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Chocolate cake with dark chocolate topping and spider web white chocolate drizzle. The cake is so easy to make it’s embarrassing – but excellent for the kids to be engaged.
Spongata di natale, Italian honey and nut Christmas cake is like an oversized mince pie, with shortcrust pastry case and filling of dried or candied fruit, and mixed nuts.
Homemade egg white sponge fingers, aka ladyfingers or savoiardi, for your next trifle, tiramisu or chocolate mousse. Or they might just disappear on their own.
St Lucia buns, vibrant with saffron and elegantly twisted, are Swedish Christmas time bakes. Lucia Day and Lucia buns go back to the history of Lucia, an early Christian martyr.
Soft and chewy double ginger cookies. Ginger is quite amazing in its versatility, a bit like lemons, you can add it to both sweet and savoury dishes and if in sensible quantities, it’ll improve them.
Sticky fig upside down cake. The figs get sticky and melt into the almond layer; and if they don’t look quite as appealing as I was hoping – well, the proof of the pudding and all that.
Sticky pear and ginger cake is dark, moist and incredibly easy to make. With juicy chunks of pears and crunchy pecans scattered over the sticky syrupy surface, it’s the perfect winter dessert.
Sticky toffee pudding - date cake with delicious toffee sauce, best served warm. Let’s face it: it’s a date cake. Easy to make, nice and slightly gooey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with baking it, leaving it dry and eating a slice or two cold.
Stollen bites, mini treat versions of the German fruited Christmas log. I make them with pistachio marzipan and apple marmalade and they are completely irresistible.
Classic Victoria sponge sandwich cake filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, also known as strawberry shortcake sandwich.
Strawberry butter cake is a buttery sponge with fresh strawberries scattered over the batter and it's simple and easy to make. Delicious melt-in-your-mouth sponge with seasonal fruit.
Strawberry crumble cake, the easiest cake batter in the world thickly covered with fresh strawberries and finished with crunchy crumble topping. The only summer cake recipe you'll ever need.
Strawberry fool is the supreme of strawberries and cream, with layers of vanilla scented whipped cream and gorgeous fresh strawberry puree, barely sweetened.
Italian style homemade ice cream without eggs with pureed fresh strawberry swirl. It’s not always all about raspberry ripple, you know.
Strawberry yoghurt cake with fresh strawberry icing, baked in a Bundt tin. It’s tender and buttery like the best pound cake, with fragrant fresh strawberries giving it a pink tinge.
Summer berry ice cream, made in a blender, churned in an ice cream maker. The base contains no eggs but a balanced mix of dairy and natiral emulsifiers.
Summer cherry cake with a hint of cinnamon and minimal effort involved. This cake mix is pathetically simple – it takes 5 minutes to prepare and always comes out well.
Swedish almond caramel cake, Toscakaka, is a lovely and easy cake to make ahead. Bake the base in advance, then add caramel topping and blast it under the grill just before serving.
Sweet puff pastry straws brushed with jam and sugar glaze, twice baked and still the easiest biscuits there are. Shop-bought or homemade puff pastry sheet makes dessert ready in less than an hour.
Date cake with tamarind paste and lemon and cardamom icing. I'm sure it would go amazingly with a caramel sauce, served warm from the oven or heated up in a microwave but it’s really good just left at the ‘cake’ stage.
Tarta de Santiago, traditional Spanish almond cake. Three basic ingredients and no electric appliances required: that’s St James’ cake, or tarta de Santiago. It’s a Galician specialty going back to Middle Ages;
Traditional panettone made on sourdough starter known as lievito madre or pasta madre in Italian. Step-by-step recipe for classic panettone with gorgeous sugar glaze.
Traditionally Simnel cake was a rich yeast cake, with marzipan layer inside and marzipan topping. This adapted Victorian recipe is made with yeast dough nad homemade marzipan.
Chewy and crispy chocolate chip cookies with white and brown sugar. These are triple choc, but you can add the chocolate chips of your choice: dark or white or milk.
Triple chocolate profiteroles, made with choux pastry filled with Chantilly and chocolate mousse, glazed with white and dark chocolate sauce.
Twice baked cake with filling of lightly roasted fresh apricots – an ingenious idea of a sponge pie, cake with baked-in filling, all-baked layer cake. And it’s as easy as it is delightful.
Upside-down cherry cake with fresh cherries and buttery sponge, baked in a tart or flan case. That way the ratio of fruit to batter is more balanced!
Mini heart shaped sponge cake for Valentine’s Day. A cute and easy Valentine Victoria sponge sandwich filled with jam and whipped cream, made with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
Vanilla chocolate cupcakes with meringue buttercream frosting. These are good though for a dinner party dessert: you dish out individual items which is neat and stops people from devouring the whole large cake in one sitting.
The best vanilla ice cream: no eggs, full fat cream and milk and real vanilla pods make totally luscious vanilla ice cream. Vanilla is really expensive at the moment but there’s no question that no extract matches up to the genuine article.
Venetian carrot cake, gluten free carrot cake with pine nuts and a handful of boozy raisins. This is a lovely cake, squidgy and wet (‘wet’ being the word I’m campaigning for to replace the hateful ‘moist’).
A very chocolate ice cream, rich and creamy, made without eggs. The challenge for me was to create as chocolatey chocolate ice cream as those chez Glacerie Lambert – and they were very chocolatey indeed.
Watermelon granita with no added sugar makes a fantastic dessert when served with a scoop of ice cream. Plus, instructions how to cube a watermelon.
Raspberry muffins with white chocolate chunks. Muffin is not a biscuit. It's not a cake. It's not quite breakfast fodder. It's this weird cakey thing that you grab when on the go, when hungry but its not lunchtime.
White chocolate kladdkaka. Swedish 'sticky cake' can be made with white, milk or dark chocolate.
Best hot cross buns ever: wholemeal, with tons of raisins, piped crosses and delicious sticky honey glaze. There’s no better spring breakfast than a buttered hot cross bun.
Wholemeal sugar-free ricotta cake with honey and poppy seeds. This cake doesn’t require much lobbying as it has many virtues: wholemeal cake! sugar-free! with poppy or chia seeds for crunch!
Zimtsterne are German cinnamon and almond star-shaped cookies baked and gifted during Advent and Christmas. Tiny, dainty and naturally gluten-free, they are like an edible sweet snowflake!
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