Summer is upon us and soft fruit is at its best and can be bought very cheaply. Whilst I absolutely love a fruit salad served with a little Greek yogurt and honey, sometimes you need something a little bit more decadent…
This recipe below is a little gem and is very easy to make. The longest part of the whole process is waiting for the cake to cook and cool. So if time is tight I would suggest making the cake the day before and leaving to cool overnight. Whilst I have suggested that you use nectarines and pomegranate seeds for the topping, many other fruits would work just as well.
Alternative topping ideas:
peaches and redcurrants
blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
apricots and redcurrants
mango and red chilli, lime juice and fresh mint
As the sponge is made using ground almonds it will mean that the cake once cooked will be quite dense and moist. So don’t worry about the cake not rising, it isn’t meant to. The mascarpone cream makes this pudding wonderfully rich and silky and fruit not only acts as the decoration but gives the just enough acidity to prevent this pudding becoming too sweet. Enjoy!
My first experience of an oyster was not a good one, I had one in the North of France when I was about 6 years old and I remember thinking that the texture was not very agreeable. With the beauty of hindsight I have come to realise that oysters are something that you grow into and I now very much enjoy them raw with just a squeeze of lemon or just a little shallot dressing.
The last time we had oysters it turned out that we had mislaid our shucking knife, undoubtedly it is ‘somewhere safe’… So armed with a flat headed screwdriver and relatively blunt knife the Old Man set to work, as you can see in the pictures below the flat headed screwdriver worked a treat. Where there is a will there is always a way….
1 lemon (cut into wedges)
crushed ice (to serve on)
For the shallot and red wine dressing:
1 shallot (finely sliced)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Hold an oyster in a tea towel, then take a shucking knife and insert the blade between the top and bottom shell and twist it from side to side until the hinge of the oyster breaks. Lever the top of the shell open, by running the blade of the knife along the edge of the shell to free the oyster. Discard the top shell and remove any small fragments of shell that may have broken off as it was opened.
3. Put the crushed ice on a plate and then arrange the shells containing the oysters on top.
4. Make the shallot dressing, by mixing together the vinegar, seasoning and shallots then pour the mixture into a small bowl or jug.
5. Serve the oysters with the wedges of lemon and shallot vinegar on the side.
[Note: Oysters are best bought when there is an ‘r’ in the month, so from September to April.]