Tag Archives: Dessert

Mango Mint Rum Granita

17 May

Man Woman believes that this summer is going to be a Good Summer. Just like the summer four years ago which the Brits keep referring to – and which we missed. In anticipation of this Good Summer, Man Woman have been road-testing some quick wins in the refreshing goodness department. This taste of summer iteration one is a libation to the sun gods which we expect they will appreciate.

Plus, dead easy.

Mango Mint Rum Granita

  • 3 C mango puree
  • 1 TBSP mint leaves finely sliced
  • 30ml white rum
  • 30ml lime juice
  • 15ml lemon juice

Mix all of the above. Adjust rum and citrus juices to taste. We feel this doesn’t need any sweetening.

Put into as large a dish/plastic container as you can fit in your freezer. After 30 minutes, run a fork through the mix – the mix should be partly frozen at this point. Do again a couple more times until the mix is an icy granita awaiting consumption.

If you leave it too long and it freezes hard, just leave it out for as long as it returns to the appropriate level of slushiness.

Estimated cost: £2

Musical accompaniment: Paul Kelly, Roll on Summer, Roll On


Black sticky rice pudding with mango jelly

10 Mar

O, black sticky rice. You are delicious, black sticky rice.

You could (and some might say, Woman did) eat this sticky rice pudding straight off the hob. Or you could go a bit more fancy if you fancy, like here. Some recipes suggest steaming the rice, but this is just a lot quicker.

Black sticky rice pudding (serves 4)

  • 1/4C black glutinous rice
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar

Mango jelly

  • 1/2 C mango puree
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 TBSP agar agar flakes

Soak black rice overnight in water. Rinse and throw in a small pot with water and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce and add coconut milk. Cook until the rice still has bite, but is soft inside.

As mentioned, you go ahead and eat it now if you want, but you might want to…

Portion out the sticky rice into glasses (or whatever) and chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day, make the mango jelly (this will produce excess, that you can simply chuck into another glass for pure mango jelly).

Add cold water and agar agar flakes into a pot and bring to the boil, without stirring. Reduce heat and stir occasionally. Add the mango puree and stir until the agar agar is totally dissolved. The liquid will not seem very thick, but have faith.

Top each of the black sticky rice pots with about 3 TBSP of the mango jelly liquid, and let cool and set either in the fridge or outside. Should only take an hour or two to set.

Serve with hot toasted coconut flakes and green mango.

Estimated cost: £2

Musical accompaniment: The Felice Brothers

Dark chocolate ganache tarts (ManWoman vs Bourke St Bakery, take two)

1 Dec

So, not daunted by the less than perfect first attempt at a pate brisee, Man Woman tackled the BSB cookbook again. Fear has no meaning in this flat. 

And this time, we gave ourselves time and defrosted the frozen pastry cases the day before, planning to make the custard for chai-spiced creme brulee tarts the night before we had guests over. We were very pleased with our impressive level of organisation.

Only to find, Bourke Street thwarted us again. In fact, it takes two days to make the custard – one night, you see, for the milk to infuse the chai spices. My bloody oath. Anyway, so this left Woman (for in truth, the rouse is up, Man was in Warsaw on work at this venture) with a conundrum, and forced her to go to Waitrose in the middle of the night in her gym gear and buy chocolate. Never before has she been made to feel like such a ‘woman’.

This recipe is inspired by the Bourke Street ganache, but they called for milk chocolate and we can’t be having that. Also they called for heavier cream, which I didn’t have to hand and I’ll be damned if I go back to the supermarket even later at night for double cream. I have some dignity.

What ensued was very, very rich – but quite yum. Definitely in need of some berries to lighten the load and, perhaps, a long digestive period after mains to make room.

Dark chocolate ‘ganache’ tarts (makes 5 tarts)

  • 200g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 200ml single cream (18% fat)
  • punnet of raspberries
  • punnet of blueberries
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 1/4 portion of Bourke Street Bakery cookbook pate brisee (sorry, can’t bring myself to plaigarise)

So, crack good quality dark chocolate into a large bowl. Bring cream to boil in a saucepan and immediately  pour over dark chocolate, stirring until blended. Pour (or, seriously this is thick stuff, you’ll have to dollop or spoon or heave it) into cooked pastry shells.

Top with berries and icing sugar before serving. Watch guests struggle to finish against their will.

Estimated cost: £8

Musical accompaniment: Janis Joplin

Baked apple with orange and hazelnuts

15 Nov

It’s getting to the real comfort food time of year now. This is just a baked apple, and as such probably not entirely deserving of a post, but it serves as a little reminder to ourselves how heart-cockle-warming this can be. This is the hot water bottle of desserts (or we had it for breakfast yesterday); it’s simple, cheap and makes you feel all superior for not wasting energy on central heating/eating healthy.

Baked apple with orange and hazelnuts

  • 1 large Bramley apple, chopped into large cubes
  • 2 – 3 tsp of hazelnuts
  • 3cm chunk of orange zest, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp raisins or sultanas

Mix all ingredients. Cook in oven at 180C for 20 minutes or until fruit has gone brown on top and jammy underneath.

We like to serve it with yoghurt and agave or some berry jam. If you are less pure of soul and artery, you could always go for cream or custard.

Estimated cost: £1.20

Musical accompaniment: The Kinks

Auntie Raija’s healthy carrot cake

7 Nov

Four and a bit years ago, on the banks of the river which divides Finland from Sweden, Man’s aunt Raija brought us a cake. This is normal in Finland. Most often when you visit or are visited by someone, cakes, sweet breads and biscuits ensure. It’s a thing. However Raija’s carrot cake was different. No butter. Can you imagine such a thing?

So assured was Raija that Man and Woman would love this novel butter-less cake that she had already handwritten out the recipe – in both English and Finnish – and presented it to us before we managed to cut a slice. But it was good and this recipe has travelled with us and remains securely filed away in our plastic recipe binder. This is a slight variation on Raija’s original – 100ml (Finns use decileters as measurement for most recipes)  less sugar and replaced by dried fruits. Also the wholemeal flour gives the cake a bit more earthiness and a nice brown colour.

No icing. Icing is for Mormons.

Healthy carrot cake (serves 8 )

  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml sugar
  • 300ml grated carrots (2 large carrots)
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml wholemeal flour
  • 2 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 dates, pitted and torn
  • 2 TBSP sultanas
  • 2 TBSP walnuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 175C.

Mix all ingredients. It should be quite heavy and sticky, not watery.

Cook for 30 – 40 minutes.

Estimated cost: About a quid fifty.

Musical accompaniment: Jason Lyttle

Healthy apple strudel with cardamom ricotta

14 Oct

I do love a bit of strudel. Last Christmas when Man Woman went to Cologne and Freiburg for Christmas, we spent a lot of time trying to find strudel, but alack, no luck. The hideous marzipany stollen was everywhere, but studel, nein mein frau. Perhaps strudel is Austrian or something.

The thing with baking fruits in anything is that there is absolutely no need to add sugar, especially if you throw some dried fruits in there. Plus, adding maple or agave syrup or honey at the end means you can control how sweet it is. This is sweet and dessert-y, but a little swirl of agave made it feel perhaps less healthy than it actually is.

Apple strudel (six smallish portions)

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 TBSP sultanas
  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 4 TBSP apple puree (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • squeeze of lemon or orange juice
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter

Peel and chop apples into about 2cm squares, holding back about 1/8 of the apples. Throw into deep saucepan over medium heat with butter. Cook for about 5 minutes and add sultanas, cinnamon and juice. Add remaining apples and cook until majority of mix is soft.

Lay a few sheets of filo pastry on bench. Brush with melted butter, add another sheet and repeat twice.

Place the apple mix along one side of the pastry in a log shape, leaving about 3cm from the edge.

Roll pastry over once, then dab apple puree near the log. Roll over again and dab more apple puree.

Brush top with butter and cook in oven at 180c for about 20minutes (but check on it).

Cardamom ricotta

  • 4 cardamon pods, ground in mortar and pestle
  • 200g ricotta


Serve strudel in slices with ricotta. Swirl agave nectar over both and sprinkle cinnamon.

Dark chocolate panna cotta with fresh raspberries

23 Sep

Ah, panna cotta. Ah, any gelatin-based dessert. Yum.

This was our first foray into using agar flakes, a seaweed substitute for gelatin, although the packet was mysteriously already open, so I think perhaps we had tried something before and I’ve blocked it from my memory.  It probably wasn’t as delicious as this little experiment.

This is one of those desserts you can prepare well in advance of your friends coming over so you can, in our case, sit in the living room and look at their pictures of a long trip through South America without feeling resentful that you have to cook as well as resentful for your lack of ever having been to South America.

Anyway, I really recommend using very dark chocolate for this, because with all the cream and milk it gets quite diluted. In future I want to experiment with making a think layer of berry jelly to go on top of this, but for the meantime this is rather good enough.

Chocolate panna cotta (serves 4)

  • 270ml whole milk
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 35g sugar
  • 170ml single (pouring) cream
  • 1.25 TBSP agar flakes (or gelatin)
  • 30g very dark, very good chocolate (we used 85% Pierre Marcolini)

Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat slightly and add cocoa powder and broken up chocolate. Throw in the agar flakes and keep stirring over low heat for a few minutes. Add cream, turn off heat and keep stirring until the agar (or gelatin) is dissolved.

Pour into small glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you want a panna cotta that you can turn out and will stand on its own, make sure you grease the glasses and you’ll have to leave the panna cotta to set overnight to be sure.

Top with fresh raspberries (or something tart to cut through)

Estimated cost: £2.50

Musical accompaniment: CW Stoneking.

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