My favourite puddings, cakes and scrummy snacks.
I love cake, biscuits, cookies, muffins, puddings, chocolate bar cupcakes….. basically dessert in any form and after writing my post the other evening where I shared a picture of some lovely cupcakes we made recently for some friends who have had a new baby I thought I’d look back over some of my favourite desserts I have made and eaten over the time I’ve been doing this blog, put together my top 10 favourite naughty treats and share them with you. I didn’t make all of these gorgeous creations, some were made by Hana and others were desserts and cakes we had out, but all of them are just divine. In fact I’m getting hungry just thinking about them all!
My Top 10 best dessert recipes
I must have baked dozens and dozens of these over the past few years (not to mention the ones I’ve had in cafe’s too!). The humble muffin is a cake I come back to again and again. Maybe it’s because you can bake a big batch pretty quickly or maybe it’s that dastardly coffee shops always put them right by the till, but I just love them. I’ve made several gorgeous muffins from our Cornucopia Cookbook but my favourite has to be White Chocolate and Raspberry, too good for words.
Not to be confused with the Muffins above. They may look very similar and you could almost be fooled into thinking the only difference is the size, but there is so much more. Looking back over the most popular posts I have written it isn’t too hard to see that time and again the winner are my chocolate bar cupcake recipes. It’s a simple idea take your favourite chocolate bar and make it into a cupcake. So which is the readers favourite? It is the kinder Bueno Cupcake with quite a few thousand views! My personal favourite is probably the crunchie bar cupcake, how cute are the little marzipan bees!
As much as we all love cake, sometimes you can become a little (dare I say it?) bored of seeing the same cake again and again. Let’s face it a sponge looks like a sponge and a cupcake a cupcake. Why not jazz them up a little as I have done in the past, try these Cookie monster or Monster cupcakes. They are fun to make and not too difficult so kids can join in too.
Since I was a child I have loved cheesecake. I know some people don’t develop a taste for it until they are adults but its always been one of my favourite desserts. I remember when I was little looking forward to going out to a restaurant as I knew it would have that glorious treat on the menu. I have baked (and eaten) quite a few in my time and one of my favourites has to be this White chocolate cheesecake with Raspberry coulis. Hana baked this one from a cheesecake recipe by Mary Berry. Nom, nom!
Everyone has a signature dish, that special something they can conjure up in the kitchen which can leave people speechless and in dire need of more. My signature recipe? Chocolate brownie. I’ve made this for parties, birthdays, or just as a treat to send in to the office with Hana and everytime it’s gone down really well. When I’ve tried my hand at running a cake stall at local markets was always the first thing to sell out. I haven’t shared this recipe on my blog as yet, afterall every master has to keep just one secret!
Meringue madness, Eton mess and Pavlova
When summer is on us in the UK, usually for a couple of weeks per year, my sweet tooth still craves a pudding now and then but I often don’t want anything too heavy. Is there a worse way to follow a summery salad than with a stodgy sticky toffee pudding? Instead I like to opt for airy and light meringue in all its forms. Whip up a simple pavlova from a meringue base and top with whipped cream and fresh fruits for a gorgeous summery treat or crumble it into whipped cream with blitzed fruits to make the classic English summer dessert – Eton Mess. I think both work best with summer fruits like strawberries and raspberries. Try Pavlova or Eton Mess with a tropical combination of mango and passion fruit for a new twist on an old classic.
The sublime Italian dessert invented in the 1960’s is possibly one of the greatest foods every bestowed upon man. What else could it be but Tiramisu! The perfect marriage of mocha coffee soaked sponge fingers, mascarpone cheese and chocolate. It’s ridiculously indulgent and can have you up for hours with all that coffee and a bit of liquor, often brandy or sometimes madeira wine. This is a dessert I haven’t tried making at home yet as it seems a little intimidating to make, also as Hana isn’t a fan it means I’d be eating it all myself!
Without a hulking great ice cream maker it’s nigh on impossible to make this at home – so I haven’t tried yet. Ice cream is a perennial favourite of most people and these days there are ‘Geleateria’s’ all over London serving some pretty good ice cream but the best I have ever had had to be from the cafe’s of Rome, I know it is a cliche but it is the best. Earlier this year a friend was in Rome and found what has to be the funniest flavour ever, Viagra Gelato – yes it is real and they’ll only serve it to men!
Salted Caramel Chocolate cake
Hana came across this recipe in the Humming Bird Bakery book, Cake Days, if you don’t have a copy I would highly recommend picking one up as it is chocked full of wonderful cakes and treats as well as a great section on how to do different types of swirl and decoration with your icing. I hadn’t tried salted caramel before we made it in a cupcake and I was quite skeptical at first but trust me (if you dare) it is a real winner and excellent balance of sweet and salty.
I had to really think about what to include as my last recommendation. There are so many desserts and treats I could have included on this list and I had a hard time sticking to a ‘top 10’. In the end I turned back to childhood and Apple Crumble. My Gran used to make this a lot during the summer as a we had an apple tree in the Garden and this was a great way to use up the mountain of them we always had. My gran made a traditional and simple crumble topping with butter, sugar and flour and this is way I have always liked it since. I know these days people add things like nuts and all sorts but this is the way I love it, apple’s a simple crumble and lashings of warm custard.
What’s your favourite dessert?