After an exciting and ‘sweet’ period of developing mouth-watering desserts to coincide with Jo Malone’s new fragrants launch, I am pleased to announce March 2013 is the official month when you can finally get your pretty paws on these truly delicious scents. Each purchase will also come partnered with one of my recipe cards, but if you can’t wait that long, here are my creations for you to enjoy whenever the mood strikes…
Jo Malone Sugar and Spice
Recipes by Natalie Seldon
Redcurrant and cream scent – Summer berry pudding
Prep 30 minutes (plus chilling time)
Cook 2-3 minutes
You will also need: 4 x 175ml pudding basins
1 x 5.5cm diameter cookie cutter and 1 x 7cm diameter cookie cutter
4 x filled jam jars
125g strawberries hulled, 2 for decoration
125g redcurrants, 4 sprigs for decoration
75g golden caster sugar
6 slices of stale white bread
200ml single cream, to serve
1.Begin by slicing the strawberries in half, then place in a large wide-based pan with all the remaining fruit, 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar. (leaving two strawberries and 4 sprigs of redcurrants to the side for serving) Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes or until the fruit begin to release some of their juices but making sure the fruit remain whole. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2.Stamp out 4 x 5.5cm circles and 4 x 7cm bread circles using the cookie cutters. Place the four smaller circles at the base of each ramekin, then spoon in an equal amount of fruit, followed by the remaining larger circles of bread. Carefully press down with your hands and spoon in enough of the berry juice to colour the bread.
3.Cover with clingfilm, and place a jam jar on top of each one. Refrigerate for at least three hours, or preferably overnight and reserve the remaining juices and fruit.
4.When ready to serve, remove the jam jar weights and clingfilm, then run a palate knife carefully around the edge. Place a serving plate on top of each, and invert to release. Serve with some spoonfuls of red berry coulis, cream and the remaining fruit to decorate as you wish.
Gooseberry and Elderflower scent – Gooseberry and Elderflower fool
Prep 10 minutes, plus cooling and chilling time
Cook 4-5 minutes
You will also need: 4 x ramekins or glasses
250g gooseberries, washed, topped and tailed
3 tbsp elderflower cordial (I recommend Belvoir farm)
2tbsp golden caster sugar
juice of ½ small lemon
250ml double cream
50ml greek yoghurt
4 sprigs of fresh elderflowers, to decorate
1.Place the gooseberries in a large, wide-based pan with the elderflower cordial, sugar and lemon juice. Simmer over a gentle heat for a few minutes, or until the gooseberries soften and lighten in colour.
2.Remove from the heat and tip into a large bowl to cool.
3.Lightly whip the cream until slightly thickened, then stir in the greek yogurt.
4.Divide the gooseberries by starting with a layer at the bottom of each ramekin or glass, followed by some cream, then another layer of gooseberries. Finish with another dollop of cream and decorate with a sprig of elderflower before serving. Also delicious served with shortbread.(these can be made up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated)
Lemon tart scent – Lemon meringue tart
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
You will also need: 4 x 10cm mini tartlet tins
baking paper and baking beans
375g sweet shortcrust pastry
500g lemon curd
3 egg whites
150g golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 small lemon, cut into four slices or segments for decoration
icing sugar, for dusting
1.Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry to a 3mm thickness and line the tins. Trim the excess off by rolling a rolling pin over the top to make a neat edge, then allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake blind (lined with baking paper and filled with baking beans) for 12 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then cook for a further 5 minutes more until the pastry is pale golden and biscuity.
2.Spoon in enough lemon curd to fill the tart cases and return to the oven to cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the filling is just set.
3.Meanwhile, make the meringue by placing the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition being careful not to over beat. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the remaining sugar as before until smooth and thick.
4.When the tarts are ready, remove from the oven and using either a piping bag or a spoon, place the meringue at the centre of each tart as a either a piping swirl or attractive peaks. Using a blow torch, carefully and briefly colour the meringue to a golden colour.
5.Before serving, add a slice of lemon and a dusting of icing sugar. Best eaten on the same day.
Ginger biscuit scent – Stem ginger biscuits
Makes about 20
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
125g unsalted butter, softened
85g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 balls of stem ginger, very finely chopped
1.Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper
2.Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the stem ginger, then sift in the flour and ground ginger together. Bring together to form a dough.
3.Using a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and form into balls. Place onto the prepared baking sheets about 5cm apart and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
4.Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and firm. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Dark chocolate and bitter orange scent – Dark chocolate and Bitter orange layered dessert
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
400g dark chocolate, broken into pieces and melted. Allow to cool before using.
5 eggs, separated
185g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
18 rectangle sheets of dark chocolate approx 10cm x 5cm (I used Squires kitchen chocolate panels www.squireskitchen.com)
100g icing sugar, sifted
1.Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Grease a swiss roll tin approx 25x30cm in size and line the base with greaseproof paper.
2.Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla for a 3-4 minutes in an electric mixer. Lightly mix in 185g melted chocolate and 2 tsp of orange juice from one orange.
3.Using a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold a spoonful into the chocolate mixture to loosen, and then gently fold in the remaining egg white.
4.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 15 minutes , or until just cooked and lightly springy to the touch. Let it cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.
5.To make the chocolate and orange cream, beat the mascarpone, 100g of the melted chocolate, icing sugar and 25g orange zest (grated from a small zester) together. Set aside until needed.
6.Using the chocolate panels as a guide, slice the chocolate sponge into six similar-sized rectangles. (any left over sponge can be eaten or frozen for future use)
7.To assemble the dessert, begin by using the chocolate sponge as the base of the pudding, followed by a chocolate panel. Fill a piping bag with the chocolate and orange cream, and pipe onto the chocolate panels, leaving a small border around the edge. Place another chocolate panel on top, pushing down slightly so it is flat and secure, then repeat again with the chocolate and orange cream, finishing with another chocolate panel.
8.To decorate, remove 6 long strips of orange peel from the remaining two oranges and dip half of each into the leftover melted chocolate. (you can reheat this if the consistency has become a little thick) Allow to cool on a wire rack before placing in a delicate curl on top of each dessert.
Note: ready made chocolate sponge cake can be used for the base of these if preferred.