Custard Tarts

When I visited Portugal I had a real love for these!  It is a good job I do not live there, otherwise I might be packing on more than a few pounds.  However, as a treat they are delightful and great to share with friends, if you can steal them away from yourself.

portuguese custard tarts

  • 320g Ready Made Puff Pastry
  • Butter for greasing tin
  • Plain flour for rolling out on the surface
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Yolks
  • 120g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 400ml Whole Milk

Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin with butter.  Then roll out the pastry, with a little flour on the surface.  Roll until it is around 2.5cm thick.  Cut out rounds that will fit your muffin tin.  For a nice rustic look, just press the pastry up the inside of the tin, until the pastry fits.  This rustic look reminds me of the custard tarts that you get in Portugal, whereas in the UK they have dessert pastry and are smooth.  Place in the fridge whilst you make the custard filling.

Into a heavy bottomed saucepan, place the egg yolks and whole egg, along with the sugar and cornflour.  Mix together. Then on a gentle heat add the vanilla and gradually add in the milk.  Make sure you keep stirring so that it does not catch the bottom of the pan.  Eventually you will get to a nice smooth but thickened custard.  Remove from the heat and place this custard into a bowl with clingfilm over it.  Allow it to cool with the clingfilm on, so that it does not get a skin on top.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan).

Once cooled down, spoon the custard into the pastry and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes.  The tops will be golden and blister slightly and the pastry will puff up.  Allow to cool in the muffin tin before placing on a wire rack.


Quick Tiramisu Pots

What is there not to love about these gorgeous pots of tiramisu?  Great to eat at parties as they can be made well ahead of guests arriving, and these are no cook, just putting together!  This recipe makes around 3 depending on the glass or pot you use.  Just alter the amount of ingredients to the number of people you are making them for.  Decorate as you want.



  • 125g Mascarpone cheese
  • 284ml Double Cream
  • 70ml Marsala Wine (Or you could use Amaretto)
  • 3 Tbsp of Caster Sugar
  • 150ml of Boiling Water with 1 Tbsp of Instant Espresso Granules mixed together
  • Pack of Sponge Fingers (Lady Fingers)
  • Dark Chocolate – Few Chunks grated.
  • 1Tsp Cocoa Powder

Whisk the double cream and the sugar with the Marsala/Amaretto until thick.  Fold in the mascarpone cheese.  It should be the consistency of whipped double cream.  If it isn’t, just whisk for a little longer.  Set to one side.

Get your pot/whiskey glass or other tumbler ready, and then dip the lady finger sponges into the coffee, gently lift out and then make a layer in the bottom of the glass.  Then spoon a layer of the double cream over, followed by a layer of the grated chocolate.  Repeat this process a couple more times until you end up with your last layer of cream mix, where I dust over cocoa and the grated chocolate.  Place in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.


If you are on a diet then move away from this page immediately.  These are naughty treats that I scoffed whilst on holiday once, and still I find them utterly delicious.  Dip them into melted chocolate or roll them in cinnamon sugar, and I am sure you will fall for them too!  Just remember the saying, … ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.’



• 350ml of boiling water
• 250g plain flour
• 50g butter, softened
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 litre sunflower oil

Pour the boiling water into a jug and add the butter and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder (to ensure it is lump free) into a big mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour.  Now pour in the butter/water/vanilla mix. With a wooden spoon beat all the ingredients together until lump free and then set to one side to rest for 10 minutes.
Fill a deep saucepan with oil for frying.   Once the oil has heated to a high temperature, drop a teaspoon of mix into the oil, this is to check to see if it is going golden brown and crisp.  If it isn’t, wait for the oil to heat up a bit more.
Fit a star nozzle to a piping bag.  Fill with the rested dough, then pipe 2-3 strips directly into the pan.   When they are a couple of inches long snip off with a pair of kitchen scissors, so that the dough then drops into the oil.   Alternatively you can make longer churros, once you have mastered the technique of frying with the dough.  Do a couple at a time, anymore and they will not cook properly.  Fry until they are a light golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon.  It is best at this point to have a plate with kitchen roll on it, to lay the churros on to it to absorb the excess oil.  Keep repeating until you have used up all the dough.

Tea Loaf

This may be something that your granny used to make, but I think there is nothing nicer to have with your cup of tea in the afternoon, than a slice of tea loaf.  Smothered with butter, jam or even cheese, this tea loaf will stay nice in an airtight container for around a week. I find it best to eat after a couple of days.  I really enjoy this lightly toasted as well!


tea loaf


300ml of boiling water with 3 strong tea bags in.  Leave the tea to brew for ten minutes,  then remove the tea bags.
460g Mixed fruit
140g Light brown sugar
250g Self raising flour
1 Egg beaten
1/2 tsp Mixed spice

Optional: You can drizzle some runny icing over the top.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.Prepare a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment.

Place the fruit into the tea and leave for around 2 hours. The fruit then plumps up.

In a bowl place the flour, sugar, egg, mixed spice and fruit mixture then stir well.

Spoon into your tin and bake for around an hour. Check that the centre of the loaf is cooked by placing a sharp knife into the middle. If it comes out clean it is cooked, if any mix if left on the knife, then place back into the oven and cook for a few more minutes.

Allow the loaf to cool before turning out onto a wire rack. When fully cool you can put it into an airtight tin or container.

Drizzle runny icing over the top.

Chocolate Caramel Shortcakes

This is probably my husbands favourite sweet treat.  They do not last long in my house and are certainly not for those who are on a diet.  However, as a treat every now and again, they are simply delicious!


• 190g plain flour
• 120g cold butter in cubes
• 60g caster sugar
• 150g butter
• 4 heaped tablespoons of golden syrup
• 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 300g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
• 3tsp vegetable oil
Pre-Heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Line an 8″ square baking tray or use a disposable 8″  tray like I do!

In a food processor place the sugar, 120g of butter and the plain flour and blitz in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Place into the prepared tray and press firmly down, especially into the corners and sides.  Then place into the oven for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Take out of the oven and place into the fridge.
Whilst the base is cooling, place into a heavy based saucepan, the condensed milk, the vanilla extract, golden syrup and 150g butter.  Stir and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it turns into a dark caramel.  Do not leave the stove, keep stirring and be patient.  Once it has turned thicker, place onto the biscuit base, then place back into the fridge for around about an hour, so that it sets.  This could take about an hour.
When the caramel has set you can then melt the chocolate, I usually place a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water on the stove.  Break up the chocolate in the bowl and add the vegetable oil, keep stirring until it is glossy and smooth.  BEWARE, do not let the hot water touch the bottom of the bowl as this will make the chocolate go grainy.  Once smooth pour on top of the caramel.  Allow to cool and then once chilled a bit further, cut into slices.