Tag Archives: indulgence

Pink folly: raspberry, champagne and white chocolate tiramisu

Tiramisu rose

This is a very indulgent and pretty looking pudding for a dinner party or a gourmet lunch. It is perfect also, for AFTER the party, to use up half-drunk bottles of champagne… I devised it at first for my daughter who harbours a deep love of white chocolate but if you are worried about the alcohol content (you should not…), you can always make it with earl grey tea, rose syrup and elderflower cordial instead of the champagne. Whatever you choose, it HAS to be pink, though.

Ingredients List:

Pink Perfect!

  • 1 packet of 20 sponge fingers
  • Half a bottle of lambrusco or champagne rosé
  • Mascarpone 250g
  • Single cream 150ml
  • White chocolate 180g
  • A drop of water to melt the chocolate
  • Demerara sugar, 2 Tbsp
  • Raspberries 400g

Melt the chocolate on low heat with the water and sugar. Be careful not to overheat. White chocolate burns even faster than dark chocolate…

Whisk this into the mascarpone until it resembles a soft mayonnaise. Don’t beat it too long though or it will curdle up – If it does, try adding a little spoonful of cornflour.

Dip the biscuits in the wine, dipping all sides. Lay them into your gratin dish and throw a scatter of raspberries on top.

Spread a layer of mascarpone and chocolate cream. Beat the single cream and add a few dollops of this.

Add a layer of biscuits, then follow with another  carpet of raspberries and  a little more whipped cream. Cover with the rest of the mascarpone and decorate the top with raspberries, candied violets and a sprinkle of cocoa.

Reserve in the fridge for at least half hour.

Pretty party food

 This is a very festive and pretty version of the classic tiramisu. I made it by chance one weekend, in advance of some party, to use up some “biscuits de Reims” I had collected from France and it has stuck to our repertoire of favorite puddings. It is quite a grown-up recipe but if you are making it for children, you can dip the biscuits in rose syrup and elderflower and that works beautifully too. When I can get hold of French biscuits de Reims, in their unique pink colour, I make it with those for a very « couture » look !


>Golden onion jam for Spring roasts


I love jams and preserves for their quaint charm and pure indulgence and this is perfect to complement the new lamb, new veal and new everything that comes with Spring!

Ingredients list:

Butter 40g
Onions 3
Sugar 4 Tbsp
Cinnamon 1tsp
Salt and pepper, one pinch of each

Chop the onion finely in a food processor: just peel and chuck in and rejoice because of no tears! Result!
Melt the butter and add the onion puree.
Cook in a small pan on low heat until soft and brownish.
Then add the spices and seasoning.

I keep this in a clean jar for a few weeks in the fridge and warm it up (or not) to eat over a joint of lamb or some duck legs. You can replace the butter with rapeseed oil if you want – but I do love butter! It’s got good vitamins too…

Orchid display in Kew

>charlotte du jour: Envie de…

>charlotte du jour: Envie de…

If only I could!… Book a manucure, a massage and a facial and forget the world outside for an hour… or just have a natter with a friend and the chocolate biscuits tin between us!

>Tarte Chocolat-caramel for my Valentine

Nothing is more delightful, decadent and happy than the French 18th century art adorning the walls of the Wallace collection. We went there this morning for a pre-valentine’s day stroll among the paintings by Boucher, Fragonard and Watteau and we ended up staying there for a light lunch served in the airy conservatory cafe.

The Wallace collection is host to a cornucopia of gorgeous and glamourous love scenes painted by some of the greatest artists of the “Siecle des Lumieres”. Its beautiful classic rooms are furnished with pieces that once belonged to the Petit Trianon of Queen Marie-Antoinette. These incredible pieces of furniture were in most cases bought  at auctions held by the revolutionaries and brought to England – which probably saved them from neglect and destruction.

In stark contrast to the shops of Oxford Street that are on its doorstep, the Wallace Collection is a peaceful oasis of calm, beauty and luxury. Away from the mad Valentine’s day compulsive shopping, I had a lovely time, re-discovering Boucher, Watteau, Fragonard and Nicolas Lancret with my daughter. The boys were in rapture in the armours and weapons galleries while we admired the beautiful “Madame de Pompadour” by Boucher and a lovely boy dressed as “Pierrot” by Fragonard.
No art has ever felt as happy, carefree and sensual than the art of that period in France. Boucher paints nymphs and gods, shepherds and milkmaids with a loving, tender and caressing brush. Their naked and offered flesh is as fresh and tempting as a plump brioche or a jug of cream!
If art were edible, one would choose those gorgeously dimpled shoulders and pink cheeks to bite in: They are so far from any idea of real flesh, so close to that of cupcakes – that you can forgive the impulse…

My idea for an equally decadent and irresistible pudding to serve to your Valentine is the following:
 A sinful “Tarte Chocolat Caramel” from a French blog I love by Clothilde Dussoulier.

First make a shortcake pastry and line pie tin. Wrap with cling film and reserve in the fridge.

Ingredients list:
For the caramel filling
Brown sugar 90g
Honey 1 Tbsp
Crushed Maldon salt
Creme fraiche 80g
Butter 30g

For the ganache layer
Dark chocolate 280g
Creme fraiche 80g

Preheat the oven ot 180°. Bake the base for 20 min. Leave on a rack to cool.

Prepare the caramel by combining the brown sugar with a spoonful of water in a pan and let it melt on low heat. Swish the pan around to help but do not let it bubble up. When it turn a darker amber, add the honey and stir, then add the salt and cream.
Remove from the heat to add the butter and blend well. Pour into the cooled baked case and reserve.

Prepare the ganache: Put the cream into the same pan and let it heat up to bubbling stage. Remove from the heat and break the chocolate into it. Blend well with a wooden spoon.
Pour the ganache over the set caramel and cover well and evenly.
Let it cool down then return to the fridge and let it set for one hour.

This is a very indulgent but irresistible pudding to anyone who has  enjoyed “millionaires slices” in their childhood! My daughter, for one, is very partial to it and even if I try to be a good mother most of the time and give healthy options to my family, I feel everybody should be entitled to a fair amount of chocolate on Valentine’s day…

To follow on our footsteps:
The Wallace Collection, Manchester square London W1U 3BN – open daily 10 to 17

>Vanilla panacotta with loganberry and passion fruit sauce

>Vanilla panacotta with loganberry and passion fruit sauce

This is a very pretty pudding for a dinner party and you make it the day before so it’s less work on the actual night!
I find that panacotta is a luscious alternative to ice cream now that summer is over. Easier to make and just as indulgent.

Ingredients list:
Double cream 500g
Sugar 80g
Vanilla pod (split lengthwise)
Gelatine 1/3 of a packet or enough to set 1 pint
2 passion fruit and 10 loganberries for the sauce

Get the cream and sugar with the pod thrown in up to boiling point but not quite. Turn with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and the sugar has dissolved.
Melt the gelatine powder by sprinkling it into the hot cream, off the hob. Let it dissolve again fully. Use a whisk if it is still lumpy.
Pour the cream into individual dishes such as mini pudding basins and it cool down. Later put them in the fridge to set overnight or at least for one hour.
Strain the loganberries and the passion fruit pulp into a sieve and reserve this liquid in a saucepan. Put a tbsp of sugar in or not, according to taste…
To serve the panacotta, put each pan in a cup of hot water then turn in swiftly over a plate and dress with the sauce. You can also use fresh berries to decorate or a sprig of mint.

Diane Frost
Sent from my iPhone .