Boxing Day Turkey And Raspberry Salad...

Fresh raspberries and shaved asparagus turn an everyday rice salad into something more exotic and festive.

Serves 6

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20-25 minutes

  • 200g (7oz) easy cook brown rice
  • 50g (2oz) wild rice
  • 6 small red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100g (4oz) red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 200g (7oz) cold roast turkey, diced
  • 150g (5oz) asparagus, trimmed
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries
  • Large handful of rocket leaves
  • 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF), Gas Mark 6. 
  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, add the brown and wild rice, bring the water back to the boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes until just tender. 
  • Drain into a sieve, rinse with cold water and drain again.
  • Meanwhile, add the onions to a small roasting tin, drizzle with the oil and roast for 25-30 minutes until softened and golden around the edges.
To make the dressing
  • Add the redcurrant jelly, vinegar, mustard and lemon rind and juice to a small saucepan. 
  • Season with salt and pepper then whisk over a low heat until the dressing is smooth and the jelly has melted. 
  • Leave to cool.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Frozen Berry Slice...

If you have friends coming over then make this easy dessert the day before then slice and decorate when you need it. Couldn’t be simpler and a great hit with adults and kids.

Serves 10
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


Sponge base

  • 100g (4oz) soft margarine
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon


  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 150g (5oz) raspberries
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
  • 400g (14oz) can full fat condensed milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 225g (8oz) strawberries
  • 150g (5oz) raspberries

To serve

  • Few extra strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • Few extra raspberries
  • Few sugar confetti hearts, optional
  • Few red hundreds and thousands, optional
  •  Little icing sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF), Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line an 18 x 28 x 4cm (7 x 11 x 1½ inch) loose bottomed rectangular cake tin with non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners of the paper and pressing into the tin so that the base and sides are lined.
  3. Add all the sponge ingredients to a bowl or food processor and beat together until smooth.
  4. Spoon into the paper lined tin and smooth into a thin even layer.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin.
  7. Meanwhile, make the mousse by adding the water to a small heatproof bowl; sprinkle the gelatine over the top so that all the dry powder is absorbed.
  8. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of hot water and simmer gently for about 5-10 minutes until the gelatine is a clear liquid.
  9. Puree the strawberries and raspberries in a food processor or liquidiser then press through a sieve.
  10. Lightly whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft swirls then whisk in the condensed milk and lemon juice until thick and smooth.
  11. Whisk in the fruit puree then gradually fold in the gelatine, pouring it into the bowl in a thin steady stream.
  12. Pour the mousse over the sponge base.
  13. Freeze overnight, loosely wrapping in foil when set.
  14. To make the sauce, puree the berries then press through a sieve, pour into a plastic box and chill in the fridge overnight.
  15. When ready to serve, remove the dessert from the freezer.
  16. Unwrap, remove from the tin and peel away the lining paper.
  17. Cut into 10 bars with a knife dipped in hot water.
  18. Transfer to serving plates.
  19. Arrange extra berries, sugar confetti and hundreds and thousands on top, dust with sifted icing sugar and serve with a separate jug of pureed berries.

About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Raspberry And Strawberry Profiteroles....

Twist on a classic favourite.

Everyone loves profiteroles but why not try adding a little summery fruity freshness with sliced strawberries and crumbled raspberry cream then drizzle with warm chocolate sauce or a fresh berry sauce – see Cook’s Tip.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 15-18 minutes


  • 150ml (¼ pint) water
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 65g (2½ oz) plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 150ml (¼ pint) semi skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 150ml (¼ pint) double cream
  • 100g (4oz) 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, plus a little extra to decorate
  • 150g (5oz) raspberries
  • 225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF), Gas Mark 6.
  • Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  • Pour the water into a saucepan, add the butter then heat gently until the butter has just melted.
  • Bring to the boil then take off the heat and sift in the flour.
  • Mix together then put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture makes a smooth ball.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Beat the eggs with the vanilla then gradually beat into the cooled choux pastry in the pan, or transfer to a food processor if you’d rather.
  • Beat until really smooth then spoon into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm (3/4 inch) plain piping tube.
  • Pipe about 20 balls on to the greased baking sheet, leaving space between them.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until well risen and golden.
  • Make a slit in the side of each choux puff to let the steam escape then put back into the turned off oven for 3- 5 minutes until crisp then take out and leave to cool.

  • To make the sauce, add the chocolate, milk and sugar to a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Stir in the vanilla.
  • Sprinkle surface with a little caster sugar if not serving immediately so that a skin doesn’t form.
  • Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then fold in the yogurt, vanilla and sugar.
  • Crumble in the raspberries and briefly fold together.
  • Slit the choux puffs almost in half, arrange the sliced strawberries over the base of each one then top with a spoonful of raspberry cream.
  • Press the lids back in place then arrange on serving plates.
  • Dust lightly with sifted icing sugar and serve drizzled with warm chocolate sauce.
Cook’s tip
  • The cooked choux puffs can be made the day before and kept in an airtight tin then fill and serve with sauce when you need them.
  • For kids or adults who don’t like dark chocolate then use half dark and half milk chocolate for a lighter tasting sauce or why not drizzle with an easy berry sauce made by pureeing 225g (8oz) strawberries and 150g (5oz) raspberries pureed together then press through a sieve before serving

About this post -Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Lemon Curd Eclairs With Raspberry Icing...

Makes about 12 éclairs (depending on size/length)

For the choux pastry

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50ml milk
  • 75ml water
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 125g plain white flour
  • 3 medium eggs

For the lemon curd cream

  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 jar English Provender Co. Lemon Curd

For the icing

  • 4 tbsp raspberry puree (place about 150g frozen raspberries in a sieve and squeeze out the juice, discarding the seeds)
  • 200g icing sugar

How To Make

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the butter, milk, water, salt and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Sift the flour and when the liquid reaches boiling point add the flour and beat well for 30 seconds until dough leaves sides of pan.
  3. Remove the dough from the pan to cool a little then place back in the pan and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Line a large baking tray with non stick baking paper and while the mixture is still warm spoon or pipe it onto the baking tray in long lines and place in the oven.
  5. Do not open the oven door, reduce heat to 180° and bake for 20 mins until crisp and dry.
  6. Whisk the cream until you have peaks then stir in the lemon curd.
  7. For the raspberry icing, stir the raspberry puree into the icing sugar until you have a thick but runny consistency.
  8. When ready to serve, cut the éclairs in half and fill with some cream. Spread the icing over the top of each éclair and leave to set for an hour or so.

About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by English Provender Co.

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Brandied Chocolate Truffles...

Chocolate truffles with a surprise raspberry centre to melt even the most unromantic of hearts.

Makes 24

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Chilling time: 4½ – 5 hours


  • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, cherry brandy or kirsch
  • 24 raspberries about 100g (4oz) fresh raspberries
  • Little sifted cocoa powder for shaping

To finish

  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or pink edible glitter flakes
  • Petite four cases, a pretty box, tissue paper and fine ribbon for wrapping

To make the truffles

  • Pour the cream into a small saucepan, bring just to the boil then take off the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes or so until the chocolate has melted.
  • Add the sugar and brandy or kirsch and stir until smooth.
  • Leave to cool then transfer to the fridge for about 3 hours until firm.
  • Scoop teaspoons of the truffle mixture on to baking sheet and continue until you have 24 mounds, all about the same size.
  • Make a dip in the centre of each, add a raspberry then press the truffle mixture around the raspberry to enclose it completely.
  • Next roll them between two hands dusted with sifted cocoa powder to get an even round shape.
  • Return the truffles to the fridge to chill for 1 hour or so until firm.

To decorate

  • Add the dark chocolate pieces to a bowl and set this over a saucepan of very gently simmering water so that the bowl stands above the top of the pan and the base of the bowl is not touching the water.
  • Heat for about 5 minutes until the chocolate has just melted.
  • Take the bowl off the pan then slide the prongs of a fork under one of the truffles, and hold this over the melted chocolate.
  • Using a teaspoon, spoon a little of the melted chocolate over the top to cover completely.
  • Slide off the fork on to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Continue until all the truffles have been coated, and sprinkle with tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or glitter flakes.
  • Chill for about 30 minutes or until firm, then transfer the truffles to petit four cases and pack into a box lined with tissue paper or non-stick baking paper.
  • Add the lid and tie with ribbon.
  • Keep in the fridge and eat within 3 days.

White chocolate and blueberry truffles

A touch of luxury.

Make in just the same way as the dark chocolate and raspberry truffles.

Makes 30

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Chilling time: 4-5 hours

Make as above with

  • 150ml (¼ pint) double cream
  • 200g (7oz) good quality white chocolate instead of the dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier.


  • There is no need to add sugar as white chocolate is sweeter.
  • Chill the truffle mix until firm – this may take longer than dark chocolate truffles, and if still a little soft after 3 hours just whisk the mixture briefly to thicken.
  • Divide the cooled truffle mixture around 100g (4oz) large blueberries instead of the raspberries, dusting hands with icing sugar.
  • Chill well then coat in 200g (7oz) melted white chocolate and decorate with tiny pieces of crystallised violet petals or edible sugar glitter.
  • For a speedier decoration simply roll the shaped truffles in grated white chocolate.
  • Chill once more until firm and arrange in petit four cases in a tissue lined box for your Valentine.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Chocolate Fondue...

Made in minutes, pour this wonderfully luxurious fondue into a pretty heart shaped cup or keep hot in a mini fondue bowl with a burner.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes


  • 2 strips of orange rind pared from a whole orange with a vegetable peeler
  • Large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 120ml (4fl oz) or 8 tablespoons water
  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons double cream, plus 1 tablespoon to decorate
  • 350g (12oz) mixed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries


  • Add the orange rind, cinnamon, sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Simmer for 3-4 minutes until syrupy and leave to cool for 10 minutes or longer for the flavours to develop.
  • Discard the orange rind and reheat the syrup.
  • Take off the heat, add the chocolate and leave until melted.
  • Stir until smooth and mix in 2 tablespoons of cream until glossy.
  • Reheat gently if needed.
  • Arrange the fruit on a plate with fondue skewers or small forks and pour the fondue sauce into a cup or fondue pot set over a burner.
  • You can even use the saucepan you have been cooking with.
  • Decorate with an extra drizzle of cream and swirl with a skewer.
  • Start dipping!


  • For a minted chocolate fondue, substitute the orange and cinnamon for 2 stems of fresh mint instead of the orange and cinnamon.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Ruby Fruit Refresher...

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • 225 g (8 oz) strawberries
  • 175 g (6 oz) raspberries
  • 225 g (8 oz) blueberries
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 teaspoons runny honey
  • 250 g (9 oz) natural yogurt
  • Small bunch of fresh mint
  • Slice or quarter the strawberries depending on their size then put them into a serving bowl with the other berries.
  • Add the lime rind and juice and 2 teaspoons of the honey then gently mix together with a spoon.
  • Put the yogurt into a smaller bowl then stir in the rest of the honey.
  • Snip some of the mint into pieces with scissors to give about 3 tablespoons, add to the yogurt and mix together.
  • Sprinkle the berries with a few tiny mint leaves and serve topped with spoonfuls of the minted yogurt.
  • For a refreshing smoothie, put the berries into a liquidiser goblet with the yogurt, honey and mint, blitz until smooth then adjust the consistency with apple juice to taste.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Britain loves Beetroot : Beetroot And Raspberries Chocolate Muffins ...

A couple of months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Baxters, informing me that they are launching a Britain loves Beetroot campaign. They were looking for bloggers to take part in a making their own beetroot recipe as part of a fun challenge.  We love beetroot in our house, (only yesterday my son had it with his fish and chips) so I was looking forward to taking part.

 This is the hamper we kindly got sent- 4 different jars of beetroot, a cooking apron and this beautiful picnic hamper. It arrived Christmas eve, great timing then to go with lots of party food. The first thing we tried was some Rosy Roast Beetroot Roots , a recipe I posted for Baxters a while ago. Not having got around to trying it myself I was looking forward to making these. As it was for Christmas day dinner and we were already having mash and roasted potatoes, I decided to change the recipe slightly to 300g of parsnips in place of the potatoes.

Apart from lots of little snacks over the Christmas holidays using the beetroot, I was thinking is there a sweet recipe I could try? How could I incorporate beetroot into cake? There must be a way!! 

 Here then is my recipe I made up for the beetroot challenge.  My daughter who is not yet a beetroot fan could not wait to try them, and she loved them too...

  • 75g Beetroot in sweet malt vinegar, drained and grated
  • 75g Thawed raspberries drained and cut up
  • 125g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 125g Golden Caster sugar
  • 125g Stork baking liquid
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25g Coco powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g Cream cheese
  • 70g Icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of raspberries juice ( from the thawed raspberries)
  • 12 Thawed raspberries
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Sprinkle of icing sugar for dusting tops
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Place 12 muffin bun cases in a 12 holed muffin tray.
  • Place the baking liquid and golden caster sugar in a bowl and mix together with an electric whisk.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and coco powder.
  • Using a wooden spoon mix in the beetroot, Raspberries and vanilla essence.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases.
  • Cook in the middle of a preheated oven for around 25 minutes.
  • Once cooked place on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Making the icing
  • Place the cream cheese in a bowl with raspberries juice and with a fork mix together.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and mix again ( place in fridge for 30 minutes) to cool as it may get a little runny.
  • Place a spoonful on top of each bun.
  • Place a raspberry in the middle few chocolate sprinkles and little bit of icing sugar.

I was so pleased with how my beetroot and raspberries chocolate muffins turned out...

About this post- I was kindly asked to take part in this beetroot challenge and was not paid for this post. All thoughts are my own honest opinion...

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Summer Almond Cake with Lavender Icing ...

Summer Almond Cake with Lavender Icing : By Alan Palmer

Serves 10
320 calories / 19.8g fat per portion
Alan says: ‘This recipe sums up summer – fresh, light and bursting with colour and flavour’


For the cake
  • 110g (4oz) Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 110g (4oz) golden caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 75g (3oz) self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 45g (1½ oz) ground almonds
  • 110g (4oz) blueberries
  • 110g (4oz) raspberries
For the icing
  • 75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter, cubed and softened
  • 150g (5oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp single cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lavender
  • lavender sprigs, to decorate
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas Mark 4. 
  • Line a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the mixture with the ground almonds.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries and raspberries.
  • Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 40-45 minutes. 
  • Cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When cool, prepare the icing.
  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together until combined, then whisk vigorously until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the cream and half the lavender.
  • Spread over the surface of the cake and decorate with the remaining lavender.
Cook’s tip:
  • Check online for suppliers of culinary lavender.
  • If you can’t find any, try using a little finely grated lemon or orange zest in the icing instead.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Alan Palmer’s recipe has been taken from the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book, available for free download now!

Visit Kerrygold UK for more delicious recipes and to download your free copy.

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Valentine Warner’s Raspberry Soufflé....

Making a hot soufflé is simpler than you think.

This is essentially a sauce with whisked egg whites folded in. They look spectacular the minute they come out of the oven so the tricky bit is making sure that everyone is sitting at the table ready to enjoy the moment that they are ready.

Serves 4

Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 10-12 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours

What you need
  • 30g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 30g/1oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting dishes
  • 150ml/ ¼ pt full fat milk
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs, separated
For the puree
  • 300g/11oz raspberries
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white rum
  • Little icing sugar, sifted, to decorate

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/Gas 7, and put a baking tray on the top shelf.
  • With a pastry brush, paint the insides of four x 150ml/ ¼ pt ovenproof ramekins with softened butter. 
  • Making sure the brush strokes go up the inside of the ramekin, this help the soufflés to rise. 
  • Then dust with flour.
  • To make the pureed sauce, blitz together the raspberries and sugar. 
  • Sift out the raspberry pips. 
  • Cook the raspberry juice in a saucepan for a few minutes until it becomes reduced and syrupy. 
  • Take off the heat and add the rum. 
  • Put in a jug and set aside for later.
  • Combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and drop them in the milk with the pod. 
  • Bring the milk up to a simmer and no more. 
  • Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  • In a separate saucepan, stir together the butter, flour and sugar. 
  • The mixture will look like large crumbs.
  • Take the vanilla pod out of the cream and milk then reheat. 
  • Pour half of the cream and milk over the crumbs and stir to make a roux. 
  • Then add the rest of cream and milk, stirring to get rid of any lumps and heating gently until the mixture is a light pouring consistency.
  • Cool the sauce slightly. 
  • Separate the eggs, stir the egg yolks one at a time into the light roux mixture. 
  • (The mixture can be left at this stage while you eat your main course.)
  • Whisk the egg whites to a soft peak. 
  • Fold into the vanilla sauce until the two mixtures are fully incorporated.
  • Fill the prepared ramekin dishes to the very top. 
  • Smooth the top with a knife blade and run your thumb around the inside of the lip of the ramekin, to stop the soufflés from catching when they rise. 
  • Put the ramekins on the hot baking tray in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until well risen and golden with a slight wobble to the center.
  • When risen, take soufflés out of oven and serve immediately dusted with sifted icing sugar with a drizzle of the raspberry puree.

Recipe and photo credit by - Seasonal Berries

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Will Torrent’s Royal Jubilee Trifle...

Fancy a trifle to celebrate in style?

Ingredients: (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 small Madeira cake
  • 1 punnet fresh raspberries
  • 1 punnet fresh blackberries
  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries
  • 1 punnet fresh blueberries
  • 1 punnet frozen berries
  • 20ml port
  • 25g sugar
  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 500g fresh custard
  • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 200g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 6 egg whites
  • Popping candy/ chocolate covered space dust (optional)


  1. Begin by slicing the Madeira cake and then using a round cutter, cut discs, placing them in the bottom of a large serving glass bowl.
  2. Carefully place some fruit on top of the sponge pushing the fruit to the sides so that you can see them through the glass.
  3. In a saucepan, bring to the boil the port, sugar and frozen berries, whilst soaking the gelatine in cold water in a separate bowl.
  4. Once the port, sugar and berry mixture has boiled, leave to send through a sieve over a bowl, leaving you with a glossy berry syrup.
  5. Reheat the syrup gently to melt the gelatine in to.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop the berry syrup with gelatine into the glass bowl, pouring over the fresh fruit. Place into the fridge to set (for a few hours).
  7. To make the white chocolate custard, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  8. Gently fold the custard into the melted chocolate adding a teaspoon of Nielsen- Massey Vanilla Bean Paste.
  9. Spoon the custard over the set jelly and then place in the fridge to set (whilst you make the meringue).
  10. To make the meringue, begin by whisking the egg whites on a medium to high speed.
  11. Place the water and sugar in a sauce pan and using a thermometer heat till it reaches 121ºC. 
  12. Carefully add the sugar syrup to the egg whites, in a steady stream, whilst they continue to beat and keep whisking till the sides of the bowl cools.
  13. Once the meringue has cooled, you should be left with a tight, very glossy meringue
  14. Take the dessert out of the fridge and sprinkle with the chocolate covered space dust
  15. Place the meringue into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
  16. Pipe bulbs of the glossy meringue on top of the custard/space dust.
  17. Using a blowtorch, flame the meringue to create a lovely caramelised texture and flavour.
  18. Decorate with some of the remaining fresh fruit and enjoy.

Credits : Baking Mad

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Union Jack Jubilee Cake : Creative Mondays Blog Hop....

Hello and welcome to Creative Mondays hosted by Clairejustineoxox and Judyh-jsThoughts where you can link up all your creative post each week....

What have you all been up to this week?

This Week I'm sharing this amazing cake from my guest post friends at  Seasonal Berries this cake looks amazing and a must for anyone having a party fot the Diamond Jubilee...

Serves 18

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
To decorate: 40 minutes

 What you need
  • 350 g (12 oz) soft margarine
  • 350 g (12 oz) caster sugar
  • 450 g (1 lb) self-raising flour
  • 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 medium eggs, beaten
  • Grated rind 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Red and blue paste food colouring, optional
To decorate 
  • 350 g (12 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 675 g (11/2 lb) icing sugar, plus a little extra, no need to sift
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200 g (7 oz) white ready to roll icing
  • 250 g (9 oz) blueberries
  • 150 g (5 oz) raspberries
  • 225 g (8 oz) baby strawberries with green hulls still on
  • Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/Gas Mark 4. 
  • Line the base and sides of a 30 x 20 x 5 cm/12 x 8 x 2 inch rectangular cake tin (or roasting tin with the same base measurement) with a large piece of non-stick baking paper, snip diagonally into the corners then press the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined and the paper stands a little above the top of the tin sides.
  • Cream the soft margarine and sugar together in a bowl or food processor until light and fluffy. 
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together then gradually mix in alternate spoonfuls of egg then flour until both have all been added and the mixture is smooth.
  • Stir in the lemon rind and lemon juice until the mixture is a soft dropping consistency. 
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin, or for a patriotic red, white and blue marble cake, spoon half the cake mixture into the lined tin. 
  • Then divide the remaining cake mixture between two bowls, colour one half red, the remainder blue.
  • Add spoonfuls of the coloured mixtures to the lined tin then swirl together with a small knife.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. 
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes then invert the cake on to a wire rack, remove the tin and leave to cool.
To make the buttercream 
  • Beat the butter and one third of the icing sugar together in a bowl or food processor until smooth.
  •  Gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar and lemon juice until light and fluffy. 
  • Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Peel the paper off the cake, turn the cake over and trim the top level if needed. 
  • Cut in half then sandwich back together with a thin layer of buttercream. 
  • Put top down on a large plate, tray or cake board.
  • Spread a very thin layer of buttercream over the outside of the cake to stick the crumbs in place then spread a thicker layer all over the cake and smooth with a palette knife, reserving a couple of tablespoons for piping later.
  • Knead the ready to roll icing to soften then roll out half into a long strip on a work surface lightly dusted with sifted icing sugar. 
  • Trim to make 2, 4 cm (11/2 inch) wide strips long enough to make a cross over the centre of the cake then trim the ends level with the edges of the cake. 
  • Mix the trimmings with the remaining icing then roll out and cut two long strips about 2.5 cm (1 inches) wide and long enough to go diagonally from corner to corner of the cake, trimming the strips to sit flush with the wider white cross.
  • Arrange the blueberries between the strips of white ready to roll icing. Spoon the remaining buttercream into a paper or plastic piping bag, snip off the tip then pipe dots on to the diagonal white strips and arrange the raspberries in lines on top. 
  • Add dots of icing over the central cross and stick the whole strawberries in place.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • To help you get ahead, the undecorated cake can be frozen wrapped in foil, take out the morning of the party and allow to defrost at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
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Raspberry and Vanilla Cambridge Creams...

A quintessentially British version of the crème brulee and said to have originated from Trinity college, Cambridge.

This delicious dessert is flavoured with a vanilla pod and speckled generously with fresh, jewel-like raspberries.

Serves 6 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Standing time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours

You will need
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 600ml/1 pint double cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 300g/11oz raspberries

  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Slit the vanilla pod along its length, scrape out the black seeds from the inside with a small knife and place in a medium saucepan with the cream and bring just to the boil.
  • Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until creamy.
  • Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and discard then bring the cream to the boil once more.
  • Gradually mix into the egg yolks until smooth.
  • Divide the raspberries between six x, 250ml/8fl oz, shallow ovenproof dishes with a diameter of 11.5cm/4 ½ inches and a depth of 2.5cm/1inch then stand the dishes in a roasting tin.
  • Strain the vanilla cream over the top.
  • Pour warm water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes then bake the custards, uncovered in a pre-heated oven set to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 25-30 minutes or until just set in the centre with a slight wobble.
  • Lift dishes out of the roasting tin.
  • Cool then transfer to the fridge for at least four hours.
  • Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar and caramelize with a cook’s blow torch.
  • Leave to stand for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • If you don’t have a cook’s blow torch, put the dishes in the base of the grill pan, surround the dishes with ice and cook under a preheated grill with the tops of the dishes near the heat until golden.
  • Put back in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe and photo credits : Seasonal Berries

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Valentine Warner’s Summer Pudding....

This traditional pudding just sums up an English summer and nothing can better the flavour of fresh British berries ripened naturally in summer sunshine!

Serves 6 
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Chilling time: overnight

  • 600g/1lb 6oz raspberries
  • 600g/1lb 6oz strawberries hulled and halved if large
  • 600g/1lb 6oz blackberries
  • 300g/11oz caster sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 150ml/ ¼ pt white wine
  • 300ml/ ½ pt water
  • 6 slices of thick cut white bread
  • Fresh jersey double cream, to serve
  • Put half the fruits in a large saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, wine and water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for five minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Lift out the fruit into a sieve using a slotted spoon, strain any liquid back into the saucepan, then put the fruit in a bowl on the side.
  • Allow it to cool (this is so you don’t cook the raw fruits in the hot ones)
  • Reserve 200ml/7fl oz of the fruit syrup for painting the bread.
  • Return the pan to the heat and boil the remaining liquid for 20-25 minutes until syrupy. 
  • Allow to cool.
  • Combine the cooled cooked fruit and reduced syrup with the raw fruit. 
  • (I like the mixture of cooked and not-cooked for better flavour and texture).
  • Line a 1.8 litre/3 ¼ pt pudding basin with two sheets of overlapping cling film (the edges of the cling film should hang over the top of the basin so that they can enclose the pudding).
  • Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each slice into two rectangles.
  • Thoroughly paint one side of each rectangle with the reserved syrup.
  • Cut and paint a circle of bread that fits the bottom of the basin.
  • Put this in the basin with the red side facing the cling film.
  • Arrange the bread all the way around the inside of the basin, overlapping slightly where the joints meet, with the painted side always facing the cling film.
  • Spoon the fruit into the basin and pack down well. 
  • Top neatly with the remaining painted slices of bread.
  • Cover with the overhanging pieces of cling film and place a side plate holding a heavy weight on top to press it down.
  • Put in the fridge and leave overnight.
When ready to serve 
  • Remove the weight, open the cling film and invert the pudding on to a serving plate. 
  • Remove the cling film.
  • Should there be any syrup left, using a pastry brush, daub any pale patches with it. 
  • Serve the pudding with cream.

Recipe and photo credits- Seasonal Berries

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4th July Berry Waffles....

Celebrate American Independence day with these homemade waffles, but if you don’t have an electric waffle machine, cheat and buy readymade waffles from the supermarket and warm under a hot grill.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Berry melba sauce
  • 225 g (8 oz) raspberries or mixed raspberries and strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 125 g (41/2 oz) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or sunflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) semi skimmed milk
To serve
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz) full fat crème fraiche or Greek yogurt with honey
  • 350 g (12 oz) mixed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, slice or halve strawberries depending on their size
  • Little sifted icing sugar
  • To make the sauce, puree the fruit with the lemon juice and sugar then sieve if liked.
  • To make the waffles, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl then mix in the sugar.
  • Lightly whisk the melted butter or oil, egg, vanilla and milk together in a separate bowl.
  • Heat up the electric waffle machine. 
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients then whisk until smooth. 
  • Spoon batter into the machine, close the lid and cook until waffles are browned and well risen.
  • Remove waffles from the machine, transfer to serving plates, cut in half, if liked and top each one with a spoonful of crème fraiche or yogurt, summer fruits and a light dusting of sifted icing sugar then drizzle with fruit sauce to taste.
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Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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Very Berry Pimms ...

Celebrate in style with seasonal berry version of Pimms...

Add two large handfuls of halved or sliced strawberries, depending on their size to a large jug with a large handful of fresh raspberries, a few sprigs of fresh mint and ¼ cucumber, sliced and cut into 4.

Add Pimms No1 and fizzy lemonade or tonic in proportions specified on the bottle of Pimms then top up with lots of ice cubes.

Jazz up summery drinks by adding small halved strawberries, raspberries and mint leaves or tiny viola or herb flowers to sections of an ice cube tray.

Top up with cold water, freeze until solid then press out of ice cube tray and serve in a small bowl or add straight to a glass of strawberryade, see below, bought elderflower cordial or a G & T.


Refreshingly simple and easy to make.

Makes 1 litre (13/4 pints)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Chilling time: overnight 

  • 250 g (9 oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 3 lemons, scrubbed
  • 75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
  • 750 ml (11/4 pints) boiling water
  • Crush the strawberries roughly with a potato masher or handheld wand mixer in a bowl. 
  • Pare the rind thinly from half the lemons with a vegetable peeler making sure to leave as much white pith behind as possible or this will the make the strawberryade bitter. 
  • Halve and squeeze the juice from all the lemons then mix into the strawberries with the sugar.
  • Pour on the boiling water, stir well to mix then cover and leave to cool place. 
  • Transfer to the fridge overnight. 
  • Next day, strain if liked, and pour into a bottle, seal and chill in the fridge until needed. 
  • Use within 2 days. 
  • Serve undiluted with ice or mixed half and half with sparkling water for children.

Recipe and photo credits- Seasonal Berries

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Raspberry Cream Cupcakes...

Makes 12

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
To decorate: 15 minutes

  • 100 g (4 oz) soft margarine
  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 125 g (41/2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 g (4 oz) raspberries, crumbled
To decorate
  • 150 g (5 oz) full fat cream cheese
  • 150 g (5 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Extra raspberries and edible glitter flakes
  • Cupcake wraps, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Separate 12 foil or paper cup cake cases and put into a bun or muffin tin.
  3. Add all the cake ingredients to a bowl except the raspberries and beat until smooth. 
  4. Fold in the crumbled raspberries then divide evenly between the paper cases. 
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes until golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed with a fingertip.
  6. Take out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Add the cream cheese to a bowl and soften with a wooden spoon. 
  8. Gradually mix in the icing sugar then the vanilla until smooth. 
  9. Pipe over the top of the cakes then decorate with the raspberries and glitter flakes. 
  10. Add cupcake wraps if liked. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Guest post Credits- Seasonal Berries

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Party Berry Trifles....

A great recipe to try now ....And to bookmark for the Diamond Jubilee...

You don’t need to worry about buying fancy glasses for this favourite dessert, just recycle glass jars with nice lids, small chocolate spread jars, jam or yogurt pots all work well.

If you are not planning a street party, add the jars of trifle to a picnic basket or cool bag for a summery picnic on the beach or at an open air concert and remember to pack the spoons!

Serves 10 

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 3-4 hours

For the jelly
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries, sliced
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cold water plus 4 tablespoons
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 150 g (5 oz) raspberries
  • Juice ½ lemon
To assemble
  • 190g jam Swiss roll, diced
  • 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) dry or sweet sherry
  • 250 g (9 oz) strawberries, sliced
  • 2 x 425 g (15 oz) cans custard
  • 450 ml (3/4 pint) double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons icing or caster sugar
  • Sugar sprinkles, union jack sugar discs (buy online) or extra fruits to decorate, optional
  • To make the jelly, add the strawberries to a saucepan with the 150 ml (1/4 pint) water and the sugar, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle the gelatine over the remaining 4 tablespoons water in a small bowl and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Puree the cooked strawberries in a liquidiser or food processor with the raspberries then press the puree through a sieve back into the saucepan. 
  • Add the bowl of gelatine to a small saucepan of gently simmering water, so that the water is halfway up sides of the bowl. Heat for 4-5 minutes until the gelatine becomes a clear liquid. 
  • Stir into the fruit puree with the lemon juice.
  • To assemble the trifles, divide the diced Swiss roll between 10 small glasses each about 200 -250 ml (7-8 fl oz) and drizzle each one with 2 teaspoons of sherry. 
  • Top with the remaining sliced strawberries then cover with the fruit jelly. 
  • Chill for 3-4 hours until the jelly has set, or make the night before if preferred.
  • A few hours before serving, divide the custard between the trifle glasses. 
  • Lightly whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar then spoon over the custard. 
  • Return to the fridge with the jar lids until ready to serve. 
  • Add decorations, if using at the last minute.
Recipe and photo credits-  Seasonal Berries

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Mini Berry Pavlovas....

A great recipe to try now ....

And to bookmark for the Diamond Jubilee...

Makes 24

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
To decorate: 15 minutes

  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 175 g (6 oz) golden or ordinary caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
To decorate
  • 6 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 450 ml (3/4 pint) double cream
  • 250 g (9 oz) Greek style yogurt
  • 250 g (9 oz) raspberries
  • 150 g (5 oz) blueberries
  • 250 g (9 oz) small strawberries, quartered
  • Preheat the oven to 140oC/fan 120oC/Gas Mark 1. 
  • Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff, moist looking peaks. 
  • To check they are ready, turn the bowl upside down, the egg whites will only slide if not whisked enough.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar a teaspoonful at a time until it has all been added then whisk for a minute or two more until very thick and glossy. 
  • Mix the cornflour with the vinegar then fold into the meringue.
  • Spoon into 24 small mounds on the paper lined trays, leaving a little space between them. 
  • Spread into rough shaped circles about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter then make a small dip in the centre with the back of a teaspoon. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the meringues are very pale biscuit colour and can be easily lifted off the paper. If they stick, cook for another 10 minutes then test again. 
  • Leave to cool on paper.
  • Mix the jam and lemon juice together. 
  • Divide the fruit between three bowls then stir a third of the jam into each. 
  • Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls, fold in the yogurt.
  • Take pavlovas off the paper and arrange on a tray or plate, spoon cream on top then add raspberries to 8 mini pavlovas, blueberries to 8 more and strawberries to last batch. 
  • Serve within 1 hour of decorating.
  • The pavlovas can be made the day before, when cold wrap the trays loosely with foil and keep in a cool place. Top with cream and fruit when needed.
Recipe and photo credits- Seasonal Berries

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Red Berry Meringue Roulade...

Add extra oomph to this already impressive dessert and finish with indoor mini sparklers or candles for a special birthday celebration.

Serves 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 1-2 hours

For the roulade
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
  • 4 tablespoons lemon curd
  • 150 g (5 oz) raspberries
  • 225 g (8 oz) strawberries, sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5.
  • Line a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) Swiss roll tin or roasting tin measured across the base with a large rectangle of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners of the paper then pressing into the tin so that the base and sides are lined.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiffly peaking and the bowl can be tipped upside down without the egg whites moving in the bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar a teaspoonful at a time then continue to whisk for a minute or two until thick. 
  • Mix the cornflour and vinegar together then fold into the meringue.
  • Spoon the meringue into the paper lined tin, ease gently into an even layer. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes until well risen and just beginning to colour then reduce the heat to 160oC/325oF/Gas Mark 3 and cook for 5 minutes or until just firm to the touch and beginning to crack.
  • Put a teacloth on to the work surface, cover with a sheet of non-stick baking paper and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. 
  • Invert the hot meringue on to the paper, remove the tin and leave to cool for 1-2 hours.
To finish
  • Peel off the lining paper from the meringue.
  • Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then spoon over the meringue.
  • Spoon the lemon curd on top then sprinkle with the red berries.
  • Roll up the meringue, starting with one of the narrowest edges, using the paper and teacloth to help.
  • Carefully transfer to a serving plate and remove paper and teacloth. 
  • Serve cut into thick slices with extra berries, if liked.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries

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