Homes & Gardens
SOMETHING FOR AFTERS Skye Mcalpine’s heavenly dessert recipes
SKYE MCALPINE’S TABLES ARE LEGENDARY FOR BEING LADEN WITH TREATS AND HER NEW DESSERT RECIPES ARE SWEETS YOU’LL WANT TO SAVOUR
250ml mild runny honey
12 apricots, halved and pitted
40g pistachios, coarsely chopped
■ Combine the honey and water in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Pare off the zest of 1 lemon in thick strips, add to the pan, then squeeze in the juice of both lemons. Bring to the boil and, when the syrup begins to bubble, reduce the heat.
■ Add the apricot halves and poach for 5-6 minutes until soft (you may need to cook them in batches).
You can tell if the fruit is done by piercing the hollow where the stone once was with a fork or knife; there should be little or no resistance.
Once cooked, lift the apricots out of the syrup with a slotted spoon and put them into a large bowl.
■ Pour the honey syrup over the fruit, allow to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving, sprinkle the pistachios over the fruit.
COOK’S TIP Eat as is, chilled and with the apricots swimming in their honeyed syrup, or pair
with a dollop of salted honey ice cream.
PISTACHIO BUTTER CAKE SERVES 8-10 FOR THE CAKE
200g salted butter, plus extra for the tin 120g unsalted roasted pistachios
60g white chocolate, chopped
200g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g plain yogurt
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
Fine sea salt
FOR THE ICING
2 tbsp boiling water
75g marzipan, grated
300g icing sugar
150g salted butter, softened
Juice of ½ lemon
A handful of pistachios, coarsely chopped
■ Heat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm springform tin. In a food processor, combine the pistachios, chocolate, the 1 tbsp of caster sugar and the vanilla extract. Blend until very creamy.
■ Cream the remaining caster sugar with the butter, then add the pistachio cream and some salt and beat until smooth. Slowly add the yogurt, eggs and sifted flour and beat until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the tin and bake for 40 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, until a knife stays clean when inserted in the middle. Turn the cake onto a wire rack.
■ To make the icing, add the boiling water to the marzipan and mix with a fork. Use an electric beater to mix the icing sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then add the marzipan. Beat for several minutes to fluff up. Squeeze in the lemon juice and beat until smooth. Smother the cake in the icing and decorate with pistachios. →
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE, CHESTNUT AND ROSEMARY CAKE
Salted butter, for the tin
500g sweetened chestnut purée 4 eggs
75g ground almonds
40g cocoa powder
Leaves from 4 rosemary sprigs, plus extra sprigs for the top
Icing sugar, to dust
■ Heat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment. Pour the chestnut purée into a large mixing bowl. Separate the eggs and lightly beat the yolks with a fork, then add them to the purée. Pour in the ground almonds, add the cocoa and mix well. Roughly chop the rosemary leaves and add them to the batter, then stir until well combined.
■ In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mix. Pour into the tin and sprinkle on a few rosemary sprigs. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out. The cake will keep nicely for 2-3 days. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
COOK’S TIP Because of the chestnut, this feels like a cold-weather pudding and it works well if you have previously served autumnal flavours. It can easily be made a day ahead.
3 × 2g gelatine sheets
30ml good runny honey, plus extra to decorate (optional)
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lavender
500ml double cream
250ml whole milk
A few fresh lavender sprigs, to decorate (optional)
■■ Fill a small bowl with cold water and soak the sheets of gelatine in it for 5 minutes, until soft.
■■ In a small saucepan, warm the honey, measured water and lavender for 5 minutes or so, to infuse the honey with the scent of the flowers. Then add the cream and milk and bring to the point just before boiling: when you see the tiniest bubbles floating to the surface at the edges, take it off the heat. Squeeze the sheets of gelatine in your hands to wring off the water, then add to the warm cream and stir until dissolved.
■■ Strain the scented cream into jam jars or glasses (or a jelly mould, if you prefer) and leave to cool to room temperature. Put in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or until set. If you would like to turn these out of their moulds, warm a knife in hot water and carefully release the edges, then tip onto a plate. Serve with a drizzle more honey and with fresh lavender sprigs, if you like. →