Vanilla and Caramel Cake with chocolate dirt

3 eggs
75 gm caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
75 gm Pamela’s baking mix

125 gms muscovado sugar
75 ml double cream
70 gms butter
1 tsp salt

Chocolate Dirt:
3 oz sugar

3 tbsps water
1 1/2 oz. chocolate pieces

Vanilla and Caramel Cake with chocolate dirt

Make in reverse order! Chocolate dirt first, then the frosting and then the cake.

Chocolate dirt: Mix sugar and water in a pan and boil till it caramelizes. As soon as it starts to go golden brown, remove from hit and throw in the chocolate pieces and stir as quickly as possible.

Frosting: Mix sugar and cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes and stir in the salt. Allow to cool completely. Beat the butter until creamed and add the cream/sugar mix in small amounts. Beat well between addition. Place in ridge to set firm.

Cake: Beat eggs with sugar (with vanilla extract) until thick and creamy, almost like whipped cream. Very gently fold in the flour (and cocoa for a chocolate sponge). Pour into a swiss roll pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 380F for 10-15 minutes. When done turn out immediately onto parchment paper sprinkled with icing sugar on a cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. 

cake 003

For a swiss roll version, roll up the sponge and sugared parchment paper immediately, while it is hot. Otherwise allow to cool and cut the cake into three or four rectangles to make a layer cake.

Fill the cake with whipped cream and some of the chocolate dirt mixed in with it. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream and dirt on the top of the cake.

Pipe the chilled frosting on the sides and top of the cake and sprinkle the whole thing with chocolate dirt.

Pecan Pie

1 pecan pie pie crust (lightly pre-baked)
1 3/4 cups pecan halves
6 tbsps butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 oz. honey
2/3 cup heavy cream

Pecan Pie

A great pecan pie recipe


10 Schar Ladyfingers (gluten-free sponge fingers)
1 tablespoon cream
1/4 cup chocolate pieces
2 egg yolks
1/6 cup sugar
1/6 cup cream
pinch salt
1/3 cup cream
1/8 cup sugar
3 oz mascarpone
2 cups espresso coffee
tsp sugar


Melt the chocolate pieces in the tbsp cream.

Beat the egg yolks, sugar, cream and salt in a double boiler for 4-5 minutes until thick and custardy. Fold in the melted chocolate. Refrigerate.

Whip the cream, add the sugar and fold in the mascarpone. Fold in the chocolate custard.

Sweeten the espresso coffee and one by one dunk half the ladyfingers in the coffee and lay in the bottom of your Tiramisu dish. Spread half the chocolate mixture over the top and repeat with the remaining half of the ladyfingers. 

Grate chocolate over the top or sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Rhubarb Shortbread


125g butter

125 g flour

25g cornstarch

2 tbsps icing sugar

250g rhubarb, well-chopped

2 eggs, beaten

25g flour

200g demerara sugar


Rhubarb Shortbread

Heat oven to 350F.

Make shortbread with first four ingredients by rubbing in. Press into tin, prick with a fork and bake for 15 or so minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly and pour onto base. Return to oven and bake for 40 minutes further.

Cool in tin and cut into squares.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 gluten-free pie crust
1/2 pt water
2 lemons
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs, separated

4 oz sugar

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is based on my Mother’s recipe and she still makes it better than anyone. In the nature of hand-me-down recipes the quantities are fairly imprecise, so you’ll have to experiment a little. The tablespoons are vague English tablespoons not the usual 15ml of US recipes. You can cook it slow or quick and eat it hot or cold, but I prefer the slower cooked, crunchy meringue. If the meringue stays sticky then adding more sugar is usually the required step.

Add lemon juice and rind to the water with the cornstarch and 3 tbsp sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring well and then let simmer very gently for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the two egg yolks and mix well.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and then add 4oz sugar to sweeten as meringue.

Bake in a cool oven (200F) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Take care to ensure that no dried fruit is sitting on top of the pudding while it bakes as they will burn and impart a nasty burnt taste to the whole pudding.

If you have time you can improve the pudding by leaving it to soak for 30-60 minutes before baking it.

10-12 slices Udi’s white or multi-grain bread
4-6 oz softened butter
juice and grated rind of 1 orange
4oz raisins / sultanas / currants (or other dried fruit)
3 eggs
20 fl. oz. milk
3 oz sugar
cinnamon or nutmeg

Gluten free Bread and Butter Pudding

Not pudding in the american sense – or maybe in the half-way sense. Anyway, this is ‘The Pudding Club’s recipe for bread and butter pudding made with gluten free bread.



Preheat oven to 400F and grease a 2 pint ovenproof baking dish.

Butter each slice of bread with the butter (on either one side or both as you wish). If you prefer, you can remove the crusts from the bread slices, but this is easiest done after buttering.

Line the baking dish with about a third of the bread (butter side down) and sprinkle with half the orange juice and rind. Add half the dried fruit and sprinkle on one third of the sugar.

Repeat with another layer of bread, the rest of the orange and the fruit and another half of the remaining sugar. Place a final layer of bread (butter side up) and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Beat the eggs together and add the milk and pour over the top of the bread. Scatter cinnamon or nutmeg over the top.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes – until well-risen and set.  Serve hot on its own, or with yet more custard!

Banana Cream Pie

125g caster sugar
250g bananas, peeled and chopped
25g unsalted butter
2 eggs, separated
50ml milk
2 tbsp (15g) cornflour
125g mascarpone or extra-thick cream
1 baked, gluten-free pie crust
Cocoa to finish

Banana Cream Pie

Heat 50g of the sugar in a pan with 25ml water and boil over a high heat until the sugar turns to a dark reddish caramel. Add the banana pieces and butter, and simmer gently until the banana is soft.

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks, milk and cornflour until smooth, then off the heat beat into the banana mixture along with the mascarpone. Cook until boiling, then spoon into the pastry case.

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly whisk in the remaining sugar until you have a stiff meringue. Spoon this over the filling, dust with cocoa and bake at 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

3 oz  stoned dates (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp cornstarch
2.5 oz  butter
2.5 oz brown bugar
1 egg
1 tbsp molasses (or treacle)
3 oz Pamela's baking mix
1 tsp baking soda

Sticky Toffee Pudding

As with many other recipes here, 'pudding' means English pudding, not American pudding! This is a dark brown sponge pudding, which may readily collapse after cooking, but which is still good to eat. It is also very good cold - we haven't tried re-heating it.


About 2-3 hours before making the pudding, pour the boiling water over the dates, mash and leave to cool.

Grease a 2 pt ovenproof dish and dust it with the cornstarch.

Cream the butter and brown sugar thoroughly. Beat in the egg and molasses and finally stir in the flour.

Mash the dates once more and add the baking soda and stir. Stir the dates into the mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the dish.

Bake in a 400F oven for 25 minutes.


3 egg whites
6 oz sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla


Beat egg whites well. Add sugar. Beat and fold.

Fold in three remaining ingredients

Spread over baking parchment and bake at 275F until dry.

Lemon Meringue Pie Cake


Lemon Meringue Pie Cake

Recipe to follow ...

© David Gilmore 2017