Keep it sweet this Summer with these sunshine-inspired treats — perfect for alfresco dining, outdoor gatherings and barbeques. You won’t be able to resist…
Light and zesty, orange polenta cake is the ultimate dessert. Perfect for garden parties, or Summer picnics, this recipe has a deeply aromatic scent of oranges, cardamom and almonds.
200g unsalted butter (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing
200g demerara sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g ground almonds
100g coarse polenta
1 tsp orange-blossom water
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
For the syrup:
5 cardamom pods
250ml orange juice (from 3–4 oranges)
30ml orange-blossom water
125g golden caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas 2½. Grease a 20cm springform tin, line the bottom and sides with greaseproof paper, and grease again. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then stir in the vanilla essence.
- In a small bowl, combine the ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, orange-blossom water and baking powder, then stir this into the cake mix. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the surface is light brown and the cake is coming away slightly from the sides of the tin.
- Remove the tin from the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate. The cake will be quite fragile, so handle carefully as you remove it.
- To make the syrup, crush the cardamom pods, then put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly. Set aside to cool. To finish, prick the cake all over with a skewer, then brush generously with the syrup. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, or yoghurt, and an extra drizzle of syrup.
With just the right amount of crunch on the outside and a deliciously chewy centre, this fruity, show-stopping delight was made for your next Summer party.
700g golden caster sugar
4 elderflower heads
1 lemon, zest peeled in strips and juiced
4 egg whites
1 tsp cornflour
350ml double cream
3 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
- Put 500g of the caster sugar and 500ml water in a pan and bring to a simmer. Make sure the sugar has dissolved, then cool. Wash the elderflower heads gently in cold water and add them to the pan with the lemon zest. Leave to steep overnight.
- Heat the oven to 150ºC/fan 130ºC/gas 2. Strain the syrup. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the remaining caster sugar a little at a time, and continue whisking until the meringue looks glossy. Mix in the cornflour and one teaspoon of the lemon juice.
- Spoon the meringue in a large circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment and make a dip in the middle. Put in the oven and lower the height to 140ºC/fan 120ºC/gas 1. Bake for one hour and then turn off the heat and let the pavlova cool in the oven with the door slightly open.
- Once cool, transfer it to a serving plate. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add two to three tablespoons of the syrup and continue to whip until it is thicker, but still spoonable. Pile into the centre of the pavlova.
- Heat a frying pan on a low light and toast the almonds. As they start to brown, sift in the icing sugar, shake the pan and turn off the heat. Add the kiwi to two tablespoons of syrup, spoon it over the cream and sprinkle on the almonds.
These Moroccan-inspired chocolate truffles are light, velvety and infused with a sweet aroma of mint tea. They’re also super easy to prepare.
250ml double cream
3 tsp loose gunpowder green tea leaves
A handful of fresh mint leaves
200g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
3 tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder to coat the truffles
- In a deep skillet, transfer the cream and the butter and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the green tea and mint leaves. Leave to steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain the cream and transfer it back into the deep skillet. Place over a medium heat and add the chocolate, honey and vanilla. Stir for about five minutes, until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted.
- Once the mixture has liquidised, transfer it into a bowl and place in the fridge until the ganache firms up. This takes about an hour.
- Roll teaspoons of the ganache into balls. Transfer several at a time to a bowl and coat with cocoa. Enjoy them chilled, or at room temperature.
Explore our Eat section for more recipe inspiration.