cakes and desserts
In the summer, there are often competing forces when it comes to dessert. First are all the wonderful fruit desserts that we can really only have during these three or four months.
We celebrated my twin sisters' turning 18 with this spectacular cake. When you are cooking for two (or a family of 8, for that matter) it's hard to please every individual palate.
A pudding for autumn. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin 23 September
If you asked me what my all-time favorite dessert is, the answer would most likely be cheesecake. Cheesecake is not only creamy and delightful but it can also take on almost any flavor, making the options limitless. I love every bite of the delectable treat, from chocolate ganache-topped fluffy sour cream, to the dense, cold cake in the middle, all the way down to the slightly sweet, slightly salty, always buttery crust.
There's nothing that pairs better with a scoop of ice cream than a slice of fruity pie or bowl of fresh, seasonal crumble. Today I bring you the first signs of summer; a downright plucky combo of just-cooked apricots and strawberries, playing host to a golden, almond cookie-enriched topping. This past weekend, I had plans to make a strawberry something or other when I stumbled across a small bushel of ripe apricots.
Ingredients 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 4 ounces semisweet chocolate , with 60 percent cocoa solids 2 eggs 3/4 cup superfine sugar 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins Directions
I must admit that, when my editor suggested macaroons for this column, I hoped she was talking about the sweet, coconutty kind found in every high-street bakers or, at a pinch, the crisp almond biscuits of the same name from Lorraine.
Creamy ice cream from just one ingredient.
With ingredients including oats, peanut butter, chia seeds and cinnamon, these cookies offer a healthier alternative to typical peanut butter cookies.
Dan Lepard's apple dumplings in brandy syrup: Boozy balls of joy.
There is a natural food law, I believe, that is that most people will like most things, as long as they're prepared the right way.
Now these brownies are just dangerous. It made a huge 9x13 pan (and this was halving the recipe) and I ended up freezing most of them.
Dan Lepard's banana bread: A proper teatime cake. Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian
Dan Lepard's pumpkin chocolate mud cake: It's finger-lickin' good.