Meringue Gelato Cake


For the for the meringue gelato cake
300 ml double cream
30 gram(s) dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tablespoon(s) coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
1 packet(s) meringue nests (approx. 100g in total)
250 gram(s) raspberries (to serve, optional)
1 450g/1lb loaf tin (18 x 12 x 8.5cm or similar capacity)
For the for the chocolate sauce
250 ml double cream
125 gram(s) dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
2 tablespoon(s) coffee liqueur (and/or rum)


For the Meringue Gelato Cake:
Line your loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue nests and fold these in, too.
Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:
Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

Soft White Dinner Rolls

Softness like a little pillow!

Recipe adapted from Nigella

For the dough:-
  • 500-600g plain flour
  • 1 sachet rapid rise, bread machine or other instant yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt [I actually less but I'm fanatic about keeping salt to a minimum]
  • 1tablespoon caster sugar
  • 375ml milk
  • 20-25g butter
Optional for toppings:-
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoons poppy seeds
Serves: Makes 30
  1. Combing 500g of the flour with the instant yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Put the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat until the milk is warm, and the butter is beginning to melt.
  3. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more of the remaining flour if the dough is too wet. Then either using your hands or the dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky.
  4. Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover the top with clingfilm, then leave in a warm place to rise for an hour by which time it should be double the size. Punch the air out of the dough with your fist and then turn it out on to a floured surface.
  5. Pull pieces of dough the size of walnuts off the dough and form them into small round rolls, like ping pong balls, placing them as you go on to a greased or lined baking sheet. The balls of dough should be about 5mm apart so that once they have sat to prove they will be just about touching. I get 30 balls of dough, and I arrange them in six lines of five.
  6. Cover them with a tea-towel and leave to rise again in a warm place for about half an hour, preheating the oven to gas mark 7/220°C, while they sit. When the buns have puffed up, beat together the egg, milk and a pinch of salt and paint them with the glaze. Scatter alternate lines of buns with sesame and poppy seeds, leaving plain rows in between. (A teaspoon of seeds should decorate two rows.) That's to say, a row of poppy-topped, then a row of sesame-topped, then one row of plain and then repeat again.
  7. Bake the buns for 15 minutes by which time they should be golden brown and joined together in a little batch. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately. 
Enjoy warm with real butter!