Baked beetroot and orange

Serves 10
1.5kg medium sized beetroots
Few sprigs fresh thyme
4 tbsp. rapeseed oil
3 oranges
1tsp balsamic vinegar
50ml vegetable or turkey stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper






Peel the beetroot and cut into thick wedges. Place in a roasting tin with the thyme and oil and toss to coat in the oil. Cover with foil and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for 30 min until the beetroots are tender. Meanwhile, peel and segment the oranges, saving any juice. Place the roasting tin on the hob over a medium heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar and stock and any juice from the oranges. Bring to the boil and stir until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the orange segments. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Other recipes for a traditional festive feast include:

• Three-bird roast
• Nutty roast potatoes

• Lemon glazed carrots and shallots


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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Baked custard cake

Serves 8
125g butter
4 free range eggs
175g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
125g plain flour
500ml full cream milk
icing sugar for dusting



Melt the butter in a small pan. Generously brush a deep 20 x 26cm ovenproof dish with melted butter then set the rest aside to cool slightly.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks together with 175g of caster sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in the melted butter and vanilla paste.  Sift the flour over the surface and fold in. Heat the milk until lukewarm, then gradually stir into the egg yolk mixture until combined. Whisk the egg whites until standing in soft peaks and fold in.
Bake at 170C/gas mark 3 for 30 mins until the top is golden and the custard is just set.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Other custard recipes in our Mar/Apr 2014 issue:

• Lemon custard pots
• Almond custard soup
• Chocolate custard eggs

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Blood orange tart

Serves 6
For the custard
finely grated zest of 1 orange
400ml milk
3 medium egg yolks
75g golden caster sugar
40g cornflour
4 tbsp double cream
For the oranges
100g golden granulated sugar
2 medium blood oranges

For the pastry
75g butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
2 medium egg yolks
175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling 

To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the plain flour with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to come together. Finish by using the hands to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Chill for 30 mins. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 22cm loose bottom deep flan tin. Chill for a further 30 mins. Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake the pastry blind in a preheated oven 190°C/gas mark 5 for 12 mins. Remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5 mins. Leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4.
To make the custard, heat the orange zest and the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and thick, then whisk in the cornflour. Whisk in a third of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix well, then return to the pan. Cook, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the double cream. Pour into the baked pastry case and allow to cool. 
To poach the oranges, place the granulated sugar in a wide-based saucepan. Add 100ml cold water and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the oranges, discarding the first and last slice of each. Add the remaining slices to the pan. Cook at a gentle simmer for 15 mins, turning the slices halfway through. Remove the slices from the syrup. Drain well before placing on a parchment paper-lined baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 20 mins, then leave to cool. Arrange the orange slices over the top of the cooled custard. Chill until ready to serve.

Other orange recipes in our Mar/Apr 2015 issue:

• Orange gratin
• Orange sorbet
• St Clement's cake
• Caramel oranges
• Orange self-saucing pudding
• Chocolate orange mousse cake

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