….iiiiit’s POPSICLE WEEEEK!
Is there one dessert that you will always order if it’s on a menu? For me, it’s always molten chocolate cakes (especially if there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream involved). After having them once in a restaurant when I was younger, I became hell bent on finding a recipe to make them at home. After trying quite a few out I settled on my favourite – Delia Smith’s recipe. It makes 8 puds so I’d usually quarter it to bake two for me and a friend as a quick dessert.
I’m always looking for quick meals to cook up – either for an afternoon when I have enough time to pop back from uni to have lunch or on a busy evening. This is a 15-minute meal you can throw together so easily it’s almost unbelievable! That crispy sage really takes it to the next level imo.
I made the recipe as I’ve been working with Cyber Aware to bring attention to the importance of updating your software and apps. I know how annoying it can be to not be able to use your phone or laptop but if you resist that urge to press the ‘update later’ button you can spend that tech-free 15 minutes making this recipe as your tech updates! Below, I’ve got the recipe written out or a video embedded so you can follow whichever you want.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the potato gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the gnocchi and leave them in the colander. Return the pot to the heat.
With the pot on a medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the sage leaves and cook until dark and crisp (about 1 minute) then remove with metal tongs to a plate lined with paper towel.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and continue to cook until shrunken and dark brown. Remove from the heat.
Place a frying pan over a high heat and add the cooked mushrooms to it along with the cooked gnocchi and the unsalted butter. Fry until the butter has melted and the gnocchi have warmed through.
Divide between 2 bowls and then top with the crispy sage leaves, parmesan shavings, and some salt & pepper. Serve hot.
When I was at secondary school, I took Food Technology as one of my GCSEs. There were only 5 of us in the class (everyone obviously hated cooking hahah) but we got recruited to help make jam to sell at the school’s Christmas Bazaar. I remember having to stir up huge vats of the stuff and we made some delicious jars of classic preserves – lemon curd, mango chutney, strawberry jam…
One which struck me by surprise was an apricot jam we made using dried apricots with flaked almonds stirred in right at the end. I’d never seen that before but it stuck with me.
So that’s partially where the inspiration for this jam came from – a little twist on the classic cherry jam! In the UK we have a delicious pastry called Bakewell tart which, if you haven’t heard of it before, is a shortcrust pastry case with a layer of cherry jam topped with frangipane (an almondy, buttery cake). It is delicious as that pairing of almond with stone fruits works so amazingly together so I thought ‘why not make a Bakewell-flavoured jam!?’. And man, it is SO GOOD on toast with a bit of almond butter underneath too.
My dad and I always use Tate & Lyle’s Jam Sugar for jamming because it contains added pectin so it’s perfect for low-pectin fruits (e.g. loganberries which my dad grows on his allotment!) to help the jam gel and set. #FoodScienceFact – pectin is actually a form of dietary fibre and is mainly found in something called the ‘middle lamella’ which is a kind of jellyish bit situated between plant cells to stick them together – it’s really high in the white pith of citrus fruits! Also of course you need the sugar to preserve the jam (another #FoodScienceFact – sugar helps with preservation by lowering something called the ‘water activity’ which is essentially the amount of water which is available to microorganisms to use for energy. Salt also does this which is why high salt/high sugar foods keep well).
This year Tate & Lyle are launching their ‘Great British Jam Awards’ to inspire the UK to get their jam on – open from June 14th – July 6th (winners announced on July 12th). So if you’re in the UK make sure you give jam making a go this summer so you can enter their contest and win some great prizes!
Remove any stems from your cherries. To pit the cherries, place them over the open mouth of a clean, empty glass bottle (e.g. a beer bottle) facing upwards. Use a chopstick to poke through the cherry so that the pit pops out straight into the bottle. Repeat with the rest of the cherries - you should end up with roughly 1kg of cherries.
Place the pitted cherries into a large pot with the sugar and lemon juice. Place over a low heat and stir occasionally until it starts to bubble. As you start to see juice coming out of the cherries, turn the heat up. Keep stirring occasionally until the jam just starts to simmer then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until it has thickened and will coat a wooden spoon with a jammy layer.
You can test if the jam is done by placing a small plate into your freezer for 5 minutes so it gets nice and cold. Scoop a spoonful of jam onto the plate. Let it sit there for a minute to cool then push with a finger - if the jam wrinkles and leaves a clear line it's done, if it is still liquidy it needs to be cooked for longer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds and almond extract. Divide between sterilised glass jars and leave to cool. Store at cool place for up to 3 months.
*Thanks to Tate & Lyle for sponsoring this post, and you guys for supporting my blog! All opinions are my own 🙂
I’m done with exams, back in London and I’m finally going to talk about my new book, The Savvy Cook, today!!
If you haven’t pre-ordered already you can do so here:
And once you pre-order you can claim your copy of a FREE 10-recipe ebook download by emailing your proof of purchase to email@example.com
Okay so here are the ‘headlines’ about it:
One of the coolest things about the book is the ‘leftovers’ slant to all the recipes:
This is something I’m super excited about because I’ve found that when cooking for 1 or 2 people, I always end up with open bags of spinach, half blocks of feta, half a broccoli etc.. left over. I shove it in the fridge and forget about it and a week later it’s mouldy and I’ve had to throw it away! This leftovers table feature should help you tackle that food-waste by showing what recipes to make next so you can meal plan.
It’s ALSO great for when you’ve bought a niche ingredient like tahini or miso for a recipe in the book and you have no clue what else to do with it! Instead of making the same recipe again, this shows you what else to do with it without having to trawl through the whole book.
Another thing to point out is the ‘Clear the Fridge chapter!
I think that’s it!! If you have any questions, let me know 🙂
Hello, friends! FIRSTLY – my second cookbook, The Savvy Cook, is available for pre-order! It’ll be coming out in the UK (29th June), US (20th June) and Australia & New Zealand (25th July) and you can pre-order via these links:
If you pre-order the book now, there’s also a fun bonus: email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a free bonus recipe booklet with 10 vegetarian mains/sides + 2 dessert recipes! (The bonus will only be available to those who pre-order)
I’ll be doing a post dedicated to The Savvy Cook soon so you can get more info! But just a quick outline – it’s all vegetarian recipes with lots of vegan/gluten-free variations throughout. The recipes are easy to make, everyday-style recipes (over 120 of them!!!) and there’s a mixture of savoury & sweet recipes throughout.
I’m also going to be coming to New York for the US launch so watch out for event announcements on here or my social media (same goes for London!). Plus if anyone has ideas for where I should eat/what I should do in NYC (book-wise + also visiting-wise) let me knooow please!!
Thanks, everyone 🙂
Now onto today’s recipe:
One of the nicest things about being home in London, as opposed to my student house in Leeds, is that my parents turn the heating on. Those familiar to uni life will be familiar with the phrase ‘Can we just turn the heating on for an hour?’, said in a desperate tone at 6pm whilst you’re wearing leggings, fluffy socks, a thermal top, a jumper and a fleece and sitting under a blanket.
I’ve been a bit bread-obsessed lately – well, I always am, just more so at the moment. I find myself opting for lightly-sweetened bready goods over dessert come winter. Popping a slice of challah into the toaster and catching it a few minutes later at that caramelised but aaaaaalmost burnt stage, and slathering it in peanut butter is my post-uni snack of choice.
Exam season is over for another year. I’ve only got to do it for 2 more years and then I promise I’ll never have to complain about revision EVER AGAIN!
*This* is how I want all fruit desserts to be. Easy, simple and so delicious you have to stop yourself from eating a 3rd slice in one sitting.