All posts filed under: Dessert

Sticky Lemon Pudding, 30p

I couldn’t decide between making myself a sticky toffee pudding, classic in its stodgy saccharine comfort blanket, or a lemon drizzle, zesty and bright with its promise of sunny afternoons…so I took to the trusty barometer of reason, Twitter, to ask for help. The poll came back as a 52/48 split, and we all know how contentious those are, so in order to try to satisfy both sides of the pudding referendum, I mashed the two options together. The sticky warm component structure of toffee pudding, with the flavour profile of a rich lemon drizzle cake. I wasn’t sure it would work (but was willing to give it as many goes as was necessary for the name of, uh, research), but to my delight, it came out perfectly first time. [I made mine in a 135mm wide x 55mm deep x 165mm long mess tin, as after six cookbooks and eight years my solitary loaf tin has finally given up on me, and the mess tin holds a third less than a standard loaf tin …

Tinned Pear Cake, 36p [Tin Can Cook]

This soft, sweet, rich and heavy cake was written for Tin Can Cook, as I sat surveying tins of fruit and wondering how to plump up my pudding chapter. My eyes roved greedily over the tinned peaches, pears and cherries, looking for inspiration, and there it was. Fat, fulsome pears swimming sodden in their own slippery, succulent syrup – what a treat! I could barely wait as I sat typing up the recipe, my home rich with the scent of freshly baked goods, impatiently picking at the slice I promised myself as a reward for committing it to paper. I love this, and it’s all the better for using tinned pears; I hope you love it too. If you do happen to have ripe pears needing using up, first quarter them and carefully scoop out the seeds with the point of a small sharp knife. Cut away the very tip of the stalk and the woody star shape at the base, taking care to remove as little of the flesh as possible in the process. …

Cherry & White Chocolate Bake, 21p

I made this adaptation of my original – and very popular – Peach Traybake from A Girl Called Jack, last weekend for Mrs J’s local cycling club. She reported back that it had all vanished within minutes; the most popular of the three cakes at the tea stop by far. I was very chuffed – although I had also made the other two as well! Recipes for those to follow later – for now, please enjoy this utter delight. I used defrosted frozen cherries as they come ready pitted and are cheaper than fresh ones (I long for the careless frivolity of being able to spend both time and money hurling fresh cherries into cakes!) but tinned cherries and glace cherries work just as well. I’ll also be posting a vegan edition later down the line using applesauce in place of the eggs; I just want to test it first as this is a particularly moist cake so I’ve a feeling it won’t be a straight simple swap and that the other ingredients may need …

Peanut Butter Ice Cream, 43p

Caster sugar is generally more expensive than standard granulated sugar (currently £1.19 for 1kg compared to 69p for granulated at the supermarket) – but a few years ago I worked out that I could make my own substitute for it. All you need is a small powerful blender, and a bag of regular sugar, and you can blitz it up to a finely ground sugar suitable for making ice creams and floaty-light cakes with. Admittedly the blender is an initial investment, but I use mine every day for making soups from scrappy leftovers, hummus from cans of chickpeas, light and creamy batters for pancakes and yorkshire puddings – so it’s well worth digging into your pocket for in the long term, if you can. This recipe is from A Year In 120 Recipes, my 2014 book of seasonal, thrifty recipes, available here. Serves 6 from 43p each. Prices from Tesco, correct at time of writing. This recipe is not sponsored, however I make make a small fee if you click a link and make a …

Lemon-Drop Tuppence Cookies, 2p

My son, who is nine years old, absolutely adores lemon curd, and we often have half a jar of it knocking around the house. I had had a particularly awful few days with my badly-wired head and poor mental health; an adrenaline crash from coming back off my Veganish book tour, plus a piece of horrible news that sent me into a spiral. I won’t go into it, but it’s been a grim few days round here. So I spent a couple of piteous days eating my way through all of the leftover Christmas junk in the house; four mince pies in one sitting, all of the selection box chocolate I had hidden on top of the fridge, five bags of crisps, a whole packet of grissini – and still craved a swift sugar hit at the end of the day. I know it isn’t sensible, but sometimes you just have to give in to the gremlin and start again tomorrow. Failing to turn up any more crunchy junk no matter how hard I looked, …

Courgette Chocolate Cake, 16p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Courgettes in cake came into fashion a few years ago, but I only really bothered with them when I had a glut of the green blighters one autumn. Desperate to get rid of them, I made them into wholesome soups, pestos, pasta sauces and smuggled a few into this big chocolate cake. The courgettes are virtually indetectable – a novel way of smuggling vegetables into your children or fussier members of your household – but the moisture gives a pleasurable density and a little heft to an otherwise light snack. Eat your greens, go on! Serves 6 rather generously at 16p each, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 2 courgettes, 40p (£1.60/1kg courgettes, Sainsburys Basics) 50g dark chocolate or 25g cocoa powder, 21p (84p/100g, Sainsburys own cocoa powder) zest and juice of 1 lime or 1 tbsp bottled lime or lemon juice, …

Pinwheel Biscuits, 9p each [A Year In 120 Recipes]

A few years ago, the Guardian asked me to write a recipe feature on a Christmas dinner inspired by Finnish traditions. I was a new food writer, and a little green around the edges, and I attempted it with gusto. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most authentic or brilliant of my recipe collections, and if I’d been asked again today I would have gently pointed them in the direction of a Finnish food writer, instead of trying to do it myself. However, I did learn to make these adorable pinwheel biscuits in the process, and although the liver and sultana casserole effort made headlines for all the wrong reasons, this recipe has stayed in my Christmas favourites. Makes 10, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 100g sultanas or prunes or 50g of each, 20p (99p/500g) 2 tablespoons marmalade or honey, …

Carrot Cake Rice Pudding, 33p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I make my rice puddings with long-grain rice as I don’t often have pudding rice in the house, but you can make it with either. This recipe came about from a pile of carrots that needed using up (even with a rabbit in the house!) and ever more inventive ways to do so … If you’re a carrot cake fan, you can add a handful of sultanas as well, and some chopped nuts to the top. Serves 4, from 33p each. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 2 large carrots, 6p (approx 300g), (20p/kg) 410g evaporated milk, or thereabouts, 64p (64p/410g) 500ml whole milk, 25p (49p/litre) 2 tablespoons sugar, 3p (£1.19/kg) 120g long-grain rice, 5p (45p/kg) a few pinches of grated nutmeg, 1p (84p/42g) 25g butter or equivalent, 15p (£1.45/250g) 2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup, 12p (£1.24/425g) First preheat your …

Four Ingredient Christmas Cake, 16p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Christmas for me is a disparate and disorganised affair – zipping between various peoples houses, delivering a Small Boy to all the relatives that want to pinch his cheeks and ruffle his hair, like an exasperated sugar-high parcel. Popping in on parents and grandparents, gathering waifs and strays at mine for my almost-annual ‘Make Christmas A Bit Less Shit’ gathering, and in all of that hullaballoo, well, I forgot to make a cake this year. I think I’m the only person that likes it, anyway. So this time last year, I dug out some old recipes of mine, from days yonder when buying three kinds of nuts and obscure dried fruits was de rigeur, and gawped at the sheer length of the ingredient lists. I set myself a challenge to make a Christmas-ish cake with fewer than nine ingredients. That was pretty easy, so I tried for eight. You can see where this is going! I ended up here; to be honest, the five ingredient cake was my favourite, but I can’t resist the simplicity …

Ginger and Chestnut Pudding, 64p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

My household is going to be very busy over Christmas this year – with various family and extended family members coming to stay, and dozens more popping in over the season, which I am hugely looking forward to, because feeding people is one of the things I love to do the most. But Christmas Pudding is a divisive dessert; and when I asked my guests how they feel about it, reactions ranged from mildly unenthusiastic, to downright disgust. ‘You’ve never had my Christmas pudding’, I attempted to say, but nobody wanted to hear it. It was Stir-Up Sunday, and I was puddingless. And as much as I fancy my chances at eating an entire basin of dense, treacley pudding myself, it’s probably not the best idea. So I took my standard, trusty Christmas pudding recipe, and I tweaked it and fiddled with it until I ended up with this. Mrs J is allergic to almonds, so I used chestnuts instead. I didn’t want the heady boozy tang of the usual brandy, so I replaced it …

Mulled Rich Fruit Tea, 31p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

I have tried many times to recreate a decent mulled ‘wine’ that is alcohol-free – because despite what legend may otherwise tell you, boiling alcohol doesn’t eliminate it completely, it just reduces it – and by how much is so comprehensively variable that I dare not even try to tackle it. Mulling alcohol-free red wine would seem like the obvious choice, but I’m yet to find one that stands up to the challenge. If you know of a good, jammy Shiraz in the alcohol-free section, do let me know! Until then, this experiment with my slow cooker has proved to be the favourite; the deep smoke from the slow-brewed Lapsang and the dark, juicy fruit flavours combine with the traditional mulling spices to make a hot, rich, grown-up drink, without the headache. Some of the ingredients may seem a little odd – so let me explain. The ginger and sultanas are to replace the traditional ginger wine that forms the base of mulled wine. Ginger wine is made from raisins and ginger, so I simply …

Spiced Vegan Banana Bread, 11p

I almost had the audacity to call this recipe ‘Christmas-spiced Banana Bread’ as I am currently testing some new recipes for a December project (more on that below) but I didn’t think I could cope with the outrage of the Internet if I dared use the C-word halfway through September. So instead, euphemistically, this is an Autumn-spiced banana bread, warming, comforting, and pull-your-jumper-around-you warming delicious bliss. Based on the vegan banana bread recipe from A Girl Called Jack, but better. For best results you will need a small powerful blender to grind the spices into the sugar; I have used this one for years and absolutely swear by it as a blender, smoothie maker, curry paste machine and spice grinder, so it’s worth a look. And a third of the price of it’s hifalutin equivalent… Serves 6 very generously at 11p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you …

Banana Pancakes

What do you make for breakfast when you have bananas, eggs, milk and flour? Banana pancakes of course! Ingredients (made 6 good sized pancakes.) (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 100g flour 100ml milk 1 egg 1 banana, or 2 if you want to go wild 2 tbsp oil Handful of sultanas – I’d normally add these but I don’t have any 🙁 Finely slice the bananas and – depending on their ripeness – either mash them with a fork or chop chop chop them into pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, and a teaspoon of bicarbonate or baking powder if using plain flour. Add the egg and milk (and sultanas if you have them, sulk…) and mix together with a fork to form a smooth batter. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add a …

Quick ‘n’ Hot Banana Pot, 18p

It would be remiss of me not to include this ‘not really a recipe’, as I have eaten it almost every day since the microwave project began. It came around by accident, like so many of these things do – I was trying to make banana chips in the microwave and ended up with a hot banana mush… Undeterred, I scraped it up with a spoon and sighed to myself in a small blissful moment, at my accidental mid morning dessert hot, sweet, meltingly soft banana. The next day, I sliced the banana straight into a ramekin dish – all thought of banana chips banished now, I had to have this again. By day three, I was stirring in two squares of dark chocolate. It’s quick, simple, naughty, delicious, virtuously vegan and a dessert I definitely wouldn’t mind feeding to the kids…if only I can relinquish my sudden fierce ownership of Every Banana In The House… Serves 1: (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can …

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, 3p

Last night I found myself with an urge for chocolate chip cookies. I was a bit miserable, the gas meter was running out (and even more so by the time I type this…), my tiny flat was cold and I was generally feeling a little bit grouchy and blue. Usual distractions don’t apply – I don’t own a television and nor do I have broadband to distract myself from the occasional bout of gloom (I run this blog from the internet on my mobile phone!) These are choices I have made for myself, because I am still fearful of long term financial contracts, especially as a freelance writer, especially in insecure rented accommodation in the first few months of my contract. So when it comes to mood-boosters, my options are somewhat limited. So, cookies. I put a rallying cry on Twitter, as the wonderful people who follow me are often so very generous at sharing their favourite recipes and ideas when I feel in need of inspiration – most recently inundated with over 100 recipes …