Chocolate and Raspberry Fondants Recipe

Fondants are every Masterchef contestant’s worst nightmare. I think I’ve seen only one successful attempt in all the years they’ve been tried! If only they’d all had a look at this recipe… the key here is to make sure that they are chilled completely hard before you put them in the oven.

In this video, I used a dariole mould but these are just as lovely baked in anything- I’ve used teacups and ramekins in the past and just haven’t turned them out. They’re still just as lovely with a dollop of ice cream on top.

When English raspberries are in season, there really is nothing better. However when the season’s over, it might be nice to use something different. Pistachios always work well- whole ones in the centre and chopped ones sprinkled over the top to serve. A crème fraiche would work better to accompany that to give an element of sourness that the raspberries usually give.

This recipe serves 2 but it’s easy to multiply!

Ingredients:

50g dark chocolate

50g butter

50g sugar

1 egg

50g self-raising flour

cocoa

vanilla ice cream – to serve

 

Recipe:

1.   Stick the chocolate, butter and 50g sugar in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir throughout.

2.   Leave to stand for 2 minutes and then add the egg. Beat well. Add the flour and mix until smooth.

3.   Butter your dishes and coat the insides with cocoa. Tap out the excess.

4.   Half fill moulds and add a couple of raspberries into the centre. Top up with mix until ¾ full.

5.   Chill in fridge for 30-45 mins until hard. Preheat oven to 200c.

6.   Bake for 14 mins EXACTLY.

7.   Upturn using a plate and serve with ice cream.

 

Easy Apple Turnovers Recipe

Autumn’s not autumn without cinnamon, right? Regardless of how many ‘pumpkin spice’ things you eat, you’d notice if this little spice wasn’t there to welcome you home every October. The marriage of cinnamon and apple is a perfect and harmonious one- add buttery pastry and you’ve died and gone to heaven! I’m a lover of freshly made pastry and a rough puff would be awesome to use for these but sometimes you just don’t have the time! I always keep a ready made all-butter puff block in my freezer for super speedy pies but if you’ve got a couple of apples looking a bit worse for wear then stick ‘em in these little parcels of joy. They’re great for packed lunches or even breakfast- or go all out and reheat and serve with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM.

Makes 6

Ingredients:

1 pack ready-made all-butter puff pastry

500g chopped apples

1 knob of butter

1tsp ground cinnamon

3tbsp brown sugar

cinnamon sugar: ½tsp ground cinnamon for every 1tbsp of white sugar

 

Recipe:

1.   Pop the butter and apples in a pan over a low heat and add the 1tsp of ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Add a splash of water and cook until the apples are just beginning to soften and caramelise. Leave to cool.

2.   Cut your puff pastry into squares and roll out.

3.   On one half spoon in a dollop of the stewed apples.

4.   Run a drop of water around the edge of the pastry and then fold it over in half. Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal.

5.   Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 15-20 mins at 180c.

3 Cheese Pasta Bake Recipe

Originally when creating this recipe, I used mascarpone in the sauce too, however having made for a few big dinners in our house and not having any to hand I’ve since decided it’s actually better without! We love cheese at ours and even thought mascarpone is delicious, I think it sort of masked the flavours of the cheddar and Parmesan. So, ignore the scoop of mascarpone in the video and enjoy this utter cheese fest in all its glory. This serves about 8 as it’s so rich, so definitely serve it alongside a fresh green salad to cut through the creaminess! 

Ingredients:

500g any pasta

100g butter

100g plain flour

100ml milk

500g grated cheddar

200g grated Parmesan, plus 100g

2 balls mozzarella

2 cups breadcrumbs

150g frozen peas

1 pack streaky bacon / lardons

 

Recipe:

1.  Pop your pasta in salted water to cook for 10 mins (definitely al dente as it’ll continue cooking in its sauce). Drain and toss in olive oil.

2.  In a large pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook out for 3 minutes. Slowly add milk and beat to create a smooth white sauce.

3.   Stir in the cheddar until smooth again and then add the 200g Parmesan and the mozzarella. Stir until melted and gooey and great.

4.   Chop up the bacon and cook off until crispy. Add the peas and then stir through the sauce. Add the pasta and tip into a large baking dish.

5.  Stir the 100g Parmesan into the breadcrumbs and scatter over the top. Bake in a 200c oven for 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden.

Morning After Friday Night Frittata Recipe

We’ve all been there. Blood turned into beer, or at least it feels like that come Saturday morning where your body clock still wakes you up at 8, despite you only crawling into bed a few hours previous. This is a true fridge-raid and you can totally make it your own. I’ve used more traditional Full English ingredients but I’ve also been known to stick leftover takeaways in a pan of eggs so don’t limit yourself! This is even better when its made for you, so ask nicely and promise to keep the restorative teas coming all day… 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Around 500g any veg or protein you’ve got leftover from the week e.g.

100g halved cherry tomatoes

200g boiled/baked potatoes

6 rashers of bacon

100g chopped mushrooms

100g chopped red pepper

handful spinach

5 large free range eggs, beaten

 

Recipe:

1.   Grill bacon. Fry mushrooms and pepper in a glug of olive oil. Add tomatoes and potatoes to get some colour on them.

2.   Chop the bacon into the pan and add the spinach leaves to wilt a bit.

3.   Add all this to the bowl of eggs to cover it. Add salt and pepper and return to the pan.

4.   Cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to the grill if you’re pan has a metal handle- if not, flip out onto a plate and slide straight back into the pan to cook the other side.

Great hot or cold

Gnocchi with Kale Pesto Recipe

Gnocchi is one of those things that just soaks up flavour- much like its main ingredient, potato! It can have yummy sauces added it to it, like this take on pesto or it can itself be flavoured. A favourite autumn lunch of mine is gnocchi made with some mashed steamed squash or pumpkin and a simple brown butter and sage ‘sauce’ (literally just brown some butter and crisp up some sage in it…). Pesto is another super easy sauce to jazz up to your tastes. I’ve used kale here for a lovely bitter note but just as easily you could use spinach or any other leafy greens- I’ve been known to use carrot tops before! Whizz it up as smooth as you like but a bit of texture always add to the dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 kg baking potatoes

salt and pepper

1 egg

300 g plain flour

 

For the pesto:

85 g toasted pine nuts

85 g Parmesan (or veg alternative)

3 garlic cloves

75 ml olive oil

85 g kale

zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

Recipe:

1.   Spike the potatoes all round, wrap in kitchen paper and microwave for 10 minutes.

2.   Cut in half and remove the flesh into a bowl. Add the flour and seasoning. Stir through and leave to cool for a few minutes then squidge in the egg to make a dough.

3.   Roll into balls. Leave in the fridge to harden up slightly while you make the pesto.

4.   Blend everything for the pesto together until smooth.

5.   Cook the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top.

6.   Stir through the pesto until warm. Serve!