Spring has well and truly sprung here in Bucks, and the sunny weather has inspired me to make something zesty, refreshing and seasonal. This brilliant pink sorbet really hits the spot after a three course dinner or makes for a great component in a larger dessert. I’d advise preparing it a day or two ahead as it does require blitzing a couple of times (but no ice cream maker needed- result!).
250g granulated sugar
400g rhubarb, sliced into 4 inch lengths
zest and juice 3 limes
1 egg white (optional)
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rhubarb pieces and poach for 15-20 minutes until very soft.
Remove the rhubarb from the saucepan and place in a food processor along with the lime juice.
Increase the heat on the rhubarb sugar syrup and boil until it reaches ‘thread’ stage. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds; you can check it’s ready in two ways. Firstly, you could use a sugar thermometer and make sure it reads between 223 degrees and 235 degrees. Secondly, if you don’t have a thermometer just add cold water to a bowl and drop some of the syrup in- if it forms a thin thread in the water, it’s ready (I use this method).
Once you’ve reached thread stage take the syrup off the heat and cool a little, then add half to the rhubarb and lime ( too much will make the sorbet too sweet!). Blitz to a smooth puree and pass through a sieve, then add the lime zest. Pour into an ice cream tub and freeze for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally to help break up ice crystals.
After the sorbet has frozen, break it up and return to the blender. Add the egg white (if you can’t eat these or are making this for vulnerable people, just skip this) to lighten the texture and blitz again until smooth.
Meringue is a guaranteed crowd pleaser throughout the year, whether you enjoy it torched on top of lemon meringue pie or piled high with summer fruits as the base of a retro pavlova. Though these classic forms of meringue are delicious, I thought I’d try out a brown sugar variation for a richer flavour; they worked brilliantly and the brown sugar adds a deep molasses kick which pairs really well with rum caramel sauce, caramelised bananas, peanuts and creme fraiche.
Ingredients (makes 6-8 large meringues):
For the meringues:
225g dark brown soft sugar
50g caster sugar
4 large egg whites
For the rum sauce:
200g granulated sugar
75ml double cream
2-3 tbsp dark rum
For the caramelised banana:
100g caster sugar
For the toppings:
some creme fraiche
Preheat the oven to 120c. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and add the brown sugar and egg whites. Whisk with electric beaters until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is voluminous and hot to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the heat and keep whisking. Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and increase the speed on your beaters. Whisk until you have stiff peaks.
Pile the meringue into nests on the prepared baking trays. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Switch the oven off when you can easily peel the meringues off the paper and they are crisp. Leave in the oven to cool for an hour.
While the meringues are cooling make the caramel. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved bring to a boil and allow to turn into a deep caramel colour. Remove from the heat and add the cream, butter and salt. Whisk until smooth (it will spit). Allow the sauce to cool slightly then add the rum. Taste and add more if you feel it needs it (hardcore). Set aside.
For the bananas, place the sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Heat, allowing the sugar to melt. Swirl occasionally but do not stir. Take the sugar to a golden colour and add the butter (it will spit). Stir together then add the banana pieces. Cook for a few minutes then turn over and remove from the pan.
To assemble top the meringues with creme fraiche, followed by the bananas, sauce and peanuts.
I’ve been making granola at home for a while, but I usually throw in a load of sugar and butter to make it taste more like crumbled up flapjack than a nutritious breakfast essential (don’t judge, I don’t eat it everyday). This one, however, is made with peanut butter in place of dairy and agave syrup to cut out the refined sugar- it’s really delicious and packed with protein. I like it on top of yoghurt and fresh fruit but it’s also great with porridge or warm stewed apples.
350g porridge oats
2tsp ground ginger
50g roughly chopped almonds
75g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
75g chopped dried figs
50g dried cranberries
1tsp vanilla extract
30g coconut oil
100g peanut butter (or your preferred nut butter)
100ml agave syrup
Preheat the oven to 140c. Line a large tray with greaseproof paper.
Place the oats, cinnamon, ginger, almonds, seeds, figs and cranberries in a large bowl and mix together.
Gently melt the coconut oil, vanilla, peanut butter and agave together in a saucepan until smooth. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together until all the oats and seeds are coated in the peanut butter mix.
Tip the granola mix onto the prepared baking tray and spread into an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes, turning every 10 to get an even colour on the oats.
Leave the granola to cool down then store in an airtight container until required.
These quick and easy brownies are rich and delicious. I’ve swapped out the flour for ground almonds to make them gluten free which means they’re even more moist than your usual brownie, and that can only be a good thing! I love the brazil nuts in these but you could sub in any nuts you like, or dried fruit and chocolate chips.
225g dark chocolate
2tsp vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
100g roughly chopped brazil nuts
pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 170c and grease/line a brownie tray.
Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally.
Allow the chocolate to cool then whisk in the vanilla, sugar, eggs and ground almonds. Keep whisking until the batter becomes thick and light, then fold in the brazil nuts.
Pour the brownie mix into the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes (the top should be crisp and the middle gooey).
Leave the brownie to cool and firm in the tin then sprinkle with sea salt, slice up and serve.
I am not a smoothie bowl, hot lemon water, yoga at 5am kinda gal (this is probably obvious from the content on here)… I am more the rolls out of bed at 6:30, leaves the house at 7am and grabs a rubbish coffee at the station before dozing/ being irritable on the train type…
That being said, putting this together last weekend and enjoying it as a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast did have me considering making it regular thing. It’s made, really simply, by combining the Savse Super Purple smoothie with frozen bananas and cinnamon- what you get is a sort of frozen yoghurt consistency which you can then finish with the obligatory insta-worthy toppings. It’s really tasty, refreshing and filling- give it a try and don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Ingredients (makes 2 bowls):
4 frozen bananas
1 bottle Savse Super Purple smoothie
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the toppings, I used: 1 tbsp peanut butter, a few blackberries, some crushed hazelnuts, mixed seeds, raspberry powder, matcha powder, fresh blueberries and banana slices
Place your bananas in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the Savse smoothie and cinnamon then blitz again until well combined.
Pour into two bowls and finish with your favourite toppings. You could use granola, coconut shavings, jams, fresh fruit, cacao nibs, nuts or anything else that takes your fancy! It’s as easy as that.
As you all know (if you saw my Thai Mango Chicken Salad post) I am currently collaborating with Savse Smoothies by posting fortnightly recipes using their delicious cold pressed health drinks. For my last recipe I created a light lunch dish built around the fresh tropical ingredients in the Super Orange smoothie; this time I’ve come up with an easy dinner party starter which takes inspiration from the earthy beetroot flavours in the Super Purple.
In this dish the smoothie is used to both flavour the goats cheese and form a balsamic beet dressing which, when married with salted toasts, fresh beetroot, pickled radish and peppery watercress, makes for a winning and well rounded starter ( and I’m yet to find anyone who disagrees!).
Ingredients (serves 4):
400g fresh soft goats cheese
100ml Savse Super Purple smoothie
4 large cooked beetroots, cubed
8 thinly sliced radishes
1/2 tbsp course salt
100ml white wine vinegar
small bag watercress
2 thin slices good quality bread, broken into small even pieces (sourdough is great)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a good glug of olive oil
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper for seasoning
At least 2 hours before serving your dish, mix together the sugar, course salt and vinegar. Add in the sliced radishes and leave to pickle in the fridge.
To make your toasts, simply rub the broken bread slices with the garlic, season with a little salt and pepper, then fry on both sides in olive oil until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Now place your goats cheese in a large bowl along with some salt, pepper and 40ml Super Purple smoothie. Using electric beaters (or a handheld whisk), whip all the ingredients together until light and slightly aerated.
For the balsamic beetroot dressing thoroughly combine the remaining 60ml Super Purple with 2tbsp olive oil and 2tbsp balsamic vinegar. Taste and season if necessary.
Now just prepare to plate up your dish! You should have whipped goats cheese, cubed beetroot, pickled radish slices, little garlic toasts, balsamic dressing and watercress for garnish.
You can plate your ingredients however you like, but I like the slightly haphazard arrangement I’ve gone for.
I hope you like the look of this recipe, and if you’re interested in learning a bit more about what Savse do, visit www.savse.com .
I’ve recently arranged an exciting collaborative series with Savse Smoothies which will involve me incorporating their drinks into my recipes! I will be posting a recipe every couple of weeks and hope to show that whilst their products are really delicious on their own, they can also be used in lots of tasty dishes, both savoury and sweet.
Savse, if you aren’t aware of the brand, specialise in healthy smoothies made up of raw, fresh fruit and vegetables. They sell a core range of five ‘Super’ smoothies (red, orange, purple, blue and green) and make many more specialised drinks. It might come as a surprise looking at my incredibly indulgent bakes, but I eat very healthily and really enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients so this opportunity is really exciting (and a bit of a challenge!).
The first recipe I’ve come up with is inspired by the mango and carrot flavours in the Super Orange smoothie (part of the Savse core range). The street style salad is really fresh and marinating the chicken in the smoothie gives it a sweetness which cuts through the classic Thai flavours of chilli, ginger and coriander I’ve used. I’d recommend making this in bulk on a Sunday night and then portioning it up for no fuss weekday lunches!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
For the chicken: 4 chicken breasts, 2/3 bottle Savse Super Orange smoothie, 3cm piece ginger (grated), salt and pepper, oil for pan frying
For the salad: 4 grated carrots, 2 large handfuls bean sprouts, 2 thinly sliced red peppers, 1 thinly sliced red onion, large bunch coriander (chopped), small bunch parsley (chopped), 200g roughly chopped cashews, 1-2 red chillies (sliced), bunch spring onions (sliced)
For the dressing: remaining 1/3 Savse Super Orange smoothie, 3tbsp white wine vinegar, 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp honey, juice 1 lime, 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
Slice the chicken breasts into three large pieces and place in a shallow tray. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the smoothie and add the grated ginger. Cover and marinade for a minimum of 2 hours.
For the salad, toss together the carrot, bean sprouts, red pepper, red onion, coriander, parsley, cashews, chillies and spring onions. Set aside.
For the dressing, whisk together the remaining smoothie, vinegar, soy, honey and lime juice.
Heat some oil (olive oil, rape seed or coconut oil is good) in a frying pan, drain excess liquid from the chicken then fry quickly over a high heat until you achieve some golden colouring and the meat is cooked through.
Dress the salad until thoroughly coated then pile onto a plate. Add the chicken and pour over any juices. Garnish with more cashews, coriander and chilli slices.