Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova: You just cannot beat a pav in summer, and in particular this dark beauty. The crisp and chewy chocolate meringue base, rich in cocoa and beaded nuggets of chopped plain chocolate, provides a sombre, almost purple-brown layer beneath the fat whiteness of the cream and matt, glowering crimson raspberries on top: it is a killer combination.
American Breakfast Pancakes: These are those thick, spongy American pancakes that are often eaten with warm maple syrup and crisp fried bacon. I love them with the syrup alone, but if you do want bacon, I think streaky is best. You can easily cook these pancakes by dolloping the batter onto a hot griddle (smooth, nor ridged, side) or heavy based pan.
Passionfruit Curd: As wonderful as this is to eat piled on top of fresh white bread, it is exceptional sandwiching a Victoria sponge, dolloped over muffins and pancakes, or poured into a cooked and cooled pastry case.
TIRAMISINI Some say, challenging more generally accepted ideas about the provenance, that tiramisu was invented in a casa chiusa (a house of ill repute) to give the working girls a pick-me-up, as the name (tira-mi-su) suggests. Whatever its inception, this one reverts to the original formulation - although in dinkier format.
Coconut Macaroons: These are a very English kind of macaroon, the sort you always used to see displayed in bakers' shops alongside the madelines (those sponge castles dipped in luminous strawberry jam and dredged in throat-catching desiccated coconut, and so very different from those that inflamed the memory of Marcel Proust).
SLUT RED RASPBERRIES IN CHARDONNAY JELLY You might think that no recipe could live up to this title. It's a reasonable presumption, but thank God, a wrong one. This is heaven on the plate: the wine-soused raspberries take on a stained glass, lucent red, their very raspberriness enhanced; the soft, translucently pale coral just-set jelly in which they sit has a heady, floral fragrance that could make a grateful eater weep.
Anglo Italian Trifle: I don't think I could write a book that didn't include a recipe for trifle somewhere - and this, I tell you, is the trifle to end all trifles. The shiny black of the berries, the soft whiteness of the mascarpone above them and the golden toastiness of the almonds on top, make it, in the first instance, beautiful to look at.
VIN SANTO ICE CREAM WITH CANTUCCINI One of the loveliest puddings, if it quite counts as that, to order in restaurants in Tuscany, is a glass of vin santo, that resinous, intense, amber-coloured holy wine, with a few almond-studded biscuits to dunk in.
MAY WINNER! I made it as a Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Birthday Cheesecake! What I love is that it's so quick and easy to make, even a stressed-out student on the verge of exams-anxiety like me can find a few minutes to make it. I also made white chocolate peanut butter ganache to pipe on top. Thanks Nigella! My friends said it was sublime and "insanely good"! Posted by Noam
Raspberry and Lemongrass Trifle: I should say that I first had the idea when making a syrup with lemon balm for some jelly. If you've got a garden, this is easy to come by, but if you haven't there is no way you can buy it. I tried, then, substituting lemongrass, weight for weight, and it worked beautifully. By the same token, if you have got verbena in the garden then do use that here.