Following on from my last post about cheat ingredients where I shared my loved for ready made puff pastry, I’ve decided to carry on the theme for a little bit longer (if you let me indulge)! I’ve long been a fan of mid-week puddings, but even with the best will in the world having the time to knock something up can be difficult!
Ready made pastry cases are a boon, and the recipe below for a simple, tasty filling will make you look like a mid-week-dessert-creating-rockstar! And you’re welcome!
Ingredients (makes 6):
- Packet of six ready made sweet shortcrust pastry cases
- 150g of rhubarb chopped into 5cm pieces (fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter)
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp of water
- 250ml ready whipped cream
- Small handful of freeze dried strawberry slices
- Fresh mint leaves to garnish
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean paste and water in a saucepan, cover with a lid and heat over a medium heat until the rhubarb has softened and cooked through to be able to mash.
- When cooked, check for sweetness and tartness balance and add additional sugar if needed, but don’t overdo it on the sugar as you need to have the tartness of the rhubarb coming through.
- When cooked through, spoon out into a bowl and allow to cool, and mash with a fork.
- In a pestle and mortar, grind down the freeze dried strawberries until they are a powder (this is a really satisfying thing to do!)
- When the rhubarb mixture has cooled slightly, scoop out the ready whipped cream and gentle fold together. Don’t over stir otherwise the cream will collapse!
- Spoon out generously into the pastry cases.
- Garnish with a line of freeze dried strawberry powder and a sprig of fresh mint.
It’s amazing what you’ll come up with when you really want something sweet for after a mid-week dinner but you want it to be quick, tasty and naughty enough that you feel as though you really have had a treat! It was in this vein of thought that I started creating various different “Tumbler Deserts” and I come back to them time again.
They are so easy you can make them alongside your dinner, and the flavour combinations and possibilities are endless, not to mention a great way of using up leftover fruit from the fruit bowl! The only rule I have for making Tumbler Deserts is that they have a variety of textures and taste: a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness and a bit of unctious loveliness usually supplied by cream or custard.
They are called Tumbler Deserts because they are served up in a standard tumbler glass – simple! Below is a recipe for a Tumbler Desert I made for after last nights’ dinner. It made me remember how lovely they are, and decided that now was a good time to introduce the world to them! Every time I make one, I’ll post it up with a number – I wonder how many I’ll get to?!
Ingredients (serves 2):
Two small handful of amaretti biscuits
Small slug of Amaretto liquer
A single square of Green & Blacks Maya Gold (spiced orange and dark chocolate)
Half a punnet of strawberries
4 very ripe peaches
1 tsp of Vanilla Bean paste
2 tblsp of brown demerara sugar
Put the amaretti biscuits in the bottom of each tumbler (a small handful per glass) and using the bottom of a rolling pin, crush them to a fine crumb (very satisfying!)
Put a small slug of Amaretto onto of the biscuits – be careful, not too much; just enough so that when you stir the biscuit and liquer together with a spoon it gently comes together but does not melt away.
Grate the Maya Gold over the Amaretti biscuit and liquer mix – as much as you like really! Set aside.
De-stone the four peaches and place them in a small non-stick pan along with the vanilla bean paste and the brown sugar.
Cover the saucepan and put on a medium low heat. Cook gently for about 7 mins until the peaches start to break down, but still hold their shape a little.
Make sure that the caramel that will be produced from the peaches and the sugar doesn’t catch. After about 7 minutes, add in a little drop of water to the pan to deglaze the caramel and stop it from burning and add the hulled and halved strawberries.
Turn the heat down a little, and cook for another 3 minutes uncovered.
Once done, spoon the peach and strawberry mix over the amaretto biscuit mix along with the caramelised juices.
Pour over the top some single cream which should float on top of the fruit mixture, and finish off with a final flourish of grated Maya Gold.
Serve immediately, and Enjoy!