Catherine's Taste Like Home Hazelnut Meringue with Summer Berries

Makes 2 individual meringues or 1 meringue tower 

For the meringue

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g toasted chopped hazelnuts

For the filling

  • 200ml cream
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of third of the lemon

 For the berry coulis

  • 200g strawberries
  • 200g raspberries
  • 75g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Arrowroot to thicken 

To decorate

  • 100g blueberries
  • 150g raspberries
  • 150g strawberries, sliced
  • Edible flowers, lemon balm and a few sprigs of rosemary, to finish

 For the meringues: Preheat the oven to 120°C/fan 100°C/gas 1. Line 2 x 23cm loose base springform tins with parchment paper.
Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl, whisk until stiff but not dry. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Beat in the vanilla, the cream of tartar and most of the chopped hazelnuts.
Divide the meringue mixture into the two tins ensuring they are level on top, scatter the remaining hazelnuts over and place into the preheated oven.
Bake for 2 hours until set. When they’re done, leave them in the oven with the oven door slightly open so that the meringues can cool.

For the coulis
Place the strawberries and raspberries into a saucepan with sugar. Set over a medium heat. Crush with a wooden spoon or fork until the sugar has dissolved & the berries broken down. As this point, taste and add a little more sugar, depending on the acidity of the berries. Strain through a sieve, then return to the saucepan, adding in the zest of lemon and thickening lightly with the arrowroot (the arrowroot get mixed with a little cold water and then added to the coulis and heated through). Set aside and allow to cool fully

For the cream filling, whisk the cream, mascarpone, lemon zest, juice and icing sugar until firm peaks. Then swirl in about 1/4 of the coulis (keeping some pink streaks in the cream mix).

 To assemble as two separate meringues: place each on a serving platter, spoon the berry cream mix over, top generously with the fresh fruit and decorate with the fresh herbs and edible flowers.

To assemble as a tower, place the meringue layer on a cake stand, spoon the whisked mascarpone cream into a piping bag and cut off the tip about 2cm up. Pipe around the edge and then fill in the centre. Mix the berries together and arrange some on the edge and more in the centre so that they are level and that the cake will be level when you add the next meringue layer on top.

Once you have the second layer on, arrange the remaining berries and edible flowers hazelnuts on top and place in the fridge for about an hour for the flavours to meld. Then serve and enjoy

Serve the remaining coulis on the side.
Tip: the tidiest method to drizzle the coulis is to fill a disposable piping bag and snip a tiny piece from the tip, thus giving a light drizzle for decorating.

Tastes Like Home x Catherine Fulvio - Rack of Lamb with Yoghurt Salsa & a Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach Dressing

Serves 4

3 x 4 cutlets racks of lamb, (allow 3 cutlets per person)

  •  For the marinade
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 For the salsa

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, deseeded, diced and drained of excess juice
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large (or 2 small) tomatoes, desseded and skinned, diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 500g Greek natural yoghurt
  • Rocket and sprigs of flat leaf parsley and coriander, to garnish Baby potatoes, to serve

 To prepare the marinade, mix the parsley, garlic, mustard, oil, honey, salt, pepper and lemon zest in a bowl. Then spread over the racks of lamb. Refrigerate for an hour at least for the flavours to infuse.
To make the salsa, separately blitz 1 tbsp chopped coriander, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tbsp chopped mint and the olive oil and set aside Then combine all other ingredients, season to taste and put in a serving bowl. Drizzle the flavoured oil over the top and set aside.

 To finish the lamb, preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Then heat a large frying pan with a little oil on a medium to high heat, add the lamb to the pan and sear until brown and caramelised. Transfer the racks of lamb to a roasting tin and place in the oven for about 12 minutes for medium, basting with the glaze from time to time. 16 to 18 minutes for well done. Allow the racks to rest in a warmer for 10 minutes.
To serve, scatter some rocket on a serving board or platter, arrange the lamb on top and serve with yoghurt salsa, baby potatoes and a salad, garnishing with the remaining herbs.


Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach Dressing


Serves 4-6

  • 1kg assorted heirloom tomatoes – cherry and beefsteak
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, partially skinned and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil or coriander, torn
  • 2 tsp mint, chopped
  • 100g hard goat’s cheese, crumbled / shaved
  • 2 tbsp baby capers
  • Salt and pepper to season

 For the peach salad dressing

  • 1 large ripe peach, peeled, stoned and chopped
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 1 tsp parsley and mint
  • Salt and pepper to season

 For the salad: Soak the red onion in hot water for about 5 minutes, then remove and pat dry. Slice the beefsteak tomatoes and halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice the cucumber.

 To make the peach dressing: blitz together all ingredients and check for seasoning, adjusting as necessary.
To serve: arrange the tomatoes, onion and cucumber on a large serving platter. Scatter over the herbs, capers and crumbled cheese. Drizzle some of the dressing over and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Catherine's Tastes Like Home Fig Almond and Chocolate Tea Cake

Makes 1 x loaf

  •  5 eggs
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 80g wholemeal flour
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 70ml cold camomile tea
  • 4 tbsp 70% chopped chocolate or chocolate drops
  • 5 dried figs, pre-soaked in brandy, then finely chopped

 For the topping

  • 120g sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold camomile tea (you may need a little more)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 fresh figs, sliced into thirds
  • Edible flowers (eg pansies or borage), to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line a 900g loaf pan with parchment.
Add the eggs into the bowl of a mixer, begin to whisk, adding the sugar slowly until pale and mixture holds its shape. Fold in the plain and wholemeal flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder to form a thick batter.Stir in the chocolate and the chopped figs together with the camomile tea. Transfer to the lined loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and it comes out clear.
Transfer to a cooling rack.

For the topping, mix the icing sugar, lemon zest and camomile tea to form a thick smooth paste.
When the cake is cold, place it on a cooling rack with parchment under (to catch the drips) and spoon the icing over the top, leave to set slightly. Transfer to a serving platter and arrange the fig wedges and edible flowers on top.

Enjoy with a glass of port or of course, a cup of tea!




Catherine's Tastes Like Home Prawn and Scallop Skewers on a Warm Salad with a Chorizo Drizzle

Prawn and Scallop Skewers
Serves 4 as a main course or serves 8 as a starte

 For the drizzle -

  • 60g chorizo, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the skewers -

  • 16 large tiger prawns
  • 8 scallops
  • 24 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, sliced

 For the vegetables -

  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 75g baby spinach
  • 1 courgette, sliced into ribbons
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil for frying
Lemon slices, to garnish
Dill sprigs, to garnish
Spring onions, to garnish (optional)
8 metal skewers or 8 wooden, if using wooden soak them in water for at least an hour.

 To make the drizzle, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a little oil and the diced chorizo. Sauté until most of the oil is extracted and the chorizo is crispy, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and zest and the olive oil. Stir in the dill, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

 To prepare the vegetables, place the diced chorizo in a frying pan with some oil and heat until the oil is extracted and the chorizo crisp. Add the spring onions, yellow and red pepper slices and garlic. Sauté the peppers until just cooked, before pouring in the balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside

To assemble the skewers, thread the scallops, bay leaves, prawns and lemon slices onto the soaked skewers.

Heat a chargrill pan over a medium heat, add some oil followed by the skewers. Chargrill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until the prawns and scallops are cooked through, seasoning whilst they are in the pan.

To serve, arrange the courgette ribbons and baby spinach nicely on the serving plates, and scatter over the warm pepper / chorizo mix. Arrange the skewers on the top. Spoon the drizzle over, garnish with dill and lemon slices and serve immediately.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

In conjunction with International Stout Day I thought I'd  share one of my recipes with stout! It has a truly Irish dimension with the addition of the Guinness.

Makes 9 squares

For the slices:

  • 150g stoned dates
  • 120g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml Guinness
  • 120ml water
  • 75ml whiskey
  • 1 tsp bread soda
    (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 100g chopped walnuts

For the sauce:
75g butter
75ml Guinness
75ml double cream
2 tbsp runny honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a 21cm square brownie tin with parchment paper.
  2. Put the dates, apricots, Guinness, water, whiskey and bread soda in a saucepan. Place over a gentle heat until the dates soften and break down, stirring occasionally. This should take about 4–5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
  4. Fold the flour, walnuts and the cooled date mixture into the egg mix and transfer to the prepared tin. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Cut into 9 squares.
  5. To make the sauce, place the butter, Guinness, cream and honey in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat until the honey has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Serve warm drizzled over the slices.

This sauce is delicious with ice cream and it freezes well too.

Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
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