This is a ‘fond memory’ bread which my mother made very often – and in two minutes flat we’d demolish it! It’s made in a Pyrex bowl. Something simple .... but there’s something comforting about the aroma of soda bread baking in the oven.
This is a delicious rich chocolate tart. If you have a sweeter tooth than me (though I’m hard to beat), add some runny honey to the cream when mixing the filling.
Christmas Berry Tiramisu
This take on trifle is from the BBC's 'The Best Christnas Food Ever' and what a luxurious dessert it is and pretty impressive to present at the dining table. This is my twist on a tiramisu, which is a light option and an alternative to the traditional trifle
The trick to getting the layers to even is to divide the mixture before layering – for example, if planning on 3 layers each of the compote, biscuits and cream, then divide each of these into 3 before constructing the dessert. And a handy tip is to pipe the cream mixture to achieve a more even layer. And for a deeper biscuit layer, lay them on their side rather than flat..
For the biscuit layer
For the mulled wine mixed berries compote
Firstly place all the ingredients (except the arrowroot) for the mulled wine berry compote into a saucepan and gently heat through, allowing the flavours to blend. After about 10 minutes of gentle simmering, mix the arrowroot with some cold liquid – water or orange juice and pour into the compote. Stir gently until the mix thickens. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick. Allow the compote to cool.
When the compote is cold, then beat the mascarpone, cream, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and Marsala to reach soft peaks, and set aside. (at this point, place in a piping bag if you choose to pipe the cream mix into the trifle bowl)
Then whisk the jam, the 75ml of Marsala and the orange juice together and pour the mix into a shallow dish, add the biscuits and allow them time to soak up some of the mixture turning over to ensure a full coating.
Spread some of the compote at the bottom of the trifle bowl, add in the biscuits, standing them on their side (allow about 12 biscuits per layer if using 3 layers), followed by a little more compote, then the cream mix and continue with the layers to complete the dish.
Allow at least one hour for the flavours to meld. Garnish with crystalised rosemary and fresh cranberries.
Tip: to crystalise the rosemary and cranberries, lightly dip them into slightly beaten egg white and the toss in caster sugar. Set aside to dry, which can take up to 5 hours in a warm area, depending on the size and fullness of the rosemary sprigs