very easy serves 4
6 medium slices of day-old wholemeal bread, crusts removed
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar 25 g/1 oz sultanas
25 g/1 oz currants 425 ml/15 1 oz milk 2 eggs
4 tsp ground mixed spice
15 minutes 40 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Spread the slices of bread with butter, then cut each slice into quarters. Arrange half of the bread, buttered side up, in the bottom of an 850-ml/11/2-pint ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over half of the sugar, then scatter over half of the sultanas and currants. Top with the remaining bread, then sprinkle over the remaining sugar and fruit.
Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and mixed spice and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread, then transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
26 chocolate cherry gateau
15 minutes 50—55 + 30 minutes minutes to cool
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing 900 g/2 lb fresh cherries, stoned and halved 250 g/9 oz caster sugar 100 ml/314 1 oz cherry brandy 100 g/3!4 oz plain flour 50g/13/< oz cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder 4 eggs 1 litre/1 pints double cream DECORATION grated dark chocolate whole fresh cherries Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23-cm/9-inch springform cake tin. Put the cherries into a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the cherry brandy. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the syrup. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Put the eggs in a heatproof bowl and beat in 160 g/53/4 oz of the sugar. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and beat for 6 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat, then gradually fold in the flour mixture and melted butter. Spoon into the cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Turn out the cake and cut in half horizontally. Mix the cream with the remaining sugar. Spread the reserved syrup over the cut sides of the cake. Arrange the cherries over one half, top with a layer of cream, and place the other half on top. Cover the whole cake with cream, press grated chocolate all over and decorate with cherries. What can be more enticing than a flood of sweet fruits cascading from a warm pie, or a succulent tart studded with fruits and laced with spices? The stunning display of pies and tarts in this chapter will have every member of the household asking for more, and every dinner guest longing to be offered another piece? From the Forest Fruit Pie to the Chocolate Orange Tart, the only problem you will have with these recipes is that as soon as the serving plate is empty, your will want more.