menu ideas · recipes

Make-Ahead Desserts for Easy Entertaining

chocolte torte with strawberriesFor easy entertaining I have pulled a few desserts from the archives that you might like to try over the holiday season. This is a busy time of year for many and you can make each dessert a few days ahead, leaving you with plenty of time to attend to your guests and other preparations. And, if you haven’t made your christmas pudding yet, I have included a last-minute christmas pudding recipe.

Chocolate desserts are always popular and you can make this Squidgy Chocolate Torte two days ahead and keep covered and refrigerated until needed. Decorate with strawberries a few hours before serving. When cutting this dessert for serving, it’s a good idea to run the blade of a knife under warm water and carefully wipe away the excess water with some paper towel. The warm blade should glide through the chocolate torte, leaving you with clean and evenly cut slices.
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream-0119Christmas Ice Cream Pudding is a delicious way of using left-over christmas pudding and you can make this very easy frozen dessert two or three days ahead. You can make your own vanilla ice cream or make it really easy and buy a good quality ice cream instead. Make individual servings using small pudding moulds or one large family serving.

Christmas Pudding-2

Since I came across spherical moulds some years back I love using them for my Christmas Puddings. You can make this Last-minute Christmas Pudding a week in advance or even the day before. Store the christmas pudding in the refrigerator until needed. You can also use a regular 600ml pudding bowl with the same recipe.

chocolate date cake-1256If you love chocolate and dates you might like to try this ultra rich Chocolate Date Cake with Tahini and White Chocolate, you can make this dessert cake a day or two ahead of time. You can serve the tahini and white chocolate topping as a warm pouring sauce rather than cooling and spreading on top of the cake. If using the topping as a sauce, make before serving, which will only take a few minutes.

Pavlova-0025Make these Mini Pavlovas a week ahead and store in an airtight container (between sheets of greaseproof paper) and keep refrigerated. Top the pavlova’s with fresh cream and fruit of your choice an hour or two before serving.


food + drink · menu ideas · posts

Cakes for Mid-morning Coffee

Cake and Cups

Freshly brewed coffee and a thick slab of homemade cake is a homely welcome for friends and family coming over for a casual get together. I added the Welsh Cheese CakesDate and Walnut Cake in a Nut Roll Tin and Orange Ricotta Cake with Walnuts to  Menu Ideas as a source of inspiration for your next cake and coffee morning. Continue reading “Cakes for Mid-morning Coffee”

menu ideas · posts

Ramadan – Iftar Meal

When planning meals for Ramadan every family has their favourite recipes and the Bahraini Kebab and Thareed are always part of the Iftar meal at my family in-laws house. The days fasting is first broken with dates, water or fresh juice and a light chicken broth is served before eating the main dishes. A simple salad consisting of chopped cos lettuce, grated carrot, chopped spring onion, tomato, cucumber and mint leaves; seasoned and dressed lightly with fresh lemon juice is also served. Desserts like muhallabia, jelly, crème caramel and fruit custards follow and flasks of chai and arabic coffee are made to drink throughout the evening.

Iftar Menu

Bahraini Kebab

Bahraini Kebab

Thareed – Lamb and vegetable stew with Khoubz – Arabic FlatbreadArabic Lamb Stew - Thareed

Muhallabia – Ground Rice PuddingArabic Rice PuddingGetting Ahead: The batter for the Bahraini Kebab can be made a couple of hours in advance. The Thareed can be made the day before but do jnot mix in the khobuz until you have re-heated the dish before serving. Dessert can also be made a day ahead.