Chocolate and cherry roll

Serves 8
175g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
400g can cherries
3 tbsp water
4 tbsp brandy
5 eggs, separated
175g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
300ml double cream
2 tbsp golden icing sugar, plus extra to dust

Line a 35cm x 25cm baking tin with baking parchment and lightly oil. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the water and 2 tbsp brandy and stand over a pan of hot water over a low heat. Take care not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Allow to stand for 2 mins then stir in the melted chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat.
Whisk sugar and egg yolks together until very pale. Fold in the melted chocolate, followed by the almonds. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Fold a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the prepared tin and spread level. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 15 mins until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cover with a sheet of parchment and a damp tea towel. Leave in the tin until completely cold.
Drain the juice from the cherries and discard. Place the fruit in a bowl with the remaining brandy and marinate while the chocolate base is cooling.
Turn out the chocolate base onto a sheet of parchment dusted with icing sugar. Carefully peel off the lining paper. Whip the cream and icing sugar together until standing in soft peaks. Spread the cream over the chocolate base and scatter the marinated cherries on top. Roll up the base, starting at a short end and lifting the parchment to help with the rolling. Carefully transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Chill for several hours before serving.

Other Easter chocolate recipes in our Spring 2015 issue: 

• Chocolate mousse
• Chocolate truffle cake
• Egg nog and chocolate burnt creams
• Chocolate, pecan & apple pudding

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Easter tarts

Makes 12

175g chilled butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
60g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
115ml double cream
300g 85% cocoa solids cooking chocolate
icing sugar, to dust

In a large bowl, combine the butter with the flour and sugar, then rub the butter into the dry ingredients to make fine crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and 2 tbsp of ice-cold water and bring together with a spoon. Knead until the pastry comes together into a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 20 mins.

To make the chocolate ganache filling, heat the cream in a saucepan until lukewarm. When it is just about to simmer, break in the cooking chocolate. Keep on a very low simmer for approximately 2 mins, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter to line a 12-hole cupcake tray. Bring the off-cuts together and roll out. Cut out 12 slightly smaller lids for the tarts, dusted with more flour if necessary. Stamp out a bunny shape on each of the lids with a small cutter, or cut out by hand with a sharp knife. Grease the tray with butter, then line with the pastry bottoms. Fill the tarts with a heaped teaspoon of the ganache then fit the pastry tops. Press down gently on the edges to fix them.

Bake for 20 mins until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool, then dust with icing sugar. Cover the bunny shapes with the back of a teaspoon to keep the chocolate ganache from being covered in icing sugar. Serve.

Other cheerful bakes in our Spring 2016 issue:

Bunny-ear cupcakes
Chocolate rabbit cake
Coconut cake
Chocolate orange loaf
Bunny biscuits

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Stuffed cushion of lamb with red wine gravy

Serves 8

1.8kg boned lamb shoulder
300g granary bread
200g peas
1 bunch of fresh mint,
plus extra for garnish
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
200g baby shallots
1 lemon
vegetable oil, to grease and rub
sea salt and black pepper

For the gravy
150ml red wine
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp honey
250ml vegetable stock

Remove the lamb shoulder from the fridge and bring up to room temperature. Rip
up the bread and place in a food processor, along with the peas, mint, egg, flour, garlic and cumin. Pulse until combined. Peel and trim the shallots and place in a large mixing bowl. Zest and juice the lemon into it. Transfer the pea mixture to the bowl and season.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Lay out the lamb shoulder, skin-side down, on a large sheet of tin foil double the size of the lamb. This helps manoeuvre the meat once it is stuffed. Pack the stuffing on top of it and fold the edges of the fat over it to enclose the stuffing. Take a piece of string, approximately 3 metres long, and slide it under the meat. Pull the ends of the string up and over the lamb, crossing them at the top. Hold the string in place while folding the foil over the meat, leaving the ends of the string unwrapped. This keeps the meat and stuffing together as it is turned over. Turn the meat over, unwrap the tin foil from underneath it. Repeat, tying the string at opposite angles, then folding the foil over the meat again. Repeat until the meat has been turned and the string crossed seven times in total. Knot the string and snip away the ends. Transfer to a greased tray, skin-side up, being careful to hold all the stuffing in. Rub with oil and season. Roast for 3 hrs until the skin is crispy and golden. Allow to rest for 20 mins.  

To make the gravy, collect the juices in a saucepan. Heat for 1 min and add the cornflour. Cook, stirring, for a further minute, then stir in the red wine and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 min, before mixing in the vegetable stock. Season and bring to the boil again, then simmer for 2 mins until thickened.

Cut away the string and discard, then slice the lamb. Serve with the gravy, garnishing the meat with the extra mint.

Other lamb feast recipes in our Spring 2016 issue:

Rack of lamb with basil gravy
Breast of lamb
Mixed steamed cabbage
Zesty layered potatoes
Roast asparagus and garlic
Lemon and raspberry meringue tart

For back issues click here, or to subscribe to LandScape click here.