Cheeky desserts

Lemon curd squares (makes 12)

Lemon squaresThese are the perfect treat for summer and very straightforward to make.  They will last for a few days in a sealed container.  Gorgeous.

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened in the microwave/pan
  • 200g plain flour
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.  Line a smallish square/rectangle baking tray with greaseproof paper.

To make the shortbread, mix the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl.  Stir in the butter and vanilla extract then use your hands to squash it together until it resembles a dough.  Press the dough evenly in to the baking tray and prick lightly with a fork.  Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes until slightly golden (the dough might be a little soft but should have set).

Gently spread over the lemon curd while the shortbread is still hot then return the tray to the oven for another approx 25 minutes, until the top is slightly golden.  Set aside to cool and then dust the top with icing sugar and cut in to squares. 


 

Chocolate and peanut butter cups (makes 6 cups using 6 muffin cases)

These gorgeous treats are about 4 mins of work plus fridge ‘setting’ time.  You can use silicone or paper muffin cases or a silicone tray if you have them.   They will last a couple of days in a sealed container.

  • 200g milk chocolate (any kind)
  • 6 tsp crunchy peanut butter (any kind as long as it is crunchy!)
Melt half of the chocolate in a pan or in the microwave in 20 second bursts, to avoid burning.  Use a spoon to divide the chocolate in to each muffin cup, then put in the fridge for at least 20 mins to set.  Once set, take out and put around 1 tsp peanut butter per cup on top of the chocolate.  Then melt the remaining half of the chocolate and spoon on top of the peanut butter in each cup.  Pop in the fridge for a further 20 mins or until fully set, then carefully peel off the muffin cases and serve!  Keep at room temperature as long as it is not too warm.  Great with coffee!

Fuss-and-mess-free carrot cake

Here is a simple, frosting-free, egg-free and lower sugar carrot cake.  It’s light, moist and tasty. Best of all it takes only 10 minutes to prepare (plus 50 mins cooking time) and is a great way of using up those one or two remaining carrots and getting some veg in to kids.  Will last a few days in a sealed container.
 
  • 175g plain flour
  • 110g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 70g walnut pieces/roughly chopped pecans 
  • 80g raisins
  • 100ml veg/sunflower oil
  • Milk

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees.  Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl.  In another bowl mix the carrot, chopped walnuts, raisins and oil. Mix both bowls together then gradually add milk and mix until it’s a slightly sloppy consistency.

Put the mixture in to a greased cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown at the edges and a knife inserted comes out pretty much clean.  If the cake goes brown at the edges quite early on then cover the tin with foil to reduce the possibility of burning. Eat!

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