Banana liqueur

Makes 1300ml.

7 medium-sized, ripe bananas
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 cups (500ml) alcohol
2 cups (500ml) water
1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Keep boiling for 5 minutes to make a light syrup.

Remove from heat and cool completely.
Peel bananas and cut them into thin slices.
Place them in a jar.

Pour syrup over them.
Add vanilla essence and alcohol.
Stir until well mixed.

Close the jar and set aside to macerate for two weeks.
After this period, strain and filter the mixture using a paper filter.
Pour liqueur into a bottle, close and reserve for another week before tasting.

Sweet potato pudding

Serves 14

1kg sweet potatoes, puréed
3 cups (750 ml) milk
1 cup (200 g ) sugar
70g butter at room temperature
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel and slice sweet potatoes.
Boil them in the milk until soft.
Purée and mix with sugar, butter, egg yolks, nuts and cinnamon.

Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks and fold into the mixture. Cover the sides of a loaf tin with caramel (prepared with ½ cup sugar over heat until golden).

Pour the batter into the tin and cook in the oven over a bigger tin with 2 to 3 cm of water, for approx. 45 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Cool for a few minutes inside the tin and turn out.
Serve warm.

Iced fruity cream

Serves 10

1 packet orange jelly (4 servings)
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 can (300ml) condensed milk
1 cup (250ml) cream, double
granulated chocolate

Place jelly in a mixing bowl and dissolve it by pouring boiling water in a thin stream and stirring continuously.

Set aside to cool a little.
Stir in strawberries, hulled and chopped and condensed milk.
Cool completely.

In another bowl, whip cream until stiff and fold half of it into mixture.
Spoon into individual serving bowls and refrigerate until set.

Decorate with rosettes or spoonfuls of cream and top with granulated chocolate.
Serve chilled.

Delicious fritters for rainy days

Makes: 2 dozen

2 cups (240g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 egg
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
oil for cooking

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar onto worktop.
Make a well in the center.

Mix in melted butter, egg yolk, lemon rind and milk and work to a smooth dough.
Roll out over a floured surface until it is thin and cut into diamond shapes with a cutting wheel.

Fry in hot oil until golden.
Remove and drain over absorbent kitchen paper.
Serve sprinkled with sugar.

Lemon liqueur (Limoncello)

3 cups (750ml) 95º alcohol
Rind of 3 big ripe lemons
3 cups (750ml) water
3 ½ cups (700g) sugar

Place alcohol and lemon rind in a big glass jar.
Close and let stand for 10 days to macerate. Syrup
Place water and sugar in a saucepan.

Cook over a medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Pour syrup into glass jar.

Bottle liqueur in airtight glass bottles.
Allow to stand for 10 more days before serving.

Creme caramel with dulce de leche ( caramel spread)

Serves: 6

3/4 cup sugar ( 150g )
250g “dulce de leche” (creamy caramel spread)
500 ml milk, boiled and cooled ( 500cc. )
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Prepare caramel with the ¾ cup of sugar and line a mould.
Place milk in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.

Remove from heat and stir in the 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Set aside to cool until mixture is tepid.

Beat egg and yolks slightly in a mixing bowl.
Stir in “dulce de leche” (creamy caramel spread), vanilla essence and milk mixture, until all the ingredients are well blended.

Pour mixture into the mould and bake in a bain marie for 45 minutes or until firm.
Remove from oven and cool completely before turning out. Serve chilled.

Surprise peaches

Serves: 12

6 medium-sized peaches

For the syrup
2 cups (500ml) water
1 cup (200g) sugar

For the confectioner’s custard
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup (250ml) hot milk

For the frosting
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar

Peel, stone and cut peaches into halves.
Place them in a saucepan with water and sugar.

Cook over a medium heat until it comes to the boil.
Remove from heat, drain and arrange halves on an ovenproof dish.

Confectioner’s custard:
Place egg yolks, sugar and flour in a saucepan and mix well. Whisk hot milk gradually into mixture.

Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Fill peach halves with custard.
Pour some syrup into dish, just enough to cover the base.
Cook in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.

Place egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer for about 5-6 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Remove peaches from oven and spoon some frosting over each half. Sprinkle with caster sugar and cook in the oven for some more minutes until slightly golden.


They can be stored in plastic boxes in the freezer. Delicious and popular, they are best enjoyed at tea time.

Makes: 18

3 eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
50g butter
1teaspoon vanilla essence
4 cups (480g) flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
oil for cooking

Place eggs in a mixing bowl.
Beat. Beat in sugar, softened butter and vanilla essence, until mixture is creamy.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
Fold into egg mixture, alternately with milk.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.

Shape dough into a ball, put in a bowl and cover with plastic food wrap.
Refrigerate for some hours.
Remove from fridge and roll out the dough until it is 1cm thick.

Cut rings as close to each other as possible, with a doughnut flour cutter.
Fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden.
Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

Serve sprinkled with ground sugar or caster sugar.

Cook’s tip: Put a piece of egg shell or some lemon rind inside the cooking oil to fry the doughnuts. In this way, the oil will not get burnt.

Chocolate cream

Serves 8

4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1tablespoon cocoa powder
1teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon (7g) plain powdered gelatine
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 cup (250ml) cream, double
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
glacé cherries to decorate

Dissolve chocolate in hot milk inside a saucepan.
Beat egg yolks and sugar slightly.
Stir in cocoa powder and coffee powder.

Add the chocolate milk and mix well.
Place the mixture in a saucepan and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Soak powdered gelatine in ½ cup of cold water and fold it into the mixture.
Cool completely.

Fold in slightly whipped cream and vanilla essence.
Spoon into individual serving bowls and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
To decorate pipe rosettes of whipped cream and top with chocolate curls or glacé cherries.

Hazelnut cake with chocolate chips

Serves 8

100g butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 eggs
2 cups (240g) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
100g hazelnuts, chopped
100g chocolate chips
3 drops almond essence

Beat butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until creamy.
Fold in slightly beaten eggs.

Stir in almond essence.
Sift together flour and baking powder and mix with chopped hazelnuts.
Fold into the butter mixture until well blended.

Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a well greased and floured 20x25cm rectangular tin and bake in a moderate oven until tested with a skewer.

Cool for some minutes before turning out.