Sparkling Rosé Jellies

Rose jellies

We couldn’t stand the thought of a heavy pudding on Christmas day, especially since we had had the Girdlebuster Pie for my husband’s birthday the day before. Sparkling rose jellies seemed to fit the bill as they are light and refreshing after a big meal.

They are very quick and easy to make and obviously can be done the day before you need them.

6 oz sugar.
pork gelatine as directed on the packet.
1 bottle sparkling rosé wine.
1½ pints of water.

Make up the gelatine as directed on the packet, calculating how much you will need for the amount of fluid in the recipe. If you use powdered (beef) gelatine then you just sprinkle it into the sugared boiled water. However we haven’t eaten beef products since before the media got hold of the BSE story so I used pork gelatine, which comes in thin sheets which you have to dissolve in a bowl of water over a pan of hot water. Snip the sheets up first.

Pour the 1½ pints of water into a pan and add the 6 oz of sugar. Stir and bring up to boiling point, making sure that the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Now add the dissolved (or powdered) gelatine into the sugared water. Whisk well together and place the pan in a cold place to set the jelly. After about 1 to 1½ hours the jelly should be on the point of setting. Now carefully add the bottle of wine and stir it into the jelly mixture. Ladle the jelly into pretty serving glasses or dishes and leave to set again, which should take about 3 hours.

The bubbles from the wine should be trapped within the jelly, giving a lovely texture to the dessert.

This recipe can be made with something like Schloer or a similar sort of grape juice, if you are making it for people who need to avoid alcohol. It would be especially popular for young teenagers whom you don’t want to feed booze to, but who have grown beyond the jelly and ice-cream stage.

The quantities which I have given will feed about 10 people. As you can see from the photograph, I added raspberries to mine when the jelly was setting this time. In future I won’t bother doing this as the raspberries tasted very tart compared to the jelly. It might work if you soaked the fruit in some more booze beforehand, but that would make it quite alcoholic.

I have tried this recipe using a white sparkling wine but I much prefer a rosé one as the fruitiness of the wine really comes out when it is very cold.

I added some raspberry juice to whipping cream to top them off.

With raspberry cream topping

Girdlebuster Pie

As I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to be making a Girdlebuster Pie for my husband’s birthday cake, I thought you might like to see how it turned out.

Girdlebuster Pie

I would be the first to admit that the photograph doesn’t look great, the ice-cream bubbles to the surface in places making a strange effect but crucially, it tasted yummy.

I used tiramasu ice-cream as I couldn’t get coffee flavoured but it worked really well anyway. The great advantage of this dessert is that it can be made so far in advance and frozen until it is needed.

It is very rich and I would say that it is enough to give 12 portions. Five of us managed to get through half of it, and the rest I put back into the freezer until next week.

The recipe can be found at

Chocolate Pudding

chocolate up and over pudding

chocolate up and over pudding

Everybody loves chocolate pudding, especially in the colder weather which I can feel coming already and this is a great recipe for those times when the whole family is asking – What’s for pudding? and you haven’t had time to think about it. All of the ingredients are what I would call ‘store cupboard essentials’, nothing fancy, but it tastes great.


75g/3oz self-raising flour
1 rounded tablespoon of cocoa powder
125g/4oz soft margarine
125g/4oz granulated sugar
2 eggs

Topping and sauce

1 rounded tablespoon cocoa powder
125g/4oz demerara sugar
300 ml/ 1/2 pint hot, strong black coffee. Instant is fine – use 3 teaspoons added to the water.

Grease an oven proof dish of 2 pint capacity.

Put all of the pudding ingredients into a mixing bowl at the same time and with a wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat until smooth.

Tip the mixture into your greased dish and smooth flat.

Sprinkle 50g/2oz demerara sugar over the top.

Add the remaining 50g/2oz demerara sugar to the hot coffee and stir well. Carefully pour the coffee over the pudding mixture.

Bake at gas mark 4, 350 F, 180 C for about 50 minutes or an hour.

As if by magic the sponge rises over the coffee mixture during the cooking and a sauce is formed underneath.

It’s lovely served hot with ice-cream or cream.
It should serve 4 people.

Peachy Chocolate Bake

Peachy Chocolate Bake

Peachy Chocolate Bake

We had this for our pudding yesterday for the first time, and I’ll definitely be doing it again.

7oz/200g plain dark chocolate, broken into squares
4oz/115g unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
4oz/115g sugar
15oz/425g tin peach slices, drained
serves 6

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a glass bowl over simmering water. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale.

Beat the egg yolk mixture into the melted chocolate and butter mixture, until well combined.

In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Fold the drained peach slices into the mixture, then tip into a buttered ovenproof dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and just firm. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

This pudding has a serious amount of chocolate in it, and as there were only 3 of us again for Sunday dinner, I halved the quantity of everything except the peaches. It worked out perfect for 3 people who don’t want to end up like elephants. I baked it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, which gave a nice slightly dried out, crisp texture to the surface.

I got this recipe from a book called Heavenly Chocolate by Christine France.

Chocolate Mousse

This is a real favourite with my family. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from but I do recall that it was called Chocolate Cream Cloud but it is really just a lovely easy mousse.

6oz or 150g of dark chocolate
4 large eggs (separated)
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 pint of whipping or double cream
alcohol of choice (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from above the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and a bit cooler. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and stir until smooth.
Then add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate. Mix together well with the wooden spoon.
Using the metal spoon fold a small amount of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then add the rest of the beaten egg whites. Now whip the cream until stiff.
If you are going for the wickedly adult version – add a dessertspoon or more of your choice of booze to your dessert glasses (Tia Maria, Baileys or Grand Marnier are all good.)
Now spoon a quantity of the chocolate mixture into the glasses.
Fold about half of the whipped cream into the remaining chocolate mixture. Spoon some of this into your glasses. Then spoon in some cream and keep layering it all until your glasses are full.
Decorate with grated chocolate. The easiest way of doing this is to use a potato peeler on the edge of the chocolate. Not nearly such hard work or messy as a grater.
For a mocha version add a heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules to the cream before whipping it. Yum.
Obviously you should use fresh eggs for this but in over thirty years of making this dessert with raw eggs I’ve never had any problems – even with toddlers eating it.

Pear Upside-down Pudding

This is a nice chocolatey variation of the pineapple pudding I featured in an earlier post. Chocolate and pears are a great classic combination.

Pear upside down pudding

Pear upside down pudding

1 large tablespoon golden syrup
1x410g can pear halves,drained
8-10 glace cherries
125g (4oz) margarine
125g (4oz) sugar
2 eggs
125g (4oz) self-raising flour
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder

Cover the base of a 18 cm (7inch) deep cake tin with the golden syrup.
Arrange the pears rounded side up, on the base of the tin. Place the glace cherries into the spaces between the pears.
Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the cocoa powder and stir the mixture until it is well combined.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the flour. Beat well then spread the mixture evenly over the pears and cherries.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, 180C (350F,) gas mark 4 for about 50 to 60 minutes, depending on your oven. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pudding and invert the tin onto your serving plate. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.
This pudding serves 6 people. If you want a larger one, use a 10 inch tin. Arrange pear halves over the whole of the base of the tin. Spread the sponge mixture on top and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.