Ice-cream hidden in a crispy choux pastry ball, covered in chocolate sauce. Can you think of anything better, seriously?
25g unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1.Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring butter, water and 1 pinch of salt to boil, stirring well until the butter is melted.
2. Pour the flour all at once in the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined and until it forms a ball. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
3. Whisk in the eggs, but one at a time until well combined.
4. Cover a large tray with baking paper. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a ziplock bag and cut off the corner.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Try not to open the oven until it’s cooked or your pastry may run rise as desired.
6. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, prick each profiterole once and return the to the oven for 15 minutes to dry out.
7. To prepare the sauce, break the chocolate into rough pieces and melt it in a pan. Pour the cream in and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and fully combined. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, a splash of cognac if you wish and mix well.
8. To assemble the profiteroles, halve each choux horizontally, fill with a ball of ice-cream. Place 3 on each plate, over some whipped cream and drizzle generously with chocolate sauce.
The same choux pastry recipe can be used for eclairs.
Kids absolutely love ice-cream sandwiches, and so do most grown up men! Why don’t you try this out next time to make a batch of cookies?
125g dark chocolate, melted
50g cocoa, sieved
1 cup flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g soft butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g Chocolate chips
1. Make chocolate cookies according the recipe instructions, but replace the macadamia nuts for chocolate chips and use a round mould to shape the dough before baking to ensure all cookies are identical.
2. Fill the round mould with Ice cream using a spatula to form a layer of the same size as the cookies. Place it between two cookies and return it back to the freezer!
I usually store them in individual freezing bags for up to a few weeks!
Poire belle Hélène is a French dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice and chocolate sauce. It was created around 1850 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 cups water
1 pinch salt
1 splash cognac (optional)
1. Bring some water to the simmer in a large saucepan, enough to cover the pears. Stir in the honey and cinnamon. In the meantime, peel off the pears but leave the stalks intact for decorative purposes. Place them upright in a deep pan and cook for 20-30 min or until tender. Let them cool down in the syrup.
2. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the chocolate pieces gently until the chocolate has melted. Mix in a pinch of salt and a splash of cognac if you wish!
3. Place 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream in each bowl.
4. Place the poached pear quarters on top or beside the ice cream and drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.
5. Garnish with Crème Chantilly.
A Chocolate Liegeois is the ultimate indulgence for any chocolate addict. Its the perfect combination of chocolate ice-cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream! It’s usually served in a tall glass and is a real classic in most French restaurants.
50ml Whipped cream
100g dark chocolate
1 pinch of salt
1 splash cognac (optional)
1. To prepare the sauce, break the chocolate into rough pieces and melt it in a pan. Pour the cream in and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and fully combined. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, a splash of cognac and mix well.
2. Scoop 2 scoops of chocolate ice-cream and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream in each glass.
3. Cover with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and drizzle a little more chocolate sauce on top!
You can also change the chocolate flavour for coffee, simply using coffee ice-cream and covering it with a shot of sweetened coffee!
A good quiche is an extremely simple and fast meal to make, but never fails to impress. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, for a picnic or even as party food!
Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)
1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander or parsley
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease and flour a round oven tray to make it non stick. Lay the pastry sheet, trim excess and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling as it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool and sprinkle over cooked pastry.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a mixing bowl. Stir in half the cheese, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour over bacon and leek, sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Let is rest for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad!
If you fancy of change, swap the bacon for salmon, and the leek for spinach, mushroom or asparagus.
This simplified version of the creme Crème brûlée is perfect for you if you don’t own a blow torch, a sieve or the right dishes for the bain-marie. It will still melt in your mouth with a little caramel crunch!
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
12 tsp brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Beat eggs yolks with sugar and stir in the vanilla extract. Whisk in the milk and the cream.
2. Place the mixture into individual dishes and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool off completely and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with brown sugar and place under the grill for a couple of minutes or until caramelized.
Serve warm or cold. Et voila! The more traditional recipe will follow shortly!
This is a simple and easy recipe for a delicious tiramisu, but you can tweak it to taste and up or down weight the coffee or alcohol flavour, replace the lemon with orange zest or vanilla with almonds. It looks quite fancy when prepared and served in individual round glasses but you could also prepare it in a larger dish and serve it in small plates.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp lemon zest
1tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of good quality coffee, sweetened
6 sponge fingers
110g dark chocolate, 10g for shavings and 100g for melting
20ml fresh cream
1. Use a small portion of the chocolate to make shavings and save on the side. Place the rest in a small pan with the fresh cream. Stir regularly until combined and melted.
2. Mix the mascarpone with the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract and half of the cognac.
3. Soak the sponge biscuits in sweetened coffee, just enough to cover it and add the rest of cognac.
4. Layer the mixtures into the serving dish/dishes, starting with a small portion of mascarpone on the bottom, followed by the sponge fingers, melted chocolate, more mascarpone, any leftover chocolate cream and chocolate shavings on top. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and serve with a strawberry on top.
It will go down a treat served with an Italian dessert drink, such as an amaretto on crushed ice or a small glass of lemoncello! . While really quick and easy to make, you may still prefer to prepare it the day before and save it in the fridge overnight.
Click here for a Valentine’s version of this dish!
I wanted to make a special cake for Tom’s 31st birthday, something a bit exciting but also personalized to his taste. I decided to go for a classic New York cheese cake which you can’t beat, but then topped it with caramel sauce & roasted macadamia nuts and also added an extra layer of chocolate and banana between the base and the filling. And as a final touch I decorated it with hard caramel swirls. However, if you don’t want to wait for the next birthday to try this recipe or if it all looks a bit too much to you, you can also use the base and filling sections of the recipe and skip the extra steps for a simple New York cheese cake!
Ingredients (6 slices)
45ml butter, melted
70g digestive biscuits, broken into crumbs
1tsp white sugar
1/2 banana, sliced (optional)
70g chocolate, melted (optional)
2x 250g philadelphia cheese, cut into medium pieces and left at room temperature for 1h
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg + 1 yolk
150 ml sour cream
1 cup of sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup whipped cream
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roasted in the oven for 7 minutes and roughly crushed
1. Start with the base. Pre-heat the oven at 180C. Melt the butter in a small pan, use a small amount to line the baking tray, stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar and mix until evenly moist. Add a bit of flour on the buttered baking tray to make it non stick, press the mixture flat into the bottom of the baking tray and cook for 10 minutes or until nicely golden. Let it cool down for a few minutes and add a layer of sliced banana and melted chocolate if you fancy it.
2. In the meantime, get started with the filling. Beat the cream cheese for about 2 minutes, until soft and creamy, gradually add the sugar, flour, pinch of salt and wisk for another 2 minutes scraping down the sides regularly. Add vanilla extracts, lemon zest, lemon juice and stir in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the sour cream and continue whisking until nice, smooth and airy.
3. Pour the mixture onto the base and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 110C and bake for another 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for 40 minutes.
4. For the topping, make sure you have all the ingredients ready as you will have to work fast. Be also careful not to burn yourself with the caramelized sugar as it’s much hotter than boiled water! Be also aware that you will need a large pan to do this as the hot mixture tends to foam considerably when the cream gets added in. Ok, so place the sugar in a large non stick pan on high heat. As the sugar begins to melt on the sides, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to boil, stir in the sugar. Once the butter has fully melted, take off the heat, wait for 5 seconds and add the cream to the pan and continue whisking until the foam reduces down and the mixture is nice and smooth. Let it cool down for 30 minutes or so.
5. Once the topping is cool and thick, pour it oven the cake and sprinkle the roasted macadamia nuts on top and refrigerate for a good hour to set.
If you’re tempted to try the caramel swirls, bring sugar to melt and drizzle the liquid using a spoon to draw the shape over a piece of baking paper. Let it cool for a minute until hard, pick it carefully with a knife, place in the refrigerator and put on the cake just before serving or it will melt.
I actually brought mine to the restaurant where we went to celebrate Tom’s birthday! Did you know that most restaurants would allow you to bring a birthday cake in for a small fee per head? But if you decide to bake one instead of buying it, the pressure is on to make something impressive!