I have a weakness for a good pudding and always struggle to work out which one to choose when eating at a restaurant. But I find deciding what kind of pudding to make even harder especially when some people like chocolate based puddings and others enjoy a fruity pudding.
Yesterday was the last night all the family would be together so choosing the right kind of pudding was imperative! Given that it is summer, warm puddings are very much off the cards at the moment, so last night I settled on a selection of cold fresh puddings. First up we had a light lemon drizzle cake with raspberry sauce – the intention behind this was to cleanse the palate. This was swiftly followed by my salted caramel meringues with blackcurrant compote and crème fraiche (I have been playing around with how I make meringues and got fairly lucky with these they have a lovely caramel taste that are not too sweet because of the salt in the recipe – they seem to go down fairly well, demonstrated by the fact that there were none left last night). And last, but by no means least decadent French chocolate truffles (this recipe uses a lot of chocolate but it is absolutely worth it!).
Lemon drizzle cake is fairly popular in our house, subsequently I made a fairly large batch up so that people could take it with them as they drove home today as a bit of a treat. Taking this into account you could quite easily halve the quantities for the cake batter and easily have enough to feed 9-10 people.
The other thing to note is that whilst chocolate truffles are very simple to make you need to put them in the fridge for at least 6-8hrs to harden off so make sure that you have the time available so they can chill enough to handle them.
Lemon drizzle cake with raspberry sauce
|For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 170C fan.
- Put all the ingredients for the cake in a bowl and mix together for 3-5 minutes using an electric whisk.
- Pour the batter into a lined tin (20cm x 30cm).
- Put in oven for 30-40 minutes – to test if the cake is cooked insert a skewer and see if it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and using a skewer prick holes right through the sponge.
- Make the syrup by putting the juice of the lemon and sugar in a pan and heating until all the sugar has been dissolved.
- Whilst the cake is warm pour over the syrup, leaving the cake to cool in the tin.
- Once the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and make up the icing by mixing together the zest and icing sugar in a bowl adding a little of the lemon juice at a time until you have a smooth icing that pours nicely onto the cake.
- Finally make up the raspberry sauce by placing the raspberries and sugar in a pan and heating gently for roughly 5 minutes, adding more sugar if needed.
- Serve thin slices of the cake together with the raspberry sauce.
My salted caramel meringues with blackcurrant compote and crème fraiche
- Preheat oven to 100C fan.
- In a large bowl whisk your egg whites until soft peak stage.
- Add in the salt and both the caster and brown sugar and whisk together thoroughly.
- Put mix into a piping bag and pipe out small meringues onto baking trays covered with baking paper. The mix makes roughly 20-25 small meringues.
- Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
- Once cooked remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Whilst the meringues are cooling make the blackcurrant compote by placing the blackcurrants in a pan with the water and cook on a low heat for roughly 15-20 minutes or until the skin is soft.
- Strain the blackcurrants through a sieve into a bowl adding the sugar according to your taste.
- Finally serve – I like to do this in a make your own meringue sandwich set up with the compote in a small teapot for added fun…
French Chocolate Truffles
- In a pan bring the cream up to the boil and then remove from the heat and add the chocolate stirring until it is completely melted.
- Once the chocolate has melted add the butter and the butter and stir until smooth.
- Pass the chocolate mixture through a sieve into a bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 6-8hrs.
- After the mix has chilled using either a melon baller or 2 teaspoons make your truffles. (The mix makes 25-30).
- Then coat with the topping of your choice. (I did a mix of dark chocolate, white chocolate and nut truffles.) If you intend to cover with chocolate, place your truffles in the deep freeze for an hour before you cover then, then melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted leave to cool a little before dipping your truffle into the chocolate.
(Apologies that this is not a very good photo the truffles started to be eaten as soon as they arrived on the table!)