Lifestyle

Bake, freeze or fry: Ravneet Gill’s recipes for cakes and desserts

Peanut butter cupcakes (pictured above)
Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Makes 8

30g smooth peanut butter
45g softened unsalted butter
100g light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
130g self-raising flour
20g soured cream, or Greek yoghurt
100ml milk
Raspberry jam, to top
Peanuts, toasted and chopped, to top

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. You will need a muffin tray and paper cases.

In a bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter until combined and very soft. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again.

In a second bowl, combine the salt and flour, then fold into the peanut butter mixture to combine. Add the soured cream, fold again, then slowly trickle in the milk, continuing to fold until the mixture is smooth.

Fill each muffin paper by three-quarters with the batter, bake for 15-18 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, then remove and leave to cool.

Once cooled, spread each cake with a dollop of raspberry jam and scatter over some chopped peanuts. These will keep in airtight container for up to three days.

Chocolate mud pie

Prep 15 min
Set 4 hr
Makes 1 x 20cm tart
For the crust
40g unsalted butter
100g chocolate, milk or dark
15g golden syrup or honey
90g of your favourite crunchy cereal (I used a mixture of Bran Flakes and Coco Pops)
1 pinch salt

For the filling
350ml double cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
200g 70% dark chocolate, or 150g 70% dark chocolate and 50g 55% good-quality milk chocolate
1 pinch flaky salt

You will need a 20cm, round pie dish or tart case. For the base, gently melt the butter and chocolate, then stir in the syrup. Stir the cereal into the chocolate mixture, add the salt, then gently press into the base and up the sides of the pie dish using a metal spoon. Put in the fridge while you make the filling.

Warm the cream and sugar in a small pan until steaming, but do not let them boil. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces and put in a large bowl. Pour the warmed sweet cream over the chocolate, leave to sit for a minute, then stir from the middle outwards with a whisk. Do this gently – you don’t want to add air, just to combine the chocolate and cream evenly.

Take two to three tablespoons of this mixture and spread it over the base, then transfer to the freezer for five minutes, until set: this will help fill in any holes, which might cause the filling to drench the base. Pour over the remaining filling and put in the fridge for four hours, to set.

Slice and serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream and a sprinkle of flaky salt. This tart will keep for up to two days in the fridge.

Ricotta and orange bomboloni

Prep 15 min
Rest 30 min+
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

2 eggs
40g caster sugar, plus extra, for coating
Grated zest of 1 orange
220g ricotta, strained overnight
110g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
Vegetable or sunflower oil, for frying

Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the sugar and orange zest, and whisk again to combine. Add the strained ricotta and stir gently to combine – don’t overwork it because you want to keep some of the lumps intact.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, flour and salt, then add to the ricotta mixture and whisk to combine.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (or for up to two hours in the fridge).

Put a medium-sized saucepan on the hob, add enough oil to come halfway up the sides and put on a medium heat. You’re ready to cook once the oil is hot enough to make a droplet of batter sizzle gently and float to the surface.

Cooking the bombolini in batches, drop small tablespoons of batter into the oil and fry for two to two and a half minutes in total, until golden – the bomboloni should naturally flip by themselves after about a minute.

Use a slotted spoon to lift the cooked bomboloni from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining batter. Once all the batter is used up, toss the bomboloni in the extra sugar and serve. These keep for a few hours at room temperature, but, once cooled, it’s best to store them in an airtight container.

Hazelnut and coffee fridge cake

My American friends call this a fridge cake, but it’s actually more like a frozen parfait.

Prep 10 min
Infuse 8 hr+
Freeze 8hr+
Makes 1 cake

90g coffee beans, lightly bashed500ml double cream
5 egg yolks
30ml brandy, or other spirit of your choice
100g caster sugar
70g hazelnuts (or nut of your choice), crushed and roasted

You will need a loaf tin (mine is 10cm wide x 18.75cm long x 11.25cm deep), a stand mixer or electric beater and a sugar thermometer to make this.

Combine the crushed coffee beans and cream in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge to infuse overnight.

The next day, line the loaf tin with baking paper, ensuring there are no gaps (this will help you lift the cake out of the tin in one go when ready to serve). Strain and re-weigh the infused cream and coffee mixture – if necessary, add extra cream to top it back up to 500ml – then lightly whip the cream and set to one side.

Whip the egg yolks until pale and frothy. Put the sugar in a pan with 40ml water and, using a sugar thermometer, heat to 121C. With your whisk at the ready, pour the hot sugar syrup over the egg yolks and whisk until pale, frothy and completely cooled – you now have what’s known in the trade as a pâte à bombe.

Fold the egg mix into the lightly whipped, coffee-infused cream, then fold in the brandy and hazelnuts, pour into the lined loaf tin, cover and freeze overnight.

To serve, lift the cake on its paper out of the tin and slice. So long as it’s kept tightly wrapped, it will keep for up to 30 days in the freezer.