Category Archives for Pudding/Dessert

Recipe: Apple Flapjacks

Oats, apple, golden syrup and just the smallest hint of cinnamon. What’s not to love about these meltingly soft, sweet apple flapjacks?

The great thing about flapjacks is that despite the fact that they’re clearly a yummy little treat; sweet and gooey like a slice of cake, they’re made from oats and so they somehow seem really rather healthy. To be clear, I’m not saying that they are (in fact, to do so would be to completely ignore the artery clogging amounts of butter and the tooth rotting levels of sugar and syrup..) – but it’s certainly easier to maintain the illusion with flapjack than with a big slab of chocolate cake.

apple flapjack

Apple flapjacks are frankly even more virtuous. They’ve got one of your five a day in them for goodness sakes! They’re practically a health food. So what I’m saying is, in this month of over-indulgence, these flapjacks are a little something which you can enjoy without too much guilt.  It’s nearly Christmas after all!

apple flapjacks

Gotta taste for apples?  I’m here for you…

Salted caramel apple crumble

Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake

Spiced Apple Butter

Apple & Pear Turnovers

[yumprint-recipe id=’20’] Now, these are fab for breakfast, for pudding or just as a little something sweet with a nice cup of tea.  

Recipe: Pear & Apple Turnovers

Eat these still warm from the oven, jammy fruit, almost too hot, oozing from the cracks as you take a bite. A spoonful of cold clotted cream adds just the right contrast to the syrupy apple and a cup of tea completes the moment of pure bliss…

When I think about my favourite parts of the day, food nearly always plays a role.  Saturday breakfasts in bed – a perfectly cooked poached egg served with tea and a couple of hours of peace. Family suppers around the table, catching up on each others’ day over a bowl of something warming and restorative.  Even lunches at work; microwaved leftovers which often taste even better the next day, enjoyed with a few pages of a good book or a quick catch up with a friend.

apple turnovers

Even as a child, coming home after school was one of my favourite times of day – not just because it was good to have finished lessons but because I would come home to a cup of tea and a snack.  Sometimes rice cakes and Marmite, fig rolls, ginger cake or once in a while, apple turnovers.  

What a treat! What an indulgence! What little miracles these beautiful pillows of buttery puff and jammy apple were!  

Pear & Apple Turnovers

As a student, living away from home for the first time, I still remember the wonderful day when, shopping in Kwik Save for the usual basics of pasta, cardboard sliced white and tinned tuna, I discovered a pack of apple turnovers for the very reasonable price of 99p! It seemed almost inconceivable that such luxury could be possible for under £1…

Needless to say, this recipe beats the lot.  Homemade, eaten still warm from the oven with a mug of steaming tea and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, a dollop of cream, of either the iced or clotted variety.

Pear & Apple Turnovers

The recipe makes 6. I recommend starting with a double batch…

[yumprint-recipe id=’14’] If you’ve enjoyed this recipe then I’d be super duper pleased if you shared it with your chums!

Recipe: Spiced Apple Butter

Filling your entire home with the smell of apples and spice, every mouthful packs an autumnal punch. Enjoy the sheer alchemy as the apples, cider, cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar are transformed into a mass of molten, burnished heaven…

spiced apple butter

How many crumbles does it take to empty an apple tree?

If you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree in your garden – or to have access to someone else’s then this time of year is generally filled with crumbles, pies and apple cake. Not a bad way to console yourself at the end of summer but occasionally, dare I say it? One feels the need for a bit of a change… After all, there are only so many crumbles and pies you can eat in a day. Personally, I draw the line at one of each but then I’ve always been a bit of a stickler.  

spiced apple butter

The thing is, even a strict regime of a pie and crumble a day doesn’t even come close to diminishing the apple glut.  Don’t get me wrong, of the gluts you could suffer, apples are probably one of the best, but it’s a glut that still needs tackling, and tackle it I will!

A sticky solution to a sticky problem

This spiced apple butter is rather wonderful.  Firstly, there’s no need to peel the apples – a job I find quite therapeutic for the first apple or two but by number five or six, I must say it’s pretty tiresome. 

spiced apple butter

Secondly, it’s a multi-purpose apple butter.  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and biccies but can also be used in sweet treats such as apple tarts or turnovers.

Wait! Before you gasp in awe and reach for your preserving pan, there’s more! This sweet, sticky, spiced apple butter comes in jars and you all know the rule about food that comes in jars right?  

“If it comes in a jar then it can be given as a gift.”  

I’m sure that’s a Shakespeare quote … or perhaps it was Martha Stewart…

spiced apple butter

Anyhoo, I’ve heard a rumour that Christmas is just around the corner so it seems that this glut of apples, plus a recipe for them that can be put in jars and given as gifts might be rather handy?

[yumprint-recipe id=’13’] After more Gourmet Gifts?

I’ve got you covered buddy – check out the gourmet gift section of the blog 🙂

Recipe: Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake

A crumbly biscuit base, cushions of soft cinnamon cream topped with a gleaming crown of autumn fruits…

I am SO happy about this recipe.  It’s perfect if you love the autumnal combo of apple and blackberry but you’re looking for a change from the usual crumbles and pies.

Cheesecake Nostalgia 

Cheesecake is one of those desserts that’s an ultimate treat for me. Growing up, we rarely had pudding but occasionally, Mum would thrill us by disappearing into the kitchen as we cleared our plates and returning with a gleam in her eye and a cheesecake in her arms.  Heaven! 

apple & blackberry cheesecake

One day, she and I came up with a cheats version which delighted us with its simplicity.  Weekend lunches often consisted of cheese and biscuits and one magical day, it occurred to one of us (I forget who) that by spreading some cream cheese on to a digestive biscuit and then topping with strawberry jam, we could create an almost perfect (in our eyes) cheesecake. We weren’t put off by a lack of cream cheese either and just replaced it with a slice of Cheddar. It was just as good – honestly!

apple & blackberry cheesecake

Memories of Crumble

Crumbles were another family favourite, whether it be apple, blackberry, rhubarb or whatever else could be gleaned from the garden.  Now, crumbles remind me of those autumnal weekend afternoons.  Returning from a woodland walk  to look for Mum’s favourite mushrooms (Shaggy Caps), she would fry them up and serve them all gleaming with butter, on toast. Then we would settle down cosily to our own pursuits, each with a bowl of steaming hot crumble, drizzled with chilled single cream. Fire on, Dad would be watching the rugby, Mum and I playing cards and my younger brother rushing around with a towel strapped to his back and a plastic ice cream carton on his head, pretending to be Superted.

apple & blackberry cheesecake

This recipe for Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake is a combination of both of those childhood favourites and each mouthful tastes of simple comfort, happiness and home.

[yumprint-recipe id=’11’] Know any cheesecake lovers? Then be a chum and share this with them!

Gluten Free Recipe: Pear & Almond Cake

Subtle, sweet pear and unctuous almond make this gluten free cake moist, luxurious and incredibly more-ish (Don’t say you weren’t warned…)

It’s a funny thing, having a food blog.  People assume that you’re suddenly an expert in all things cooking and baking.  

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

Pssst! I’ve got a little secret for you… I’m really not! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and to tinker in the kitchen, trying this and that. Generally, I’m pretty happy with the results…when I’m cooking. Baking is, and always has been, a bit hit and miss.  Sure, I can follow a recipe, but the whole science behind it is a bit hazy.

For further proof of this, take a look at one of my first ever posts last year!

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

‘Come on Colette, what do I want, your autobiography?? Make with the recipe already!’

Wow – a bit grumpy today?  I guess you definitely need some of this cake then.  The point that I was TRYING to make, before you got all impatient, was that making this gluten free cake barely qualifies as baking. It’s really just dumping a load of ingredients in a bowl, mixing them up and shoving them in the oven.

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

The results are a bit of a miracle.  I claim no (or very little) responsibility.  The recipe is inspired by one of Nigella’s (Apple & Almond Cake) and is unbelievably moist and buttery (especially considering the complete lack of butter in the recipe…)

No raising agents make it a dense cake, but it doesn’t feel too heavy, and a big slice can be gobbled down with no effort at all (quite un-befitting of the delicate tea service you see pictured above I’m afraid).

[yumprint-recipe id=’9′] Enjoyed this recipe? Then I’d be ever so pleased if you’d share it with your chums! 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Soothing, warm and creamy, this liquid heaven in a cup contains the classic combo of rich white chocolate, & sweet, tangy raspberries. Add the delicate floral undertone of lavender and you’ve got something pretty special…

(or is that pretty AND special??)

I love food.

really love food that tastes amazing.

But I really, REALLY love food that tastes amazing AND looks beautiful.

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

This recipe sort of fits the bill. It hits two out of three of my criteria.  It tastes unbelievable, it looks so pretty that you almost can’t bring yourself to touch it (almost…) but, it’s not technically, well, ‘food’.

So yeah, you got me – it’s a drink.  I guess the title of the post kind of gave me away. The good news is, chocolate in its liquid form actually contains no calories!* Hurrah!

(*this is what’s known as literary licence. go with it…)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

For Emergencies ONLY

Now, I have to be quite strict about this. A warm, luxurious mug of Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate is not to be made (or drunk) lightly.  It is the absolute height of indulgence and should be saved for occasions fitting of such extreme deliciousness.  I’m talking, being dumped, getting fired or accidentally shrinking your favourite outfit here.  This isn’t for minor disasters like nail breaks or unwelcome pimples.

For further guidance on the correct foods to eat when life throws you a curve ball then please read my ‘Food Hugs’ series 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t want to seem over-dramatic here, but (in the words of Jack Bauer) hundreds of thousands of people may d…desperately need this kind of solace in a mug. Don’t you think it’s your duty to help me get the message out there?

Go on, do your good turn for the day and tweet it out!

Right, now I think you’ve earned the actual recipe for this masterpiece in a mug, this classic in a cup, this treasure in a tankard…(actually, you’d have to be a pretty hardcore chocoholic to drink a whole tankard of it. It’s pretty rich…still, challenge extended, I guess?)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

(Makes 1 oh-so-pretty-oh-so-tasty mugful – not to be confused with ‘muggle’)

[yumprint-recipe id=’5′] 

Very British Frozen Strawberries & Cream

I meant to post this recipe over the Wimbledon fortnight – it just seems so fitting as it contains all the great British ingredients that we associate with those two weeks of guaranteed sunshine (yeah right..) and great British tennis (yeah ri…you get the idea…)

British Frozen Strawberries & Cream

Anyhoo, I didn’t get around to it, and I’m certainly not waiting a whole year for the next one so here we are.  I think it’s still valid, because while it certainly does have a Wimbledon feel to it, this recipe also represents British summer in general.  I mean if you had to name the food and drinks that sum up a British summer for you, wouldn’t strawberries, cream and Pimms be on the list? If you think about it, even the fact that it’s frozen in summer is kinda British too!

Frozen Strawberries & Cream

This is one of those great recipes that frankly looks and tastes a lot more impressive than it is to make.  Serve it to your chums when they come round for dinner and they’ll think you’re ever so clever! I mean, making your own ice cream for goodness sake? Not just your normal, ‘scoop it out’ sort either. Oh no – this is a fancy ice cream loaf that you can slice and present all prettily!

Frozen Strawberries & Cream

Obviously you’re not bothered about all that nonsense though (yeah ri… ok I’ll stop now), you just want to know if it tastes good! Well I’ll tell you. Yes – it tastes amazing! Of course it does.  Didn’t you read what was in it?? Strawberries? Cream (double, no less), Pimms?? I haven’t even mentioned the meringues and shortbread yet have I? Sold? Then read on dear chums….

Strawberries & Cream with a twist – sweet strawberries, a hit (caress?) of Pimms and plentiful nuggets of shortbread, covered in a white blanket of cream & meringue and then frozen to creamy perfection…

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′] This recipe was inspired by Nigella’s Meringue Gelato Cake with Chocolate Sauce, featured in her book, Nigelissima.  This is a seriously tasty pud!

Frozen Strawberries & Cream

Other yummy ice cream desserts

White Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae with Summer Berries & Fudge Sauce – Lavender & Lovage

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie – smitten kitchen

Strawberry & Vanilla Arctic Roll – The Crazy Kitchen

If you’ve enjoyed this post then please do let me know in the comments and share it with your friends. It’ll make a poor struggling food blogger very happy!

Recipe: White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

Warning: This page contains cookies

A little techy pun for you there (Mum, if you’re reading this, I’ll explain it later!)

I’ve always been a fan of cookies.  I remember being incredibly jealous when I was about 13 and went to a friend’s birthday party. Rather than having the normal birthday cake she had an enormous birthday cookie. Needless to say, my mind was blown. (In fact, I think I’ve just had an idea for another post….)

Anyway, over 20 years later, I have only recently discovered just how easy cookies are to make, and with frankly tastier results than the shop bought versions (which, don’t get me wrong, are pretty darn good too!).

This is actually my third batch of blog cookies.  After realising how easy they are, I became rather obsessed with finding new and wonderful combos and so my Choc Chip & Marshmallow and Lemon Meringue Cookies were born.  This time however, I’ve stuck with the classic combo of white chocolate and raspberry.  These are always my first choice if hubby brings home a selection from the supermarket and now I can have them a mere 20 minutes after a craving hits!

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies


Classic cookie combo for a reason

I like my cookies to have a bit of crunch to them but with a soft, gooey centre.  These fit the bill perfectly.  As you take a bite, you get  the first satisfying crunch of biscuit and then you hit the soft centre, with the occasional hit of plumptious, tangy raspberry and smooth, sweet white chocolate.  You’ll never look back.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

Makes about 18

You will need:

150 g unsalted butter (room temperature)

80 g golden caster sugar

80 g granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

100 g white chocolate chips

50 g raspberries

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C (Fan)
  • Line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof paper
  • Mix together the sugar and butter until smooth
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix again
  • Now sieve in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix again
  • Finally, add the chocolate chips and raspberries and mix again (don’t worry about breaking up the raspberries – this is what you want!)
  • If you have one, use a small ice cream scoop (if not, a couple of teaspoons will do) to place small mounds of the dough on your baking trays (about the size of a large walnut)
  • Bake for 12 minutes
  • Leave to cool slightly and then move to a wire rack to cool completely


Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

This recipe is dedicated to my friends, Nick and Elise, whose new house we visited last weekend, and who, very kindly, allowed me to go and fill a bag with apples from the two trees in their garden.

could I suppose have given them the crumble I made by way of thanks, but, umm, well, I thought it was important to test it first.  Maybe I’ll give them the next one…

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble


Don’t fancy crumble? Why not try my Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake?

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

Serves 4

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C

You will need:

For the salted caramel sauceSalted Caramel Apple Crumble

3 tbs golden syrup

3 tbs demarera sugar

1/2 oz unsalted butter

2 tbs single cream

1/4 tsb vanilla extract

1 tps sea salt flakes

  • Add all the ingredients, but just half the salt into a small pan on a low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring continuously. Simmer gently for 3 minutes and then take off the heat and put aside to cool
  • Once cool, add the remaining salt flakes

For the apples

1 lb apples (weight after peeling and chopping)

3 1/2 oz unsalted butter

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan on a low heat and then add the apples and cinnamon and stir gently for 3 mins or until apples are just starting to soften
  • Add the cooled sauce and continue to stir for a further 3 minutes
  • Add the mixture to an oven proof dish

For the topping

4 oz wholemeal flour

2 oz unsalted butter

5 tbs demarera sugar

3 tbs chopped walnuts

  •  Add the butter to the flour and work with your fingertips until you have a crumbly, breadcrumb like consistency
  • Stir in the 4 tbs of the sugar and nuts
  • Lay out the mix on a baking tray and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until turning brown
  • Now spread the mix out over the top of the apples and sprinkle over the final tbs of sugar
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Lemon Meringue Cookies

If you want the sweet, zingy freshness of a lemon meringue pie, but in the form of a gooey cookie, then these little babies are for you.  You can whizz them up in 15 minutes and devour at your leisure (probably less than 15 minutes…)

I made a batch to take as a gift to some friends who have just moved house.  I’m fairly sure they won’t make it that far.  Sorry guys…

Lemon Meringue CookiesLemon Meringue Cookies

Makes about 18

You will need:

150g butter (room temperature)

80g golden castor sugar

80g granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

The zest from a whole lemon

The juice from half a lemon

4 tbs lemon curd

4 mini meringue nests

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C & line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Mix the butter and sugar together until smooth
  • Add the vanilla extract, egg, lemon zest and juice and half of the lemon curd. Mix again.
  • Now sieve in the flour, salt and bicarb and mix again.
  • Now crumble the meringue nest in so you still have some fairly big chunks (you don’t want it to all turn to powder!) and fold gently into the mix along with the remaining lemon curd
  • If you have a small ice cream scoop, then I highly recommend using this to form your cookies – if not, a couple of teaspoons will do the trick.  Just place the cookie dough in small balls (about the size of a large walnut) on to your trays and then bake for 10 -12 minutes
  • Take them out of the oven and leave on the trays to cool for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely (if you can resist them for that long!)