The Essex Life Summer Menu - Desserts

PUBLISHED: 12:21 28 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:21 28 July 2015

The Boathouse, Dedham

The Boathouse, Dedham


Essex Life picks out four delicious summer desserts from top local chefs for you to try this season

Poached peach with brandy snaps baskets

Serves 6

Brandy snaps

60g butter

125g caster sugar

60g golden syrup

60g plain flour

Chantilly cream:

150 ml double cream

40g icing sugar

30ml Kirsch

Stock syrup

400g caster sugar

900ml of water

½ lemon

1 vanilla pod

½ tea spoon of Chinese spices

4 peaches


200g of mixed berries

4 tbsp of caster sugar

½ lemon juice

1. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits and set aside. Combine the stock syrup ingredients, bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer, poaching the peach until just tender. When cool enough, remove the skin and set aside.

2. For the brandy snaps basket, place all the ingredients into a food processor and mix to a firm paste. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Use a non-stick baking mat. Make some little balls (1cm diameter) and arrange them on the baking tray, spacing them well. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few seconds. When cool enough to handle (but still warm) use a palette knife to carefully place brandy snap on top of an upturned ramekin and shape as a basket. When hard enough, remove from mould and store in a tight air container.

3. To make the coulis, tip the berries, sugar and lemon juice into a blender and puree until smooth. Sieve the coulis over a bowl and then add a table spoon of chopped mint.

4. For the Chantilly cream, whisk together the cream, sugar, kirsch and icing sugar until thick. Keep refrigerated. To assemble, fill up the brandy snap basket with chantilly cream using a piping bag or a spoon. Place the peach and the brandy basket on a plate then poor the coulis over the peach and brandy basket.

The Star, Thaxted

Oreo & Nutella Cheesecake

2 packs of Oreo biscuits

75g of melted unsalted butter

1 sheet of bronze gelatine soaked in cold water

2 egg yolks

100g of caster sugar

500g of full fat cream cheese

1tsp of vanilla paste

250ml of double cream (whipped to soft peaks)

400g of Nutella


2. Line the base of a 10” springform tin with baking parchment. Using a food processor blitz the Oreos to a crumb. Add the melted butter and place the mixture in the tin. Then, using another piece of baking parchment, press the crumb into place evenly over the base of the tin. Place in the fridge for 30minutes to allow the base to set.

2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a tin bowl over hot water until the mixture is pale in colour. Beat the cream cheese through the mixture then fold through the cream, vanailla and Nutella. Add the gelatine to 50ml of hot water, stir until dissolves then whisk the liquid thoroughly through the mixture.

Chef’s Tip: I have a sweet tooth, so if I find the mixture isn’t as sweet as I’d like, I mix some additional icing sugar through the mixture too.

3. Remove the set base from the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture over the base, using a spatula to level the top of the cheesecake. Place in the fridge and allow 8hours for the cheesecake to set, then serve.

Boathouse Restaurant, Dedham

Chocolate Banoffee Tarts

Makes 6

250g of dark chocolate digestive biscuits

180g of unsalted butter

1 tbsp of cocoa (plus extra to dust)

100g of soft brown sugar

395g of condensed milk

75g of good dark chocolate (melted)

1 tbsp of golden syrup

300ml of double cream

2 small bananas (sliced)


1. Finely crumb the biscuits in a processor or put in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin.

2. Melt 80g of butter and mix into the crumbs and cocoa until combined. Press into six loose

bottomed tart tins and chill for 20 minutes until firm.

3. Place the sugar and remaining butter in a pan over a low heat, stirring to melt. Add the condensed milk and stir until thick and golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and syrup.

4. Fill the tart cases, smoothing the tops with back of a spoon. Chill for one hour. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Remove the tarts from the tins and top with overlapping slices of banana, whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.

Petite Petanque, Southend

Raspberry and passion fruit Swiss roll

Serves 8

2 medium eggs (at room temperature)

1 medium egg white

125g of caster sugar (plus some extra)

1 tsp of vanilla bean paste

100g of self-raising flour

200g of smooth ricotta cheese

75ml of double cream (whipped until just thick)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 tbsp of icing sugar

300g of raspberries

4 passion fruit


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan180°C/Gas 6. Lightly grease a 23cm x 33cm shallow Swiss roll tin and line the base with baking parchment, leaving the paper hanging over the two long sides. Using a food mixer or electric whisk beat the eggs, egg white, sugar and vanilla paste in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes until light and foamy. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in quickly and lightly.

2. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and evenly smooth the surface. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when lightly touched. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a tea towel and sprinkle lightly with the extra caster sugar. Turn the sponge out onto the sugared paper, remove the lining paper and starting from a short end, roll up the sponge with the paper, using the tea towel as a guide. Cool for 30 minutes.

3. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the ricotta, double cream and vanilla, then mix together with a wooden spoon. Unroll the sponge and spread with the ricotta mixture, leaving a 2cm boarder at the far end. Scatter over the raspberries and pulp from the passion fruits and then carefully re-roll the sponge. Trim the ends and cut into slices to serve.

Strattons Hotel, Norfolk

Latest from the Essex Life