Today I wanted to share with you a LL little secret a dessert I have up my sleeve for those weeknights when guests are coming or your family demands or deserves a little treat. I love a dessert which tastes scrummy, can be adapted and is a little healthier than a slice of cake. I got inspiration from Mr. Jamie Oliver (thank you) and modified it to suit what I have in my pantry at the said time. The idea can also made healthier if necessary. I love cheesecake and find the biscuit base the best bit (never understood NY cheesecake.) I do however in the week want to eradicate the butter required to make that crumbly bottom, so I thought what would work as an alternative and granola sprang to mind. Granola is so versatile, perfect for breakie or as a snack but this provides a great base, plus depending on the granola you bake or buy you can use one with nuts, seeds, and dry fruit. Next, I add a dollop of heavenly curd, and this can be of your choosing, this time I chose lemon, but lime, raspberry, rhubarb or any other fruit curd would be delicious. Curd works well with the granola and is also scrumptious with yogurt. Then I add fruit, this again is personal preference, but I would recommend something which compliments the curd of choice. The piece de resistance is the topping which I use mascarpone, but you could use crème fraiche. I place in a bowl add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a teaspoon of icing sugar give it a good mix and voila a yummy topping. If you were looking to lighten things up reduce the amount of topping or use yogurt. If mascarpone is not your desire, you could use clotted cream, cream or ice cream. The versatility of this dessert is what makes this a winner. It always feels more sophisticated to present these in martini glasses, it also means you have greater portion control, and if you have dietary requirements, you can make to specific desires. I have also made this in sundae glasses or mason jars; they always look super cute! You can make these ahead, and they can last in the fridge for several days. All which make them a Lifestyle Lady Love.
Hope your weekend was super fun and relaxed and you’re starting your week raring to go! Summer means heat which means grill and pool season and often getting together with friends and family. Now Mr L and I have always loved to entertain, but moving combined with the arrival of Little L meant it was on the back burner. However, we are getting our “mojo” back and enjoy nothing more than opening our home, sharing our table and creating great memories with loved ones. So this week’s high-five is for summer puddings or desserts that have, over time, become tried and tested crowd pleasers. Light – who wants heavy when it’s hot – and most importantly easy/entertaining friendly (meaning able to be made ahead.) So if you’re heading to a potluck or hosting a party, all these desserts can be made as sophisticated or simple as you like! These recipes are all yummy, approved by toddler and adult!
1. Pavlova, now Mummy L introduced me to the beauty of this dessert. It is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova; it is a meringue cake topped with whipped cream and fruit. I believe the dessert was created in her honor when she visited Australia and New Zealand during the 1920’s. It is often served as a celebratory cake in both countries and its popularity has crept to the UK. Unless Mummy L discovery it from my Aussie family – I will have to check. I have used many different recipes although they are all very similar. LL top tip is whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks; don’t stop too early. My other tip is to add a mix of sugar to the egg whites, divide the sugar requirement so it’s 50% caster sugar and 50% light brown sugar (if you struggle to find caster sugar in U.S. fine granulated works great.) It makes the meringue more marshmallow-like. Another tip is don’t assemble till before serving, so it doesn’t go soggy or crack. You can have fruit chopped and cream whipped, ready to assemble when needed. Plus it can be made with fruit of the season or whatever your family likes. This is really light and yummy, it’s an absolute LL favorite. Please give it a go and let me know all about it.
2. Summer Pudding, this pudding is bread, fruit and juice. It doesn’t sound that yummy but it’s a fav in this house. It also requires being made the day before, just to ensure the bread is suitably soaked. It also taste heaps better if you use stale bread. Which is great because sometimes we struggle to get through a loaf. LL top tip is to double-line the tin with cling film or glad wrap, so you ensure no leaks. I also find a loaf tin works very well as you can slice pieces with a bread nice. Another thing I do if I am serving without children or with a teething toddler (joke) is add a tipple of Ameretto or liquor of your choice. It makes it seem more grown up. Again super yummy, light, and a great way to enjoy fruit in a dessert. Let me know how it works for you? I love the color.
Recipe, Mary Berry. Picture and link courtesy of Coffee-morning Macmillan charity.
3. Tarte au Citron – lemon tart. Now when dealing with French dessert one should use a French Recipe and the Roux brother recipe is outstanding but I could not find a link. My mother in law also makes a wonderful lemon tart. It’s light and tangy and really cleanses the palette. Its a summer must. LL top tip, if you are not great at making pastry, why not buy it? Supermarkets make great pastry now, and I find it’s often more time and cost efficient to buy it, although I do like to make my own occasionally. Another great thing is buying a super zester which makes the job easier and certainly get more from the lemon. You can also make individual tarts which looks super impressive and helps with portion control. Plus the smell and color scream summer. Enjoy and tell me how you find it.
4. Strawberry Shortbread Frozen Yogurt. Now Mr L doesn’t like yogurt but he loved this. I received the recipe in my monthly magazine subscription and thought I must try it and now it’s a permanent favorite. The shortbread adds a little sophistication and strawberries are always glamorous and this again is light and yummy. LL top tip (the recipe has this covered) I used freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe but am sure they can be found at various supermarkets. I echo bringing out early to soften before serving. No soft scoop here.
5. Baked Raspberry Cheesecake, I had to have a cheesecake on here. This recipe is a keeper, easy to prepare and follow with great results, a real crowd pleaser. Mr L loves everything raspberry so always win win in my house. LL top tip: watch while it bakes in the oven. Baked cheesecakes have a habit of getting caught and you want the top to look inviting and not overdone.
Recipe courtesy of Olive magazine. Image courtesy of secretkitchen.wordpress.com
I have noticed as I conclude that all my recipes are fruit-based. I love fruit, and summer fruits in particular, and sometimes you can’t beat a lovely fruit salad as a dessert offering. I hope you don’t think these recipes are too fruity! I shall try to think of some alternatives as a post later on. Why not give some of these a try and please tell me what you think, I would love to hear! Any family favourite recipes you can recommend? Happy grilling and dessert-eating, and please remember sun cream.