Tag Archives: Pudding

Sticky Toffee Roulade

Ooooooooh, you DEFINITELY need to give this one a go! It’s utterly luscious, totally naughty, rich in flavour, deep in colour and I’m sure that it whispers, “Have some more, you know you want to!” And of course, there’s the necessary pre-cleaning of pan used to cook the sauce – I have a lovely little spatula that goes direct from saucepan to mouth……This would make a lovely dessert for Sunday lunch but equally, we had it on a rainy Thursday afternoon! You seriously don’t need an excuse!

What you need…

1 x 35 x 25cm Swiss roll tin, buttered and lined with parchment paper

150g dates, roughly chopped

225ml water

4 eggs, separated

75g soft dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

100g plain flour

Caster sugar for sprinkling

for the naughty sauce

200ml double cream

200g unsalted butter

200g soft dark brown sugar

50ml brandy

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 230°c / 450°f / gas 8.

Put the dates and water into a saucepan over a moderate heat and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, tip the egg yolks and sugar into your food processor and whizz until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Set aside.

Tip the dates and water into your blender and whizz to create a fine purée.

Back to the main food processor, add the vanilla extract to the egg and sugar mixture whilst the motor is running; then the bicarbonate of soda and puréed dates, whizzing until evenly mixed together. Mix in the flour and then tip in one third of the egg whites and whizz until just mixed in (maybe 10 seconds). Then tip the whole lot into the remaining egg whites and use a balloon whisk to gently fold the eggs and mixture in together.

Tip the lot into your prepared tin. Bang the tin on the worktop to make sure the mixture is evenly spread and then pop in the oven for 12 minutes until the sponge is risen and golden.

Whilst the cake bakes, take the saucepan used to boil the dates and water and give it a quick wipe out with some kitchen roll before adding in all the sauce ingredients. Set over a moderate heat and gently bring to the boil, using your balloon whisk again to beat until smooth. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

Lay a damp tea towel on your worktop and on top, add a large piece of parchment paper (bigger than the Swiss roll tin). When the cake comes out of the oven, invert it onto the parchment paper – this is quite tricky but the tea towel will at least keep the parchment paper in place whilst you do this. Gently peel off the tin-lining paper. Then spread one third of the sauce over the sponge, making sure that you take it right to the edges. Then gently roll up the sponge from a short side to create a lovely, luscious fat roll.

Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with caster sugar. Pour your naughty sauce into a serving jug.

To serve, fend off enthusiastic tasters and cut the roulade into nice chunky slices, pouring over the wicked sauce……and indulge, enjoy, savour…cut another slice – simply divine!

Serving suggestion…

I don’t actually think it needs anything else at all but you could serve it with brandy ice cream (already blogged). I tried it both ways and they were both delicious.

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Really easy, very quick but you do create quite a bit of a mess using both the main processor and blender, electric whisk, balloon whisk, large bowl and saucepan in the prep. That said, it is absolutely worth it!

 

Mayan Chocolate Pots & Tequila-Glazed Orange Madeleines

Ooooh, these little chocolate pots are really va va voom! The rich dark chocolate has a little more than a hint of warmth provided by allspice, cinnamon and cayenne: hidden depths that add to the pleasure of delving into these lovely little pots of naughtiness. And then, the Madeleines: their elegant appearance and light, delicate flavour are enhanced by a gentle orange flavour and then the party arrives with the distinctive kick of tequila (in the icing – a new one on me!) A really lovely and different pud that’s dead easy to knock up and can be prepared in advance!

Serves 6

What you need…

200g 70%+ dark chocolate, chunked

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch of sea salt

6 happy eggs, separated, plus a further 2 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

40g golden caster sugar

A handful of slighty crushed pistachios or cocoa nibs

for the Madeleines

1 x Madeleine tin, lightly buttered and dusted with flour

100g plain flour

100g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 eggs

Dash of vanilla extract

Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated

1 tablespoon orange juice

Pinch of sea salt

25g icing sugar

10ml aged Tequila

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3.

Starting with the chocolate pots, place the chocolate, spices and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water over a low heat. Gently melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use a handheld electric whisk to beat the egg yolks until thick and creamy. Then, tip into the melted chocolate and beat to thoroughly incorporate. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking, gradually adding the sugar, one spoonful at a time, until soft peaks form.

Using a metal spoon, add one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and beat like mad to loosen. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined, with no white streaks. Divide evenly between 6 serving bowls, glasses or in my case, coffee cups. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge for at least 3 hours.

For the Madeleines, tip the flour and sugar into your food processor and whizz to mix together. Pour in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, orange zest and juice plus the salt.

Put a heaped tablespoon of batter into each of the moulds in the Madeleine tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together the icing sugar with the tequila and then, when the Madeleines are cool, dip them into the boozy sugar and leave to cool and set on a wire rack, scallop-side up.

Top the chocolate pots with pistachios or cocoa nibs, if using and maybe a little sea salt. Serve to the delight of your fellow diners with a couple of Madeleines each – gorgeously naughty – enjoy!

Inspired by…

Good Things magazine

How easy…

Really easy and the joy of it is that this dessert can be prepared in advance – the Madeleines store nicely in an airtight tin and the chocolate pots will keep in the fridge for a couple of days – result!

 

 

Baked Orange Marmalade Sponge

Simply stunning and stunningly easy, this sponge is oh-so light but has a fabulously indulgent tangy zestiness flavour. It entices you with it’s aroma and when you’ve dug your spoon in once, there is no option but to just keep on going – absolutely delicious – give this one a go – you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x 1.2 litre pudding basin

1 x deep baking dish

200g butter, softened plus extra to grease your basin.

4 tablespoons orange marmalade

200g caster sugar

Zest of 3 large oranges

4 eggs, lightly whisked

200g self-raising flour

4 tablespoons milk

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 140°c / 275°f / gas 3.

Liberally butter your basin and pop in the fridge to cool slightly. Then tip in the marmalade and brush so the whole of the inside of the bowl is covered.

In your food processor, cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Tip in the orange zest and whizz again until evenly incorporated. Gradually add in the whisked egg, whizzing the whole time. Then tip in the flour and milk and whizz again to mix in.

Half fill your baking dish with boiling water from the kettle. Set aside.

Re-brush your marmalade, that has probably slithered to the bottom of the bowl, so that it covers the sides again and tip in the sponge mixture. Pop the bowl into the baking dish of boiling water and stick the whole thing into the oven, uncovered.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Insert a skewer in to make sure it’s cooked through – it should come out dry.

Remove from the oven and loosen the sponge from the bowl gently using a palette knife. Now the breath-holding bit: invert your sponge out of the bowl onto a pretty serving plate – it will gently slither out – I promise.

Remove bowl and admire your handiwork – it’s a pretty fine-looking sponge. Serve on it’s own or with a little double cream. Either way, for something so simple, it is simply stunning.

Inspired by…

Tom Kerridge

How easy…

Stunningly so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nectarine, Almond and Polenta Cake with Marsala Mascarpone

Yum: I’m not sure if this recipe comes from Sicily, where Marsala originates, but it certainly tastes like it does! A dense and exceptionally moist, sweet sponge created by in the inclusion of nectarine pulp, Marsala, polenta, almonds and olive oil, this cake is absolutely delicious served with the sweet, rich and Marsala-infused mascarpone and when you complete the dish with a couple of slices of ripe nectarines, it’s just wonderful and so very, very summery. An added bonus is that it keeps really well for a couple of days if you don’t demolish it all on the first!

Serves 8 – 10

What you need…

1 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin, lightly buttered and lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

150g caster sugar

3 ripe nectarines plus a further 3-4 to serve (depending on how many of you are having your cake and eating it!)

125ml sweet Marsala wine

190ml extra virgin olive oil

240g caster sugar

100g polenta

250g ground almonds

3 large eggs, beaten

for the Marsala mascarpone

500g mascarpone

100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

4 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas.

Fill a large saucepan with water and add the caster sugar. Bring to the boil and gently drop in the nectarines. Turn down the heat and gently poach them for 30 minutes, until tender.

Drain the nectarines and cool. Slice the fruit off the stone and pop the flesh into your food processor. Add the 125 ml Marsala and whizz to a purée, Add the remaining cake ingredients and whizz again to create a smooth batter. Pour into your cake tin and bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, use a handheld electric whisk to beat together all the ingredients for the Marsala mascarpone ‘cream’. Also, slice up the remaining nectarines, discarding the stones.

Pop the cooled cake onto a pretty serving plate and dust with icing sugar, arrange some nectarine slices on the top and offer the remaining slices to your fellow cake eaters together with the lovely Marsala mascarpone – delightfully delicious.

Inspired by…

Delicious Magazine online

How easy…

Ridiculously! And it can be made ahead.

Marsala-Baked Summer Peaches with Mascarpone Cream

Utterly delicious is my description. John’s is a little more vibrant: peaches with dogs’ bollox cream! Why? I have no idea but it’s stuck in this house, so when the British Summertime rolls around, there is an inevitable request for this dish – using John’s language – and we all know what he’s talking about! Anyway, the point is that this lovely pudding is delicious and easy: the light and fresh ‘cream’ contrasts perfectly with the rich Marsala sauce in which the peaches sit so prettily; and the whole things simply exudes ‘summer’. Like I said, utterly delicious! (It also keeps in the fridge very well, so can be indulged in over a number of days if there are only two of you enjoying it!)

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x shallow baking dish

6 firm ripe peaches

40g caster sugar

275ml Marsala wine

2 x cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways

1 rounded teaspoon arrowroot

for the cream

4 rounded tablespoons mascarpone

4 rounded tablespoons fromage frais

A few drops of vanilla extract

1 dessertspoon caster sugar

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

First of all, you need to relieve the peaches of their skins and there’s a really easy way to do it. Halve the peaches and remove their stones. Pop two halves into a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Don your marigolds and after 30 seconds, remove one of the halves from the water and just slip off it’s skin – it will come straight off – dead easy. Do the same to the second half. Then, repeat the process with the remaining peach halves, two at a time, using freshly boiled water for each set of two halves (it won’t work so well if the water has cooled slightly). That done, the rest is a delight to do!

Place the peach halves into your baking dish, rounded side down. In a jug, mix together the Marsala and sugar and then pour over the peaches. Wodge in the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod halves and pop in the oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and, using a ladle, transfer the Marsala ‘sauce’ to a small saucepan, discarding the vanilla pod halves and cinnamon sticks. Mix the arrowroot with a little cold water and then add it to the saucepan, whisking it in over a gentle heat until the sauce has slightly thickened.

Pour the sauce back over the peaches and set aside to cool. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge over night to allow the flavours to fully develop.

To make the ‘cream’, use an electric handheld whisk to beat together all of the ingredients and serve in a pretty bowl or jug.

Ideally, enjoy this lovely little dessert on a balmy summer’s evening with friends.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Very easy: a simply delicious dish, all round. And, you prepare it the day before you want it which is always a bonus in my book!

 

 

Terrine of Summer Fruits

 

A lovely, light, really, really summery dessert that is packed with the season’s bounty, all of which can be bought locally. Stunning to look at and fabulously tasty, this dessert also makes you feel slightly virtuous – it is stacked with fruit after all. Just yummy! Going back for another slice now…

Serves 8 – 10

What you need…

 1 x 900g loaf tin

425ml sparkling rosé wine

2 x 11g sachets gelatine granules

50g caster sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

685g mixed summer fruits, e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants

What to do…

Prepare the fruit, washing it, hulling the strawberries and maybe cutting them in half/quarters if they are especially large.

In a small saucepan, warm half the rosé over a moderate heat until it begins to simmer. Using a balloon whisk, mix in the gelatine and sugar. Once both are dissolved, mix in the remaining rosé and lime juice. Pour into a jug and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, arrange the fruit in the loaf tin, making sure that the ‘prettiest’ is on the bottom layer – this will be on the top when the terrine is turned out.

Pour half the rosé mixture over the fruit, cover with cling film and then fit something heavy and flat over the top (another loaf tin would be ideal) onto which rest a couple of 400ml cans of tomatoes or something similar to weigh down the fruit. Pop in the fridge and leave for 1 hour.

Warm up the remaining rosé mixture so that it’s runny again (10 – 20 seconds ins a microwave or back on the hob), remove the cling film and pour the rosé liquid over the terrine, re-cover with cling film and pop back in the fridge over night. Return weighty cans and spare loaf tin to their homes.

When you are ready to serve, dip the loaf tin into hot water for a minute or so to loosen the jelly from the edges. Invert the terrine out onto a pretty serving place. If it doesn’t come out immediately, either run a chef’s blow torch around the outside of tin whilst it is inverted on the plate or cover with a very hot damp towel. Be patient – it will come out. I’ve also taken to gently knocking the sides with a steak hammer for final persuasion. It’s very gratifying when it plops out onto the plate!

Cut into slices and serve with double cream, crème fraiche or Greek yogurt – it’s absolutely gorgeous and just exudes all that is fabulous about a good British summertime!

Terrine of Summer Fruits close up wInspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Really easy

 

Spice-Roasted Fruits with Honey and Orange Sauce

 

A lovely, lovely pud that is unbelievably easy, can be mostly prepared ahead and is very unusual. Given the combination of orange, cinnamon and star anise, there is more than a little nod towards Christmas in the aromas emanating from the oven as these lovely summer fruits bask in their sauce but there’s nothing wrong with that! Once cooked, the soft, warm fruit has a lovely sweet depth of flavour and the gentle spices give this dish a very welcome extra dimension. Something different for summer – give it a go!

Serves 6

What you need…

4 fresh bay leaves, torn

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod

1 star anise

½ teaspoon black pepper

Zest and juice of 3 oranges

4 tablespoons clear honey

3 tablespoons light soft dark brown sugar

3 peaches, 3 nectarines, 6 plums all ripe, cut in half and stones removed

25g unsalted butter

Crème Fraîche, to serve

What to do…

The day before, take a large screw-top jar and tip in the bay leaves, cinnamon, vanilla pod seeds, star anise, pepper, orange zest and juice, honey and sugar. Screw on the lid, shake like mad and pop in the fridge.

Half an hour before serving, preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Tip the fruit into a roomy baking dish. Shake your sauce like mad again and then pour over the fruit. Dot over the butter and pop into the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Baste the fruits with a large spoon and bake again for a further 10 minutes. One more basting and then a further 5 minutes cooking. That’s it! Serve these rich and wonderful warm summer fruits with a gorgeous dollop of crème fraîche – very yummy indeed!

Spice-Roasted Fruits close w

Inspired by…

My friend, Heather told me she’d had it to conclude a lunch with a friend of hers called Lady Jas (!) It sounded so good that I googled it and printed it off the BBC Good Food website.

How easy…

You just need a jam jar, some fruit and a bit of time in the oven! My kinda pud!

Affogato al Caffe e Disaronno

Wow! This is just Naughty with a massively capital ‘N’. Ice cream, Disaronno, espresso and chocolate: it tastes like a combination of Italy’s boozy trifle, Tiramisu and my favourite cocktail, Espresso Martini. Equally, we started off eating it with a sundae spoon and ended up drinking it! The biggest problem is that it makes you greedy to get the lot down as quickly as possible, so fantastically naughty, it is! Made in seconds, this could become a really wicked little habit! What can I say: you need to try it!

Serves 1 (but that would be sad: double up and share with your favourite person)

What you need…

1 scoop of vanilla or honeycomb ice cream (previously blogged and works brilliantly in this).

1 tablespoon Disaronno

1 shot freshly made espresso coffee

1 teaspoon good quality dark chocolate, finely grated

What to do…

Wodge ice cream into the bottom of a pretty glass or small cup.

Pour over the Disaronno, then the espresso and then, sprinkle over the chocolate.

Immediately dive in with your spoon, marvel at the wicked gorgeousness of it, plunge in the spoon a couple more times before discarding it to drink the rest of your affogato! There’s probably a more elegant way of enjoying this but….this level of naughtiness deserves some gusto!

Tips…

If you are not quite as partial to Disaronno as I am, you could always swap it for Baileys.

There’s nothing to stop you mucking about with the quantities of any of the ingredients in this pudding-cum-cocktail.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Dangerously so!

Tiramisu

Delicious, decadent, rich and boozy, this Italian coffee and chocolate-based ‘trifle’ is Connagh’s absolute favourite dessert. It is totally indulgent and you know without any doubt that you are being spectacularly naughty when that first spoonful goes down. It is not unusual in this house for those indulging to enjoy second and third portions. Utterly divine – life would be incomplete without this dessert taking centre stage on our table on a regular basis – loosen your waistband and give it a go!

Serves Connagh on his own or 12 generous portions

What you need…

1 x pretty trifle bowl

6 egg yolks

150g caster sugar

1000g mascarpone cheese

170ml Kahlua or coffee liqueur

400 ml cold, strong coffee

28 (up to) boudoir biscuits (sponge fingers)

50g plain chocolate, finely grated

What to do…

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the caster sugar and beat together until pale and thickened, using an electric handheld whisk. Add the mascarpone and whisk slowly until it is evenly incorporated. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the coffee liqueur and whisk gently to combine.

Mix the coffee with the remaining coffee liqueur in a shallow dish. Dip each of the sponge fingers into the coffee and liqueur liquid and arrange in your serving bowl to cover the bottom. Gently plop over one third of the mascarpone mixture to cover the sponge fingers and then sprinkle on a layer of grated chocolate. Repeat these layers two further times, ending up with the sprinkled chocolate on the top. I use less chocolate on the top, preferring a lighter coverage for a prettier finish.

Cover your tiramisu with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours but 24 hours if possible to let the flavours develop into their optimum lusciousness.

To serve, take your tiramisu out of the fridge about an hour before you want to indulge – fabulous!

Tiramisu 2 w

Tips…

The number of boudoir biscuits isn’t set in stone and depends on the size and shape of your trifle bowl.

If you have a wide, shallow bowl, it may only be possible to create 2 layers rather than the 3 I’ve done here – it doesn’t make any difference – it will still be fab.

Inspired by…

Nigella Lawson

How easy…

Simple and also, relaxing to assemble.

Chocolate, Orange and Cardamom Diva Cake

 

I have been wanting to make this cake for a while but I knew that I would involve committing several hours to the cause. Music on, all equipment assembled and at the ready: I set to. It is an absolute stunner – definitely an OMG wonder of a celebratory cake! A sheer pleasure of many layers, your tastebuds are delighted first by rich chocolate, then by the light, zesty orange butter cream, then by the gentle warmth of cardamom and the intense, distinctive taste of pistachios, returning finally to the rich chocolate. John Whaite may call it ‘Opera Cake’, but to me it’s a glorious diva – requiring a huge amount of attention but worthy of it given the integral gift of enjoyment it exudes! If you have the time and want a real show-stopper of a cake, this is it! Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients or instructions: it’s just like having five mini recipes for one ultimate creation – worth every second!

Makes 18 good-sized slices

What you need…

2 x 20 x 30cm Swiss roll tins, buttered and lined with parchment paper

5 egg whites

25g sugar

4 eggs

100g pistachios, ground (in your food processor)

50g ground almonds

150g icing sugar

45g flour

40g unsalted butter, melted

for the ganache

100ml milk

8 cardamom pods, bruised

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

20g unsalted butter, room temperature

for the syrup

60g caster sugar

60ml water

4 cardamom pods, bruised

Juice from 1 large orange

for the orange buttercream

75ml unsalted butter, room temperature

Zest from 1 large orange

150g icing sugar

1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

to decorate with chocolate mirror glaze

1 gelatine leaf

120g golden caster sugar

60ml water

1 tablespoon golden syrup

75g cocoa powder, sifted

60ml double cream

Gold leaf (optional but opulent!)

What to do…

Sponges

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Into your processor tip in the eggs, pistachios, almonds, icing sugar and flour. Whizz until well combined.

Using a handheld electric whisk, beat together the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks are formed. Tip in one third of the sugar and whisk in thoroughly before repeating with a second third and then the remaining sugar.

Onto the egg whites, gently pour the pistachio mixture and the melted butter. Using a balloon whisk, gently fold together so that all three elements are evenly incorporated.

Pour into your two Swiss roll tins, smooth surfaces and pop in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until light golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely in their tins whilst you make the ganache, butter cream, syrup and glaze.

Ganache

For the indulgent ganache, pour the milk into a saucepan with the 8 cardamom pods, set over a high heat until the milk begins to steam and then remove from the heat, allowing the cardamoms to infuse for 10 minutes.

Pop your chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Remove the cardamom pods and then heat the milk until bubbles start to form around the sides. Pour the milk over the chocolate and after 30 seconds, use your balloon whisk to beat like crazy until the chocolate is melted. Add in the butter and whisk until all is incorporated and is lovely and glossy. Set aside.

Syrup

Place the sugar, water and 4 cardamom pods into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil for 3 minutes. Allow to cool a little. Add the orange juice and set aside.

Buttercream

In your food processor, tip in the butter and orange zest. Whizz until evenly mixed. Add the icing sugar and orange juice. Whizz until pale and light. Set aside.

Glaze

Soak the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the sugar, water and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer vigorously for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a balloon whisk, beat in first the cocoa powder and then the cream. Return to a moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the chocolate mixture. Stir until dissolved. Sieve into a jug and set aside.

Assembly Job

Here we go – time to assemble – this bit is really relaxing and I loved seeing it all coming together.

Carefully remove your sponges from the parchment paper and from each one, cut a 20cm square, also giving you a 20cm x 10cm rectangle.

Take a 20 x 20cm sponge and put it on the board or plate that you intend to serve this glorious diva of a cake on. Using a pastry brush, apply the syrup to the sponge, using about one third. Then, spread two-thirds of the ganache evenly over the top. Pop the sponge in the freezer for 5 minutes. Clear up a bit.

Place the two rectangular sponges on the ganache to create the second 20 x 20cm square sponge layer. Apply half the remaining syrup all over the top and then spread over all of the buttercream. Pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Clear up a bit more.

Take the remaining square sponge and evenly apply the remaining syrup all over. Flip it (so that the syrup is on the underside) and gently place it on top of the buttercream. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and then pop the cake back into the freezer for 20 minutes. Clear up a lot!

The glaze needs to be runny so pop it in the microwave for 30-second bursts until it is glossy and runny again. Enjoy gently pouring it evenly over the chilled cake, making sure the whole surface is covered. Put back in the freezer for 30 minutes until set.

To serve, first a little tidy up of the diva, so it looks its absolute best! Fill a tall jug with boiling water from the kettle and arm yourself with your sharpest knife. Dip the knife in the water, dry and then trim one side of the cake by just 5mm to create a sharp edge with beautifully defined layers. Repeat the dip, dry and trim process for the remaining three sides and then again to divide the cake up into either smaller cakes (I made 3 smaller rectangular cakes, each serving 6 slices) or slice up the whole lot. Decorate with gold leaf if you’re feeling opulent or simply indulge in the loveliness that is this fabulous cake!

It absolutely WAS worth the effort! Enjoy!!!!

Tips…

Freeze the left over egg yolks from the biscuit sponge – you only need one more to make a fabulous and large Tiramisu (recipe to follow).

Rinse and dry food processor bowl, balloon whisks and saucepans as you complete the first stages to reduce the final washing up pile!

Inspired by…

2012 Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite

How easy…

It’s not a difficult recipe but it does take hours and my kitchen looked like a bombsite during the process. Called into play were the food processor, mini chopper, electric hand whisk, juicer and mixing bowls as well as three balloon whisks, jugs and countless spatulas, knives and spoons. I am a messy cook anyway but wow! this was a whole new level of kitchen mayhem, even for me. Saying that, during the cake assembly, when it is popped into the freezer for a few sessions, the dishes, surfaces and equipment gradually got washed, wiped down and returned to normal so when this glorious cake was finished, it was centre stage in a spotless kitchen with only the whirring of the dishwasher as a gentle reminder of the havoc that had reigned!