Category Archives: desserts

Food Monday ~ Coconut Custard

Today I dip into the old recipe book that belonged to my sister.  The recipe that I have chosen is in her hand and near the back of the book so I think it might be quite recent.

Coconut Custard
Preheat the oven to 150°C

4 eggs
3 ozs light brown sugar
8 fluid ozs coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Fit the metal blade to a processor and add all the ingredients and process until smooth.  Transfer to individual Ramekin dishes and bake for 35-40 minutes.

*When mammy made baked custard she always stood it in a dish of water before setting it in the oven.

Food Monday ~ Nana’s Baked Rhubarb

Nana’s Baked Rhubarb

Spread 2 pounds of rhubarb, cut into ¾ to 1 inch pieces, on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  The quickest way to cut rhubarb is to use a scissors.  Pour 1½ cups of sugar evenly over the rhubarb.  Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C. Remove rhubarb from the oven and stir mixture. Put back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.
Nana never added water, mind you she never measured anything either.  She worked by the look, taste or feel method!   I loved to drain off the excess juice and drink it!

Variation 1: Add ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to the sugar. Mix ginger and nutmeg into the sugar until evenly distributed.

Variation 2: Half the amount of sugar and cook the rhubarb in lemonade.

For a crumble topping I like Micko’s version best of all.

Cook the crumble separately at 200°C. This gives it a real crunchy texture instead of it being a soggy mush.  Rub 2 ozs butter into 3 ozs plain flour in a mixing bowl until “they resemble breadcrumbs”.  Then add 1½ ozs of brown sugar. Finely chop a handful of nuts and add them to the mixing bowl, with a pinch of ginger, stir together. Sprinkle onto a baking sheet – spreading it out and cook it in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Turn the mixture & return the tray to the oven for another five to 10 minutes, just until the mixture is golden but not burnt – and it’s incredibly crunchy.

Assemble the dish about 5 minutes before you serve it up. Put the fruit filling in a microwave safe baking dish, sprinkle the crumble mixture on top and reheat it in the microwave for about one or two minutes, depending on how hot you like it. I prefer warm rather than piping hot, so it’s just a quick 60 seconds.
To Serve: Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or thick natural yoghurt.

Food Monday ~ Baked Apples

Baked Apples

Baked apples make a very easy dessert and can be cooked in the oven alongside the main course or in the microwave.  I often bake just one for myself and place the apple in a large ramekin dish.  This recipe gives direction for microwave cooking.

  • 4 large dessert apples
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or nuts of your choice
  • 60 ml Apple juice
  • 175 ml Maple or Golden syrup

Wash apples. Remove cores to ½ inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer or a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about ¾ inch to an inch wide.  Peel the apples one third of the way down.  Arrange in a microwavable dish peeled ends uppermost.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon, raisins/sultanas, and nuts.  Stuff each apple hollow with this mixture.  In a jug combine the apple juice and maple or golden syrup and pour over and around the apples. Cook, covered on high for 7-9 minutes for four apples, until the apples are tender.  Reduce the time for two (4-6 minutes) or for one apple (2½ minutes).  Remove the apples to a serving dish and cook the remaining syrup on High for (3-5) (2-3) or (1½) minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly.  Spoon the syrup over the apples and serve warm with ice cream.


If using conventional oven Bake 30 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.

Food Monday ~ Pear & Hazelnut Tart

Pear & Hazelnut Tart
Preheat the oven to 190ºC

Filo Pastry to line flan tin

3 large pears of equal ripeness, peeled cored & halved
Apple juice or water
70g hazelnuts, finely ground*
60g caster sugar
50g butter, softened, but not melted
1 large egg

Put the pears in a saucepan and cover with the apple juice or water.Bring to the boil and simmer very gently until the pears are just tender.This can take 12-40 mins, depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit.

Line flan tin with 4 or 5 sheets of filo pastry overlapping the sheets.Mix together the hazelnuts, sugar, egg & butter to form a smooth paste and spread over the pastry base.

When the pears have cooled a little slice in 5mm slices and arrange on top of the nut mixture.Bake for 25-30 minutes and ideally, serve immediately with whipped cream or ice cream.

* I like to use roughly crushed pecan nuts to ring the changes in this recipe.

Food Monday ~ 2 Quick Desserts

We all need a little sweetness in our lives now and then.  I seldom eat a dessert these days, but there is no reason why I should not share some with you.  Today I offer two.

Chocolate coffee pots

Serves 2

  • 65 g dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1tablespoon freshly made expresso-style coffee
  • 125 mls crème fraîche

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the coffee.  Place over a small pan of gently simmering water and melt slowly.  Remove from the heat and cool.  Once cool, stir in the crème fraîche and spoon into small dishes or ramakins.


Moroccan Pudding

Serves 2

  • 425mls skimmed milk
  • 1tablespoon caster sugar
  • zest of an orange
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 65g couscous
  • 65g ready to eat dried apricots, roughly chopped.

Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan and add sugar, orange zest, vanilla pod, cinnamon, couscous and a pinch of salt.  heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.  Add apricots and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the pudding has thickened.  Remove the vanilla pod, chill and serve with orange slices and low-fat Greek yogurt

Food Monday ~ Lazy Crumble

I am feeling lazy today and taking it easy.  It is after all a Bank Holiday in Auntie Elly’s house, so George and I will be putting our feet up.  For goodness sake don’t tell yer wan, or she will have us both frog marching round the block.  I suppose we could cheat and jump on a train to Galway!

In the meantime…. a little something to keep you going

Lazy Crumble
Preheat the oven to 200°C

Any available fruit such as – apple, blackcurrant, gooseberries, loganberries, plums, raspberries or rhubarb will do for this.

Place fruit of your choice in a greased ovenproof baking dish.

For the topping

  • 4 oz. butter
  • 3 oz good quality Muesli
  • 2 oz. Demerara sugar
  • 2 oz. Coconut (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan. Add other ingredients and stir over heat for a few minutes. Then sprinkle on top of the fruit and bake in oven for 30 minutes.

To Serve: Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or thick natural yoghurt.

Food Monday ~ Mango Soufflé A la Ramana

On Friday Morning I playfully reproduced a photo of a ‘Loose’ Mango.  I am a little devious at times you know! 👿  It was in fact a tease for two reasons: a reminder of the Bloggers Consortium at 5pm that day, and a trap to see how well ‘yer man‘ can cook!  He fell for it hook line and sinker with the following comment:

Loose, tight, soft, hard, raw, ripe, dried, pickled or whatever, in whatever form, give me mangoes.

Naturally, I couldn’t let that one pass so I demanded he put his money where his mouth was, and share a recipe for Mangoes.  I reproduce the email in full, because it is sure to introduce discussion, I know I had to avail of ‘Google Images’ for one of the fruits mentioned.

This is the best that I could come up with using ripe mangoes. You can call it a Mango soufflé.  A la Ramana if you insist!  You can use any pulpy fruit in season for this sweet dish. Guavas, Sapotas and Custard Apples, particularly come out well.  You can add powdered cardamom to give it a tangy flavour.

I have eaten Guavas, tasted Custard Apples once, but never heard of Sapotas.  So without further ado I give you…

Mango Soufflé A la Ramana

You will require:
½ cup mango – sliced
½ cup mango –  blended in a blender
sugar to taste
3 eggs – (I prefer free range)
2 tsp gelatin – soak for some time in a little water.
¾ cup cream

What to do:

Separate the egg whites and yolks
Add the puree and separated yolk to the sugar, whisk and cook over a pan of boiling water till the sugar completely gets absorbed.
To some hot water, add the gelatin and add it to the yolk puree mix and let it cool
Whip the cream and add it to the mixture and place the sliced mango into it
Whip the egg whites and mix it with the above mixture
Freeze for a couple of hours.

When serving, decorate with cream lines and sultanas/ sliced almonds.  (If I have some fresh mint leaves, I just place a few on top as well. Mint leaves assist in digesting the meal which would have preceded this!)


Thank you Ramana.  Alas, I will be unable to try it because of the cream, but I am sure the many followers of this spot will indulge and enjoy.

Ramana, not satisfied with providing one recipe, he pestered requested his sister Padmini, an Editor/Co-author for some prize/award winning cookery books to sent three recipes for raw mango using dishes that are very popular with South Indians during the mango season, which is during their summer months of April to June.  So watch this space; there will be more mango recipes in the future.

NOTE: For any pregnant ladies out there, the egg whites are uncooked.  I never know whether it is the egg yolk or the whites that you have to watch out for!

Food Monday ~ Treacle Tart

Back in the middle of February I met up with some Norn Iron bloggers.  During the evening Nelly and I spoke of food matters.  She promised me a recipe for my Food Monday and true to her word I had an email earlier in the week.  Nelly says:

This recipe is adapted from one found in The Independent, originally by Mark Mix. I reduced the amount of treacle as the original recipe was slightly overpowered by the flavour of molasses. You could leave it out entirely and add an extra 25g of golden syrup. The Mark Mix recipe recommends serving with thick cream, but trust me, it’s too rich.

Treacle Tart
Pre-heat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

Sweet pastry

2 medium egg yolks
225g unsalted butter, softened
1tbsp caster sugar
275g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting


250g golden syrup
1 tbsp dark treacle
220ml double cream
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1tbsp lemon juice


beat the egg yolks and butter together in a bowl, and then beat in the sugar. Stir in the flour and knead together until well mixed. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour before use.
Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Line a 20-22cm flan or tart tin, about 3-4cm deep, and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. The pastry will break up but can be patched together with no ill effect
Make the filling by mixing the golden syrup, treacle, double cream, breadcrumbs and beaten eggs together, and then stir in the lemon juice. Fill the flan ring with the mixture and bake for 40-50 minutes, then leave to cool. Serve warm with custard or crème fraiche.

Thanks Nelly for your contribution to my food Monday.  I look forward to making this for my toyboys!

Food Monday ~ Strawberry Cheesecake

While Niamh was here for the weekend earlier in the month I asked if she would like to share a favourite recipe with all of us.It sounds delicious.

Strawberry Cheesecake

6oz (150g) digestive biscuits
3oz butter or margarine
8oz (225g) Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 pint cream
1 strawberry jelly
fresh strawberries to decorate (optional)
extra cream to decorate (also optional)


Crush the biscuits to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Melt butter and mix in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into the base of a fluted quiche dish or a loose-bottomed 9-inch cake tin. Place in fridge to set.

Melt the jelly in the microwave with 1/4 pt water (or less). Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whip the cream in a separate bowl until thick but not stiff.

Place the cheese in a clean bowl and beat in the jelly a little at a time. Fold in the whipped cream and pour mixture on top of biscuit base.

Place in fridge until set. Decorate with rosettes of whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

*I remember having a different version many years ago.I used a lime jelly and decorated it with sliced Kiwi.

Food Monday ~ Nana’s Christmas Pudding

Nana’s Christmas Pudding (No suet)
2x2pint Bowls greased well

8oz Butter
8oz Brown Sugar
2oz Plain Flour
¼ teaspoon each: Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Mixed Spice
8ozs Bread Crumbs
3 large Eggs
18oz Dried Fruit
1 large cooking Apple, chopped
2oz Nuts
3oz Candied Peel
2oz Cherries
1 grated carrot
Juice & Rind of 1 Orange
½ glass Spirits
Stout to moisten

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using your hands – part of the mystery of Christmas! Add the stout a little at a time to moisten the mixture. Finally stir ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda into a little milk last thing and add to the pudding mixture and mix well. Divide between the two bowls. Cover with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper and tie well. Place each bowl in a saucepan of boiling water making sure the water does not cover the bowls. Boil for 5 hours topping up the water level at intervals. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Boil 2 further hours before use. This second boiling can be done a week or so before Christmas and the pudding heated on the day.