White Chocolate Mousse

I came up with this recipe back in October, when I made dessert for a dinner at my friend’s house. My friends have been asking for the recipe ever since, but I wanted to try it again before I shared it, to nail down the quantities. For the dinner party, I used the mousse to fill a tart with dark chocolate pastry, and when I did get around to trying it again, it was to fill my cake commission. I tested that before I made the real cake too, so I am pretty confident that this recipe works!

IMG_3752The pastry case I made using a recipe from Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I don’t like raspberries very much, but even I have to admit this mousse goes very well with them! I topped the tart with late home-grown ones, hence the small number!

White Chocolate Mousse

makes enough to fill a 20cm tart + extra (I put the extra in ramekins and ate it chilled)

  • 200g good-quality white chocolate
  • 2 sheets gelatine*
  • 120ml whipping cream, liquid
  • 250ml whipping cream, whipped

Heat the 120ml cream in a small pan over a medium heat until almost simmering. Soak the gelatine in cold water, then turn off the heat and whisk the gelatine into the cream until dissolved.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the hot cream and beat until the chocolate is melted. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Whip the remaining cream, then fold into the cooled chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into bowls or your tart case, then chill in the fridge.


* I suspect that different gelatine brands might be different sizes and set different amounts of liquid, so just in case, I used Dr Oetker Fine Leaf Gelatine


Bonfire Night Bakes


Guy Fawkes’ is one of my favourite nights of the year.  There is nothing like standing out in the cold, all wrapped up, with a sparkler in one hand as you watch fireworks. The smells are incredible, of bonfires, gunpowder, frost and wet leaves – I always spend the time taking deep breaths through my nose. Then of course there is the food – a flask of hot soup, a jacket potato cooked in the bonfire, bangers, toffee apples and spiced cakes. It’s a peculiarly British sort of celebration, I remember once trying to explain it to a very confused French conversation teacher (“you burn… people?!”). If you aren’t familiar with it, here is the wikipedia explanation.


When I was in Canada, I would always get very homesick around Bonfire Night, and since this is my first one since I came back to the UK, I want to make it as good as possible. Unfortunately we won’t be having fireworks, but we will definitely have a bonfire and some sparklers, I am sure of that! It’s pretty busy around here at the moment so I won’t be able to make my bonfire night food until the day of, so instead I’m going to give a few ideas of recipes to try.

This parkin by James Martin is traditionally cooked for Bonfire Night in and around Yorkshire. It is spicy and sticky, and gets better with age! Serve it with or without the stewed fruit, it’s good either way

Why not nibble on some cinder toffee as you stand by the bonfire?

Mushroom soup is good and warming when you come back inside.

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with bangers and mash!

Cheat’s Tatin

Apples, apples, apples. We are drowning in apples and have been for weeks.  We have 5 large trees, and while the eating apples have finished, the cooking apples have taken their place.  It’s impossible to use them all, but I am trying to do my best to cook as many as possible. The exact varieties are a mystery, particularly as one of the trees is a so-called “family tree”, with more than one type grafted on to the trunk.  What I do know is that they are really delicious!

One way I’ve found to use them up is a cheeky take on a tarte tatin, without the hassle and mess of making caramel.  It also uses ready made puff pastry, as, let’s face it, there isn’t always time to make pastry, and shop-bought tastes just as nice in dishes like this.

Cheat’s Tatin


2 large cooking apples
75g soft brown sugar
25g butter
250g puff pastry
1 egg


20cm Oven-proof skillet
Rolling pin

To start, preheat your oven to 200C/390F.  Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom of the skillet then cut the butter up into small pieces and dot over the sugar.

Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1cm-thick slices and arrange on top of the butter and sugar. Remember this will be the top of the tarte, so if you want a nice pattern, make sure to do that facing the bottom of the pan.

Roll out the pastry to 4-5mm thick and lay over the top of the apples, then cut to fit the pan. Make a slit in the middle of the pastry then brush with beaten egg.

Bake the tarte for 15-20 mins, or until the pastry is puffed and golden and there is caramel bubbling up around the edges of the pastry. Take out of the oven – don’t forget the handle will be hot – and leave to cool for around 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve with cream.

Bon appetit!