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Truly, Madly, Sweetly

PUBLISHED: 14:56 27 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:58 20 February 2013

Truly, Madly, Sweetly

Truly, Madly, Sweetly

With St Valentine looking down on us, what better month to treat loved ones to some Great British Desserts

With St Valentine looking down on us, what better month to treat loved ones to some Great British Desserts



If you are the sweet-toothed type who can never resist a sneak peek at the back of the menu before youve even ordered your starter, then we bring you good news as, nestled on a North Devon cliff top overlooking three miles of ocean-soaked sand, the chefs of the Art Deco Saunton Sands Hotel are crafting some pure pudding gold.
Sauntons Great British Dessert Menu combines the fine produce available on our countys doorstep with the traditions and heritage of British baking. Featuring a different classic each day of the week, guests have a choice between treacle tart, apple crumble and rice pudding, to name but a few.
The creators, Saunton Sands Hotels Head Chef Ian Worley and Brend Hotels Development Chef Dez Turland say, We are bringing the focus back to traditional British cuisine, enabling our guests to take a deliciously indulgent foodie journey that showcases everything that makes our countrys traditional food so good!
So, if you fancy a Valentines night in with a loved one then grate your zest, pan toast your almonds and get crafting as weve brought you some Great British Dessert menus with hints and tips from Ian, Dez and the Saunton Sands kitchen team.



ALMOND BLANCMANGE


Serves 6


600ml full fat milk 4tbs cornflour 3tbs caster sugar 150g flaked almonds 100ml Amaretto 2 leaves of gelatine - soaked 1 lemon, zest only



1 In a pan toast the almonds until golden. Add 500ml of the milk and warm, remove from the stove. Add lemon zest and amaretto, cover and allow to infuse overnight.
2 Pass milk through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and bring to a boil with sugar, add the cornflour that has been combined with 100ml of milk and whisk in.
3 Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it thickens, remove from the heat and stir in gelatine.
4 Pour into moulds and allow to set in the fridge overnight.



TIP: Serve with poached rhubarb, rhubarb ripple ice cream and caramelized almonds.



LEMON MERINGUE


Serves 8

For sweet pastry 225g plain flour
150g unsalted butter 75g icing sugar Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 egg 1 egg yolk pinch of salt
You will need: sugar thermometer


For meringue (Italian)
350g caster sugar 180ml water 4 egg whites


Lemon Pie filling
350ml water 280g caster sugar
100g cornflour 75g unsalted butter 4 lemons finely grated & juiced 8 egg yolks



1 Prepare pastry in the same way as bakewell tart.
2 For the filling bring water, lemon juice and zest to boil, then whisk in butter.
3 Cream egg yolks, sugar and cornflour, then pour lemon mix on to this. Strain into a clean pan, then cook on a low heat until it thickens.
4 Pour into cooked pastry case and allow to cool and set.
5 For meringue, boil water and sugar together until it reaches 129ËšC, pour sugar mixture onto whisked egg whites, and continue to whisk until thick and creamy and at room temperature. Pipe onto pie and bake at 210ËšC for 10 minutes.



TIPS: You can use normal meringue but the cooked Italian meringue gives the lemon meringue a soft and creamy texture and is also more stable. You can also replace the lemon zest in the pastry with a scraped vanilla pod for extra flavour



BAKEWELL TART


Serves 8



For sweet pastry 225g plain flour 150g unsalted butter - cold 25g caster sugar 1 free-range egg


For frangipane
225g unsalted butter 225g caster sugar 175g ground almonds 75g plain flour Almond essence 1 drop 50g flaked almonds toasted 100g cherry jam (homemade is best!)


Sweet pastry



1 Rub together flour, butter and sugar, until it resembles breadcrumbs, add beaten egg and work to form a smooth dough. Allow to rest for a least 1 hour before rolling out.
2 Butter an 8 inch cake ring; roll out pastry to 4mm thickness, and line ring, blind bake for 20 minutes. 3 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove baking beans, and brush pastry with a beaten egg yolk, this will give you a crisp pastry base as well as sealing any holes you may have in your pastry case.


Frangipane



3 Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, add almond essence and a third of the ground almonds and flour, mix in the beaten egg. Then mix in the rest of the ground almonds and flour until smooth.
4 Spread a layer of the cherry jam on the bottom of the pastry case, and fill with the frangipane mixture, top with flaked almonds.
5 Cook at 175ËšC for approximately 25 minutes.
6 Allow to cool and serve at room temperature.



READER OFFER


If cooking is not your thing, then heres an opportunity to experience the desserts first-hand, thanks to Saunton Sands Hotels 3-night Winter Weekend offer from 212.50 pp between 10 February and 26 March. Call 01271 892001 or book online sauntonsands.com using promotion code WEEKEND2012.

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