Based on the seventies cake classic that is Black Forest gâteau – this cherry, ice cream and brownie desert is heavenly. Don't cheat - make your own brownies too
- 568ml pot single cream
- 140g caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), plus extra to decorate
- 1⁄2 400g can cherries
- 2 tbsp kirsch or brandy
- 148ml double cream
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- 2 brownie squares
- 200g butter
- 175g dark brown sugar
- 140g granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 50g ground almond
- 50g plain flour
- 200g dark chocolate
MethodBeat together the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Pour over 2 tbsp of the cream and whisk into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the cream, lower the heat, then cook for a few mins, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon.
- sunflower oil, for greasing
- 300g blackberry
- 300g dark cherry, halved and stoned, or quartered if large
- 200g small black seedless grape
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 200g blackcurrant
- 200g blueberry
- 4 tbsp Crème de Cassis (or 2 tbsp Ribena)
- 400g medium-sliced white bread
- clotted or single cream, to serve (optional)
- Brush a 1.5-litre pudding basin with oil – if you don’t have a 1.5-litre pudding basin, use a smaller one and serve any fruit that won’t fit on the side. Line the basin with a double layer of cling film, overhanging the basin at the top.
- Put the blackberries, cherries, grapes and sugar in a saucepan with 3 tbsp water. Cover and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted and the fruit is syrupy. Add the currants and blueberries, cover and cook gently for 2 mins more until the fruit is just softened. Take off the heat and cool.
- Strain the fruit into a colander set over a bowl. Leave for 5 mins to drain well, then stir the cassis or Ribena into the captured juices. Trim the crusts from the bread slices and discard, losing as little bread as possible. Then use a pastry brush to spread a little of the berry juices over one side of each slice. Cut a circle from 1 slice (or 2 semi-circles from 2 slices) that will neatly cover the base of the basin, and push in – juice-side down.
- Reserve some bread so that you have enough to cover the top of the basin, then halve the remaining slices into fat fingers – trimming to the correct length to line the sides of the basin. Then, juice-side down, work round the basin, overlapping the edges of the bread slightly and pressing them to stay in place, until the basin is completely lined with bread. Patch any gaps with scraps.
- Reserve a couple of spoonfuls of fruit to serve, then spoon the remainder into the bread-lined basin, squishing the fruit down to level it. Reserve 150ml of the juices with the reserved berries, then pour the rest into the basin, concentrating on pouring it around the edges to soak into the bread. Jigsaw the reserved bread to neatly cover the top and seal in the fruit, this time placing it juice-side up. Loosely cover the top of the basin with cling film. Find a small plate that will fit snugly inside the basin so it is in contact with the pudding and add 4 x 400g cans to weigh it down. Chill overnight with the reserved juice and berries.
- To serve, unwrap and invert the basin onto a serving plate with a lip to hold any juices. Lift off the basin, holding the cling film down tightly as you pull to help you remove it. Peel off the cling film round the pudding. If you’ve any white bread patches visible, spoon over some juice to colour it. Spoon the rest of the berries and juice onto the top of the pud and serve with clotted or single cream, if you like.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 2cm piece freshly grated ginger
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 450g minced pork
- 350g jar black bean sauce
- 115g rice noodle
- 6 spring onions, shredded
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan then add the garlic cloves, grated ginger and chopped large red chilli. Cook for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add the minced pork and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until browned. Stir in a jar of black bean sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to pack instructions. Drain and toss with the pork and shredded spring onions.
- 4 oven-ready partridge
- olive oil
- 250ml dry cider
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 200ml chicken stock
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2½ cm chunks
- few thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
- Cut the backbone out of one of the partridges using a strong pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears. Turn the bird over, then use your bodyweight and press down on the middle of the breast with the heel of your hand, until the partridge flattens out. Repeat.
- Heat a little oil in a large non-stick pan. Season the birds with salt and pepper, then brown them quickly – 2 at a time – in the pan. Lift out, and set aside.
- Mix the cider with the honey, reserve one-third of the mix, then tip the rest into the pan to deglaze. Stir in the stock, then reduce the liquid down for 5 mins or until you have a syrupy sauce. Season to taste.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pop the squash into a mixing bowl, toss with most of the thyme, seasoning, a little of the reserved cider mix and 1 tbsp olive oil. Tip onto a non-stick baking tray, then roast for 30 mins.
- Now toss the partridges in what’s left of the cider mix. Grind lots of black pepper over and scatter with a good sprinkling of salt. Nestle the partridges amongst the squash, breast-side up. Sprinkle with a little more thyme. Roast for 15 mins, then remove the birds and let them rest. Turn off the oven and keep the squash warm. Cut the birds into quarters and serve on top of a pile of squash. Drizzle around a little of the sauce and scatter with a little thyme, to serve.