Strawberry Shortbread

I think shortbread has to be my favourite biscuit, they are buttery and crumbly, a perfect combination. The strawberries provide a little extra sweetness and bite to these moorish morsels. Makes 12 fingers


1lb fresh strawberries

6 oz room temperature butter

3 oz sugar

6 oz all purpose flour

3 oz semolina/ pasta flour

Parchment paper

Baking sheet

9 inch square loose bottom pan, or equivalent

Pre heat oven to 170℉

Place the parchment on the baking sheet.


Wash and hull the strawberries.

Slice the strawberries 1/4 inch thick and lay them onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 1 hr 15 minutes.  Turn the strawberries over and bake for an additional 1hr 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, the smaller slices will be ready now, the larger slices may require an additional 30 minutes. The slices should not be completely dehydrated, they should still be a little tacky to the touch and soft. They will continue to cook in the shortbread dough.

Heat oven to 300℉

Dice the strawberries and set aside, there should be roughly 4 oz of strawberries now.

Combine the butter and sugar until creamed together, add in the flours, and beat until just incorporated.


Add in the strawberries and beat a little more. Work the dough with your hands until smooth.

Press the dough into pan, push it all the way to the edges, and make sure it’s an even thickness, about 1/2 inch, you can use a smaller rolling pin or smooth glass to do this.

Prick the dough all over with a fork and pop it on the centre of the lower oven rack, bake for 55 minutes.


Remove from the oven and slice into 12 even fingers and sprinkle with extra sugar.

When it’s cool remove from the pan and devour.

Here’s the printable recipe – Strawberry Shortbread


Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Despite the long title these are simple, and quick to make and most of all sumptuous!


Makes 12

4oz Unsalted butter – room temperature

4oz Sugar

1oz 80% cocoa chocolate

2 Large cold eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

3 1/2 oz All purpose flour

1/2 Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

100ml (1/3 cup) Heavy cream

Pre heat the over to 330 degrees F. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like the use the fluted brioche papers. I think  they provide some extra support to the batter in the oven.

Cut the butter into cubes and put in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add in the sugar and cream together on medium until fluffy.

Melt the chocolate, and mix into the butter and sugar.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and beat a little, measure the vanilla extract and mix in with the eggs. Add this to the main bowl and beat on high until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Sift these into the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low beat until the dry ingredients are only just combined.

Pour in the cream and mix until the batter has an even consistency.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners. Do not over fill the liners, a slightly heaped scoop is all you need. Ensure all the batter is out of the scoop and in the liner before moving on to the next cupcake.

Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the timer for 22 minutes, they may need a little longer, but keep a close eye on them

Leave to cool and then ice and decorate.


Someone’s Happy. Nom nom nom.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 Eggs

8oz sugar

Pinch of salt

12oz unsalted butter room temperature

3oz White chocolate

Bring a small pan with a little water to a boil over medium heat.

In the meantime, separate the eggs very carefully. You need to measure 1/4 pint of egg whites. There may be some left over, don’t be tempted to just chuck this in with the rest. Save them or discard them.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer.

Place the bowl on top of the pan of boiling water and stir with a whip until the egg whites are ot and the sugar has dissolved. Scrape down any sugar around the side of the bowl. Keep stirring if you don’t  the egg whites will settle and start to cook like an omlette.

Remove and attach to the mixer. Beat on slow until cold.

When the meringue is cold add the butter a little at a time.  Beating until it’s incorporated.

Increase the speed a little and beat until smooth.

Melt the chocolate and steadily pour in, beating until incorporated.

You’ll have enough to cover about 24 cupcakes. The remainder of the icing will keep in the fridge for a while.

Enjoy, f.

Last of Summer Peach Crumble

Peach 005Peach 001Peach 002 Peach 004Peach 006I was making some teeny peach pies for a friend who requested them, and I ended up with a bunch of leftover peachy bits, so I decided to make a scrummy yummy crumble for dessert that night.   I’m absolutely useless when it comes to making pie crust from scratch (I can hear Florrie rolling her eyes at me as she reads this lol) I have hot little hands and I nearly always overwork and over melt the butter and it comes out hard and tough. No bueno. So when I’m not in the mood for masochism, I usually go to my good friend the Pillsbury dough boy and get the pre-made stuff.

For my crumble:  To the peeled and diced peaches I added a tablespoon of white sugar, a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and the zest of half a lemon. I stirred it up well and left the fruit to sit and macerate a bit. The peaches were really ripe and fragrant I felt like they didn’t need any other seasoning. After a few minutes it had a lovely dark, thick juice.  For the mini pies I bought  a pack of pre-made graham cracker pie crusts for the mini tins. I took the graham crust out and used the regular pie crust.

In an oven proof glass dish I added the peach mixture, I crumbled up the graham from the pie tins and sprinkled it on top.  I pulled the leftover pie crust into bits and layered that with cut up bits of cold butter, then I popped it into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until the top was golden brown and the fruit was bubbly.

It was really delicious… I wish i had had some vanilla ice cream to eat with it. Oh well… next time.  -Marie

Sweet Potato ice Cream

A twist on a much loved Thanksgiving classic. Instead of sweet potato pie try sweet potato ice cream, this is a variation of a pumpkin ice cream I had a few years ago.

1½ Cups Whole milk

1 Cup dark brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

3 Egg yolks

1 heaped teaspoon of fresh ginger or ginger paste

½ Teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 Teaspoon black pepper

¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup sweet potato

¾ Cup heavy cream

¼ Cup Brandy

Roast the sweet potato in an oven preheated to about 400°.

Now set about making the custard

Pour the milk into a saucepan over a medium bring to just below the boil

Add the cinnamon stick, remove from the heat and  leave to steep for at least 20 minutes

In a pan bring about 1½ inches of water to a soft boil,

Measure out the sugar, reserve half for later  and…

…Put the other half of the sugar into a bowl. I used a stand mixer so that when it comes to pouring in the hot liquid, I have a free hand

Add the yolks to the sugar

Whisk until the mixture turns pale

and thick and forms ribbons

To this mixture add in the

The ground nutmeg, black pepper

The ginger paste and vanilla extract.

Give these  a good mix to incorporate them thoroughly

OK..So back to the milk

And the reserved sugar to the milk and bring back to just under the boil. Watch this very closely, if this boils it will curdle. You really only want to warm so that the sugar dissolves.

Pour through a stainer to remove the cinnamon stick and any lumps. With the mixer on low steadily pour into the egg mixture

Take the mixing bowl and put it on top of the pan containing the softly boiling water. Stir constantly, making sure you get the mixture at the bottom of the bowl.

You want the custard to thicken to the point that it coats the spatula. A good test to check the thickness is to draw your finger across the spatula, if the line holds it shape the custard is thick enough. If not cook it for a few minutes more and check again

Plunge the warm bowl of custard into a a sink filled with cold water, this will stop it from cooking more. Now cover with cling film, make sure it touches the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours, I usually leave mine overnight.

remove  the sweet potato from the oven and let it cool,

Scoop out the inside and blitz in a food processor

It is important to get this really smooth, the sweet potato give the ice cream a grainier texture than other ice creams, so you really don’t want lumps

Add in 1 tablespoon of cream and blitz again

When you have beautifully smooth creamy sweet potato measure out 1 cup

Remove the chilled custard from the fridge and stir in the sweet potato and cream.

Last, but not least pour in the brandy. It is tempting to over do it, but if you go crazy with the booze the ice cream wont freeze properly. Stir that in and churn in the ice cream maker or still freeze

Pour into a container and pop in the freezer until needed

Inject some some into dessert, I served the ice cream with toasted marshmallows  and pecan cookies

Halloween Fruit Tart

Halloween doesn’t have to be a candy explosion and it’s certainly NOT just for the young, it’s for the young at heart. This tart will get you in the festive mood just in a slightly more grown up manner.



This is a pate brisse dough


8oz Butter


8oz all purp flour


4 oz cake flour


1/2 tsp salt


1/4 tsp baking powder


3 fluid oz ice cold water


I coloured the dough as I was adding the water at the end but think it may be easier to soften the butter and add the food colouring to that and then re refrigerate it before you start.


Cut  the butter into little pieces Combine the dry ingredients; Rub butter in by hand or with a paddle on the lowest speed, leaving pieces of butter no bigger than the size of a pea.


Stir in the water little by little until the dough holds together. Scrape out of bowl and wrap in cling film and flatten into a disk. chill for 30 mins in fridge.


Halloween Tart


Roll out until 1/8 -1/4inch thick and big enough to hang over the edge of a 9 x 9 inch square tart pan,Press into the edges and leave the over hang, Prick bottom of pastry with a fork.


Halloween Tart


Chill for a further 30 mins and then bake blind for 20-25 mins leave to cool and trim edges with a sharp knife



1 pink milk


2 oz corn starch


4 oz granulated sugar


1 egg


4 yolks


2 oz butter


1/4 vanilla extract


orange food colouring


3 oz orange liqueur


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Dissolve cornstarch in 1/8 total amount of milk


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Combine remaining milk with sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil.


Halloween Tart


Whisk the whole egg and then yolks into cornstarch mixture.


Halloween Tart


Pour a third of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Return the remaining milk mixture to the boil


DSCF3181Halloween Tart


Whisk the egg mixture into the boiling milk, whisking all the time until the pastry cream thickens and returns to the boil. Whisk constantly for 1 min.


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Dissolve food colouring in orange liqueur


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Remove  the custard mixture from heat and beat in the butter, vanilla and orange liqueur.




Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film pressing it directly onto the surface. Chill immediately



These are the fruits I chose to use


Concord grapes




Blue berries


Green grapes


Kiwi fruits


You will also need some apricot preserve to glaze the fruits with.


Halloween Tart


Trim the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife. Remove the pastry cream from the fridge, you may need to whisk it slightly to loosen it up. Then pour the pastry cream into the pastry shell and pop back into the fridge while you prepare the fruit.


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A beautiful assortment of fruits that will set off the orange pastry cream and black pastry perfectly.


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Slice the kiwi and lay in a circle on the pastry cream, overlapping them as you go. Pat the kiwi slices to remove any excess moisture


Halloween Tart


Fill in the corners with a mixture of blueberries and concord grapes


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Add a circle of grapes inside the kiwi’s and finish with the blackberries and more blueberries in the centre.




Melt the apricot jam and brush over the fruit.




All that’s left to do is cut into the tart and watch the pastry cream ooze out.


























Latte Jelly

Jelly or Jello, it’s the jiggle that’s important!!


Latte Jelly

This is a glorious amalgamation of sweet crunch, smooth cream and jiggle with a kick.

50ml KaluhaLatte Jelly

200ml Freshly brewed coffee

2 Gelatin leaves or 4 grams of powdered gelatin

1 Tablespoon sugar

4 1/2 oz  mascarpone

75ml Baileys

3 small meringues*

Cocoa powder for dusting

Brew the coffee and enjoy the aromas. Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of water while you wait for the coffee. Put the sugar into the jug and pour in the coffee while it’s still warm, stir so that the sugar dissolves. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze. Add to the jug and whisk vigorously to dissolve the leaves. Strain into a clean jug and add the Kaluha mix to dispense evenly. Share equally between three Irish coffee glasses. Pop them into the fridge for a few hours until the jelly gives a gentle jiggle.

Latte Jelly

Combine the mascarpone and baileys, until they are a silky smooth union. Dollop into the three  waiting glasses on top of the set coffee jelly. Top each ‘latte’ with a meringue crown and dust liberally with cocoa powder.

Latte Jelly

*If you have the time make your own as I did or if time is of the essence store bought will suffice.