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Baked custard with summer berries

My version of custard is thick and sweet. The texture of chilled dessert resembles creme brulee. Baked with a a handful of summer berries, it's a perfect treat for the end of summer. I went for a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to break the sweetness of the cream.

Recipe: Baked custard with summer berries

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 250 ml heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • a handful summer berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
Method
  • Heat cream and sugar in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Set aside and let cool slightly.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the eggs with sugar until thick and pale, but not fluffy.
  • Gradually whisk cream into egg mixture. Again, try not to incorporate too much air into the mixture. It should be smooth and glossy
  • Divide the batter between two shallow baking dishes.
  • Bake at 100C for 20 minutes.
  • Top with berries and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool and refrigerate for at least and hour before serving. You can also enjoy the dessert hot or warm.

Summer berries meringues

The perfect dessert: quick, pretty and delicious. Ideal for garden parties and rooftop dinners. Meringues and summer berries are a match made in heaven - in terms of looks as well as taste. Trust me and invite your friends for this delectable meringe pots.

Recipe: Summer berries meringues

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • tsp cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Combine berries with sugar and cardamom.
  • Place them in four ramekins.

Recipe: Meringue

Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100 g sugar
  • tsp corn starch
  • tsp white wine vinegar
Method
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Beating, gradually add sugar.
  • Add vinegar and potato starch and continue beating for 2-3 minures.
  • Pile the meringue on top of the fruit and swirl on top.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is puffy and golden.
  • Serve with fruit.

Victoria sponge cake

The Victoria sponge was name after Queen Victoria, who enjoyed a slice of cake with her afternoon tea. It is still one of the most popular cakes in the UK. The traditional version consists of two sponges, layered with whipped cream and raspberry or strawberry preserve. If you top it up with some seasonal fruit and serve with a glass of champagne instead of a cup of tea, it truly becomes a royal dessert. You can increase the number of sponges (I made four) to make it even more queenly. Multi-storey Victoria sponge is a frequent guest at British weddings.

Recipe: Summer Victoria Sponge Cake

Ingredients
  • 400 g flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 400 g soft butter
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp milk
Method
  • You will need two baking tins: 20cm and 18cm.
  • Obviously, if you happen to have four tin, that's even better.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Line both tins with parchment paper.
  • Mix half of the ingredients to makea soft, smooth batter.
  • Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spoon.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Having removed the sponges from the tins, repeat everything.
  • You should end up with two larger and two smaller sponges.
  • Arrange the sponges on top of each other, adding layers of whipped cream and strawberry preserve in-between.
  • Top with seasonal fruit.

Roasted summer vegetables

Roasted vegetables are great as a light lunch or dinner. Try roasted asparagus with basil and sea salt pesto, baby artichokes with feta dip and round courgettes with cherry tomato sauce.

Surely, they would be even greater, if grilled and consumed in a garden, by the lake or in a park. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. For instance, one might not have a garden, a lake or a grill. Unexpected rain can also disrupt an al fresco dinner. Another reason could be a group of wasps.

It was during my sailing holidays in Croatia. I have spend the entire day gutting fish, squid and octopus that I'd bought on a market, geatting ready for a BBQ evening. When we'd finally managed to find a picturesque little bay and tie up the boat, we realised there were countless wasps coming to our yacht and we had to run away. We ended up staying in a marina where barbecueing was not permitted and I had to make the squid and octopus in the oven.

What lesson can be learned from this story? Probably the fact that anything that you might want to barbecue, you can also make in the oven. It doesn't always work the other way around, but in this case it does - I have prepare these recipes for the oven, but you can make the vegetables on the grill too.

Recipe: Roasted asparagus with basil and sea salt pesto

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • a bunch asparagus
  • one tsp. olive oil

Recipe: Basil and sea salt pesto

Ingredients
  • one cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
Method
  • Blend basil with olive oil.
  • Add salt, combine.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Trim asparagus' ends. Coat asparagus with olive oil.
  • Roast at 180C for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with pesto.

Recipe: Roasted artichokes with sizzling feta dip

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4-6 baby artichokes
  • one tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • one tsp lemon zest

Recipe: Sizzling feta dip

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Method
  • Prepare a bowl with cold water with lemon juice. To prevent artichokes from discoloration, keep the cut ones in the bow before you're ready to roast them.
  • Cut the stalks off the artichoke. Pull off the tough leaves. Cut the artichoke in half. Spoon out the inner leaves and the fuzzy choke. Very young artichokes might not have the choke.
  • Combine oil and lemon juice, coast artichokes with the mixture. Place them in a baking dish and top with lemon zest.
  • Roast at 200C for aboit 25 mintes.
  • Combine feta with oil and lemon juice.
  • Place in a ramekin and bake with the artichokes for 20 minutes.

Recipe: Roasted round courgettes with roasted tomatoes sauce

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 round courgettes
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • tsp olive oil

Recipe: Roasted tomatoes sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • tsp brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • Cut the tomatoes in halves and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and sugar.
  • Roast at 150C for about 45 minutes.
  • Cool down and blend.
  • Cut the courgettes in halves and coat with oil. Place them in a baking dish and top with chili flakes.
  • Roast at 200C for about 35 minut.
  • Serve with tomato sauce.

Rhubarb pastries

They are incredibly quick to make (especially when you use ready-made puff pastry), they are delicious and, most importantly, they are beautifully pink.

Recipe: Rhubarb pastries

8 pastries
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (300 g), brought to room temperature
  • 3-4 rhubarb stalks
  • łyżka brown sugar
  • 2 łyżki lemon juice

Recipe: Rhubarb sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup homemade rhubarb syrup (recipe)
Method
  • Unroll the pastry sheets and lay one on a lined baking sheet
  • Cut 8 rectangles (10 x 5 cm).
  • Cut rhubarb stalks into roughly even lengths - about 8 cm. Place in a pot, top with boiling water, cover and set aside for 4 minutes. Drain.
  • Place two rhubarb strips on each piece of the pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with lemon juice.
  • Bake at 220C for about 20 minutes, until the pastries are golden and crisp.
  • To make the sauce, reduce the syrop over low heat for about 10 minutes, until it thickens.
  • Top pastries with sauce, serve with whipped cream.
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