Desserts

Chocolate Pecan Fondants

Chocolate Pecan Fondant Top Page Pic

It was Mothers Day a couple of weeks ago…
After looking through a few of my baking books for inspiration and narrowing down some ideas my mom finally decided on these Chocolate Pecan Fondants, so that is what I went with.

You can’t really go wrong with chocolate and we both love melt-in-the-middle puddings!

50g Butter, plus extra for greasing
Cocoa Powder, for dusting
150g Chocolate (50% cocoa solids is fine), chopped into chunks
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Plain Flour
20g Pecan Nuts, toasted and chopped very finely
1 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

Lindt ChocolateChopped Chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7. Butter 3 individual pudding basins (about 200ml capacity), then dust generously with cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water or in a microwave, stirring until smooth. Gradually stir in both the eggs, the flour, chopped pecan nuts, and then the sugar beat together gently until everything is combined, but still runny.
    Chocolate Pecan Fondant Ingredients Chocolate Pecan Fondant Chocolate Mixture
  3. Divide the mixture equally between the pudding moulds. These can now be chilled for up to a day ahead.
    Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm on top but still gooey in the middle. (or 16-18 mins if chilled).
    Filled Fondant Moulds
  4. Turn out the puddings onto small plates and serve with ice cream or double cream.
    Fondants just out of the oven

     These were absolutely delicious, loved the added crunch of the chopped pecans inside the pudding. I think I might even cook them a little less next time so that they are extra gooey inside.

    Chocolate Pecan Fondant Centre

Desserts

Molten Chocolate Puddings

Chocolate Puddings just out of the oven

So I was in need of a chocolate fix, hmm what to bake… I love melt in the middle chocolate puddings, I mean who doesn’t and I hadn’t had one for ages so I decide that I would do that for dessert tonight..

I thought that I would do another recipe from the Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake Book. The very last recipe in the book were the Hot Choc Pots… Time to make dessert!!

Makes 4
100g Dark Chocolate, broken up
100g Milk Chocolate, broken up
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
80g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, at room temperature
35g Plain Flour, sifted
1 tablespoon Icing Sugar, for sprinkling
12 Raspberries, 3 for each ramekin (This wasn’t in the book, so an optional extra if you choose)

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 and put and baking tray into the oven to heat. Cut out 4 discs of baking parchment (fold a piece of baking paper into four, draw around you ramekin then cut out) lightly grease with oil or butter and press each circle into the bottom of each ramekin.

Lined Ramekins

2. Put the dark and milk chocolate into a heatproof bowl and gently melt over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave. Then leave to cool.

3. Put the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs into a mixing bowl, then sift in the flour and whisk using a hand held mixer on low to medium speed for a couple of minutes until you have a very smooth and thick mixture. Scrape the melted chocolate into the bowl and whisk on low speed for one minute until everything is combine and you can’t see any streaks.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins so that they are filled half way, dot in the raspberries (I only used 2 in each pudding as they were huge) and top with some more of the chocolate mixture so that each ramekin is evenly filled. Wearing oven gloves, set the ramekins on the hot baking tray in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Raspberries in the Chocolate Puddings
Chocolate Puddings

To test if they are done, take them out of the oven very carefully and set them on the side. Gently press the middle of one of the puds, if it feels just firm, then the centre will be gooey.

If you want a more spongey pudding without a gooey centre then bake for another 3 minutes or until the pudding feels firm when pressed.

I baked mine for a total of 14 minutes and I still had a very gooey centre.

5. With oven gloves on, carefully upturn a ramekin on each serving plate. Lift off the ramekin and peel off the paper discs, sprinkle with icing sugar, and a few extra raspberries on the side of the plate, then serve.

Upturn Ramekins on Plates
Upturned ready for serving
Serve with cream or ice cream whatever takes your fancy.

I don’t have a picture of them after getting them out of the ramekin as it was quite messy, they did not come out in one piece, I was a bit disappointed but it was just a spur of the moment thing at least it wasn’t for a special occasion.

Even though it didn’t come out as I had planned they were so delicious, the warm molten chocolate with the raspberries in the middle, even my dad love it he wanted more, so the three of us shared the four pudding.

I hope that you have better luck than me getting them out.
Hopefully when I make these again I can get them out in one piece (fingers crossed).

Desserts

Quick Summer Desserts

The weather is hot, your probably having salads for tea as it is too hot to cook, do the same with your desserts!
You want something quick with minimal effort to enjoy this summer. Use store brought ingredients and stay away from that oven in this heat, but still have an indulgent dessert.

I have been doing a lot of desserts using fresh seasonal fruit. Went ‘strawberry and raspberry picking’.

RaspberriesStrawberries

Raspberries ready for freezing

If you find that you have any leftover raspberries you can freeze them, ready to use when you are baking. I did freeze some strawberry slices but they don’t defrost that well so I will just be using them when baking.

 

Strawberry & Raspberry Flan

One of this things that we like to make when we have lots of strawberries is a fruit sponge flan. I love strawberry flan, to me it is the taste of summer – me and my brother have always made it with my mom ever since we were little.

Serves 6-8 (depending on how big you want your slice) 

1 Large Flan Case – store bought
1 Sachet of Quick Jel – I got ‘Greens Red Quick Jel’
Strawberries – enough to fill you flan
Raspberries

Put your flan case on to a plate, wash and cut your strawberries, sliced or halved depending on there size. Place these on the sponge flan case along with the raspberries – I’m always fussing around making it look pretty.

Follow the instructions on the back of your Quick Jel, let it cool before pour it over your fruit as it will make your sponge go soggy – no one likes a soggy bottom. Then place in the fridge, it takes about 20-minutes for the Jel to set.

Serve with double or spray cream.

Note: You don’t have to stick to these fruits you can choose your own.

Strawberry, Raspberry & Blueberry Flan
Strawberry & Raspberry Flan I also dotted some defrosted Blueberries to add a contrasting colour… Pretty!

Strawberry & Raspberry Meringue Nests

When I did this for the first time, me, my mom and dad we were like ‘the three little bears’, for dad there was enough cream, my mom wanted a bit more and for me (the fussy one) there was too much… It was still very delicious with the fresh berries!
So it is personal choice it you like lots of cream pile it on, but if you are like me then just a bit.

Serving 3Strawberry and Raspberry Meringue Nests
6 Meringue Nests, 2 each – Store bought
Strawberries
Raspberries
250ml Double Cream
Raspberry Sauce, to drizzle – Store bought

“Add as much or little as you like it is personal taste,
I pile the raspberries up because I love them”.

Place two meringue nests on each plate. Wash and dry the strawberries and raspberries, slice, halve or diced the strawberries depending on their size.

Pour the double cream into a small glass bowl and using a hand held mixer beat the cream until soft-firm peaks form. Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with a open star nozzle then pipe onto the meringue nests – pipe the amount that you desire. If you don’t want to be fussy like me you can use a teaspoon to put the cream on the meringues.

Now decorate your cream topped meringues with the raspberries and strawberry slices and placing some of the larger pieces on the side of the plate as a garnish, just before serving drizzle over the raspberry sauce.

Strawberry and Raspberry Meringue Nests2

Fruity Meringue Nests with Pistachio

I really did enjoy this dessert the sweet meringue, double cream and with all the fruit, balancing the slightly unhealthy with the healthy. The crushed pistachios sprinkled on top just finished it off.

Serving 3Fruity Meringues sprinkled with Pistachio
6 Meringue Nests, 2 each – Store bought
Raspberries
Strawberries
2-3 Apricots
2-3 Peaches – I had the doughnut type
Handful of shelled Pistachios
250ml Double Cream
Raspberry Sauce, for drizzling – Store bought

“Add as much or little as you like it is personal taste,
I pile the raspberries up because I love them”.

Place two meringue nests on each plate. Prepare the fruit and cut them up, slice or halve the strawberries depending on their size, de-stone the apricots and peaches – dice the apricot to sprinkle on top of the nests and slice the peaches to serve on the side.

Put the pistachios into a food bag and smash with a rolling pin (take out any of your aggression), so there are still some large pieces – set aside.

In a small glass bowl pour the double cream in and using a hand held mixer beat the cream until you have soft-firm peaks forming. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a open star nozzle and pipe swirls onto the meringue nests – pipe the desired amount.
If you don’t want to fuss around to much then you can use a teaspoon to put the cream on the meringue nests.

Next decorate with the chopped fruit, placing the larger pieces such as the peaches on the side of the plate as a garnish.

Just before serving drizzle over some raspberry sauce and sprinkle over the pistachio pieces.

Fruity Meringue Nests with Pistachio

Blackberry, Apricot & Kiwi Meringue Nest

Serving 3
6 Meringue Nests, 2 each – Store boughtBlackberry, Apricot and Kiwi meringue Nests
2 Kiwi Fruits
A handful of Blackberries, plus extra for garnish & decoration
2-3 Apricots
250ml Double Cream
Raspberry Sauce

Place two meringue nests on each plate. Peel the kiwi fruit and slice them up, leaving 6 of the slices whole to serve on the side of the plate as a garnish, then dice the rest up. De-stone the apricots then dice them, then set aside.

Pour the cream into a small glass bowl and beat it using a hand held mixer until you have soft-firm peaks. Wash and dry the blackberries; reserve a third of them and set aside. Then cut the rest of them up in halve or quartered depending on the size, add to the cream and stir to combine.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of the blackberry swirled cream onto the meringue nests, decorate with the diced kiwi and apricot pieces and cut some of the reserved blackberries in half for decoration.

Put 2 kiwi slices on each plate, a few whole blackberries and any diced apricot and kiwi that you have used to decorate the meringue nests on the side as a garnish.

Just before serving drizzle over some raspberry sauce if desired.

Kiwi, Blackberry and Apricot meringue nests

 

I hope that you enjoy these, you can create some of the things that I have made or you can get creative and do something of your own. I would love to see pictures of the dessert you have made so feel free to email or tweet me.

Desserts

Lemon Sorbet with Strawberries

Lemon Sorbet with Strawberries x3
For the past couple of weeks we have had a summer “heatwave” (well its what the UK call a heatwave – for all the other countries it is most likely the norm). The loud thunderstorms in the early hours of the morning – haven’t had ones like that for years!
I actually found the rain and thunder quite soothing to be honest, it was nice listening to it. Both of my dogs slept through it, they were to busy snoring.

So due to the “heatwave” I have not wanted to go near the oven with it being so stupidly hot, didn’t really want to add any extra heat, so I have been doing more chilled desserts using all the fresh fruit that is in season especially… Raspberries YUMMY!

Sorbet and Strawberries

Some of the things that I have been using to create the desserts over the past couple of weeks are; strawberries, raspberries, apricots, meringue nests, double cream and ICE CREAM!! I will post some of the other things that I have made soon.

Super easy desserts that are nice and refreshing in the summer heat and that require hardly any work at all, like using store brought meringue nest for quickness, plus no need for the oven.

Tonight I decided to do something so quick it needed no effort at all ‘Lemon Sorbet with Strawberries’… can you guess what you need.

Lemon Sorbet & StrawberriesLemon Sorbert with Strawberries CollageEasy as 1, 2, 3

So I thought that this would be a nice refreshing dessert for my mom and dad, as he had been working out in the sun all day building a shed in the garden. I really wish that I had gotten a chance to take a picture of his face, as he screwed it up so much when he had some of the sorbet, it was so funny – So he won’t be wanting that again – I don’t think he likes sour things.

So dad had…
Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream & Strawberries

Dad's Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream & Strawberries
Dad’s Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream & Strawberries