strawberry shortcakes to promote strawberries which are in season. Never ones to say no to free food Fiona and I dug in. They had used a packet shortbread (Deans to be precise) some thick custard (Fiona thinks it was cream…) and a slice of strawberry. To our surprise it was really rather good.

So when we were working out what to make for Sunday lunch dessert I suggested we make our own strawberry shortcake. We went to the supermarket and there were no bloody strawberries!!!

Sods law!! Anyway after some debate about whether or not to “just buy a packet frozen lemon tart” (please NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) or not I managed to convince my sis that we could do the shortcake with raspberries instead.

Anywho neither of us had made shortbread before so we consulted Fiona’s selection of fabulous cook books and Sue Lawrence (excellent Scottish cook) came up trumps with a relatively simple recipe.

Fiona made the dough on Sunday morning before I had even woken up and pre running the Edinburgh 10 km race (well done Fee).

After we had cooked the shortbread we were sure we had stuffed it up but miraculously it turned out perfectly and tasted absolutely amazing!!

Here is the recipe (care of the lovely and talented Sue Lawrence)

For the shortbread:
225g /8oz butter (slightly salted), softened
110g/4oz caster sugar (golden caster if possible)
225g/8oz plain flour, sifted
150g/5oz cornflour, sifted


1. Make the shortbread: Place the butter and sugar in a mixer or food processor and cream until pale.
2. Once well amalgamated, add the flour and cornflour and blend briefly, just until thoroughly combined. Tip into a buttered Swiss-roll tin (23x33cm/9×13″) and, using floured hands, press down so it is level all over.
3. Prick all over (do this carefully, so that you do not disturb the level surface) then bake at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 50-60 minutes. What you are looking for is a uniform pale golden all over. Do not allow it to become golden brown.
4. Remove and dredge all over with caster sugar then cut into squares. Leave for 5 minutes or so then carefully decant onto a wire rack to cool.

******BTW we didn’t have any cornflour so we just added in a bit more plain flour AND ours was a wee bit browner than the recommended “pale golden” but still tasted fab AND we didn’t put any additional sugar on it – it really doesn’t need it as it’s super rich anyway.

Also when it comes out of the oven you will think that you’ve done something wrong as it is soft “and shortbread is supposed to be firm!!” but don’t worry it will be ok once it cools.

Anyway back to the recipe:

1 punnet of raspberries
approx 200 ml tub of double cream (not the thickened cream)
Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Icing sugar for decoration

Add a few drops of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of caster sugar to the cream. Whip cream until it forms soft peaks.

I cut the shortbread into approx 4-5 cm squares and put one on the base, a dollop of cream and a handful of raspberries on top then I placed another square on top. Then dusted it with a little icing sugar.

Super easy, rather impressive and will definitely cook this again!!!

The good things about this is you can cook the shortbread in advance and have it in an airtight tin ready to use when needed.