These delicious low fat treats are perfect for a summer treat and can be served warm or cold
- 3 large eggs
- 100g golden caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
- few drops of almond extract
- 25g butter, melted
- 100g self-raising flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 2 small peaches
- 2 tsp peach conserve or apricot jam
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- half-fat crème fraîche, to serve
MethodIn a large bowl, use a hand whisk to mix the eggs, sugar and almond extract together for a minute until foamy. Pour in the melted butter and continue to beat until combined. Gently fold in the flour, ground almonds and a pinch of salt.
- 200ml vegetable stock, made with freshly boiled water
- 125g bulghar wheat
- meat from a roughly 900g ready-roasted smoked or unsmoked whole chicken (about 550g ready-roasted chicken breasts), not too fridge-cold
- 2 ripe yellow-fleshed peaches
- 25g pack mint
- 25g pack dill
- handful basil (optional)
- 50g toasted pecan halves, some left whole
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- zest and juice 2 limes (about 4 tbsp juice)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (or use white wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar)
- 3 tbsp mild olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp golden caster sugar
- 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
- Pour the boiling-hot stock over the bulghar in a large bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside for 15-20 mins until the stock has been totally absorbed and the grains are tender.
- Meanwhile, slice or tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and cut each peach into 12 wedges. Whisk the dressing ingredients together with some seasoning.
- When the bulghar looks dry and has swollen up in the bowl, remove the cling film. Fluff it up with a fork and let cool.
- Roughly chop the herbs just before serving, then toss into the bulghar. Spread over a large platter, then top with the chicken, peaches, pecans and feta. Roughly toss everything together a little. Drizzle over the dressing to serve.
- 5 large egg whites
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100ml clear honey, plus 2 tbsp
- 5 ripe but firm peaches, peeled if you like, and thickly sliced
- 300ml pot double cream
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste with seeds
- 200ml pot Greek yogurt
- 85g pistachio, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Using a 20cm plate or cake tin as a template, draw a circle on a large sheet of baking parchment, flip it over and place on a large baking tray. When ready, dot a blob of raw meringue onto each corner of the baking tray and put the baking parchment on top – this way it won’t slip.
- In a well-cleaned, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric hand whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, continuing to whisk as you go. The meringue will start to get thick and glossy. Add the brown sugar in the same way, continue whisking for another 1-2 mins until really thick and holding stiff, shiny peaks on the end of your whisk. Now add the cornflour and vinegar, and give a final whisk until smooth.
- Using a large metal spoon, pile the meringue onto the parchment-lined tray, using the circle template as a guide to create a symmetrical circle. Use the spoon to make a dip in the middle (this will hold your cream and fruit later) and a few spikes of meringue around the edges. Place in the centre of the oven, shut the door and immediately turn the temperature down to 140C/120C fan/ gas 1. Cook the meringue for 1 hr 10 mins, then turn the oven off and leave until completely cold (best done overnight).
- For the topping, put the 100ml honey in a wide frying pan and heat until saucy. Add the peach slices and cook for 1-2 mins on each side, over quite a high heat, until the peaches are sticky but still holding their shape. Cool completely.
- Just before you are ready to serve, assemble the Pavlova. Tip the cream, vanilla and remaining honey into a bowl. Whisk until it just holds soft peaks, then add the yogurt and, using a spatula, fold together until combined. Spoon the cream into the centre of the meringue and swirl it out towards the edges. Top with the sticky peaches and any saucy bits from the pan, and sprinkle over the pistachios.
- 300g butter, softened
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 100g ground almond
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g butter, softened
- 450g icing sugar, plus a little extra
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- food colouring paste of your choice (we used a mixture of pink and yellow to create coral)
- 250g pack green sugar paste (or fondant icing mixed with green food colouring)
- 24 muffin cases (we used green ones)
- large piping bag
- large curved star point piping nozzle
- 15cm/6in styrofoam ball
- 15cm/6in flowerpot (measured across the top)
- green tissue paper
- sticky tape
- 24 short wooden skewers (or long ones cut in half)
- ribbon, to decorate (optional)
- Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3½. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with muffin cases. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix again, then add the orange zest and juice, and almond extract. Give a final mix to combine everything.
- Use 2 dessertspoons to divide the mixture between the cases. Bake for 22-25 mins, changing the tins over after 15 mins. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Can now be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To make the icing, tip the butter into a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Add the icing sugar, cream cheese, almond extract and orange juice. Mash everything together first with a spatula (to avoid a mess), then go in with the electric whisk and mix until smooth. Add your food colouring and mix again until you have an even colour. (If you’re using liquid food colouring, it will make the icing runny, so add a little more icing sugar.)
- Fit the piping bag with a large curved star point piping nozzle, then fill the bag with half of the icing and twist the end closed. To pipe, hold the piping bag directly above the centre of the cake and, applying a steady pressure, pipe in a swirl, working out towards the edge of the cupcake. When you reach the edge, swipe the nozzle to create a smooth finish – you can always cover this bit with leaves, so don’t worry too much if it looks messy. When you have piped 12 cupcakes, empty any remaining icing from the bag back into the bowl with the reserved icing. Add a little more colouring to create a deeper shade (and a little extra sifted icing sugar if the icing gets too runny). Whisk again, then refill your piping bag and ice the remaining cakes. Can be stored somewhere cool for up to 1 day (the fridge is fine, just make sure that you remove 30 mins before eating).
- Before serving, add a few leaves, if you like: pinch off small pieces of green sugar paste or fondant icing and shape into leaves. Use a sharp knife to add detail, then stick onto the cupcakes. See tips, below left, for how to build your bouquet.