Just chillin': Let the kids loose on Bill Granger's favourite, no-oven-needed cakes
It's a great way to keep children entertained over the holidays
My middle daughter, Inès, is the most into food out of our three girls right now. She's writing a cookbook for a school project and has got very into fridge cakes – cakes that need no baking, but which set after some time in the cold. Shamelessly sweet and moreish, they're a bit of a departure from my usual thing. But, if you're going to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays – and, trust me, they are going to eat their body weight in confectionery anyway – you might as well make sure their sugar fix is home-made.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Sour-cherry rocky road
My one tip for this is to use a chocolate you like to eat. I used Valrhona, which might sound a bit indulgent but, believe me, it worked wonderfully.
Makes 20 squares
75g/3oz butter, plus a knob
400g/13oz dark chocolate
50g/2oz golden syrup
250g/8oz digestive biscuits
120g/4oz large marshmallows
75g/3oz dried sour cherries
Line a medium-sized baking tray with baking parchment. Now melt the butter, 250g/8oz of the chocolate k and the golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, and stir to combine.
Put the biscuits in a bowl and roughly bash with the end of a rolling pin, so that you have all different-sized chunks of biscuit and some crumbs. Fold through the marshmallows and sour cherries then carefully stir in the chocolate mix, making sure all the ingredients are coated in chocolate. Spoon into the tray and smooth gently.
Heat the remaining chocolate and the extra knob of butter in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour over the surface of the rocky road mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon to cover the surface. Put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set. Cut into little squares and serve.
Blueberry swirl cheesecake
It may not be the most romantic food memory, but I'll never forget my mum defrosting Sara Lee cheesecakes just that little bit too late... Thank goodness times have changed!
200g/7oz ginger-nut biscuits, crushed
75g/3oz butter, melted
4 tbsp caster sugar
Juice ½ lemon
250g/8oz mascarpone cheese
400g/13oz full-fat cream cheese
150ml/¼ pint natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the ginger-nut biscuits with the butter and stir to coat the crumbs. Pour into a tub or baking dish and chill for 20 minutes.
Put half the blueberries in a pan with the sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water and heat gently until the blueberries begin to burst and the sauce is syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the remaining blueberries, crushing lightly with a fork.
Beat the mascarpone, cream cheese and yoghurt with the vanilla extract until smooth. Swirl through the blueberry mix then dollop on top of the biscuit base. Return to the fridge and chill. When ready to serve, scoop generously into bowls.
Tropical fruit- and-nut squares
This makes me think of those "health" bars you can buy which are anything but healthy. It's also a retro tribute to a certain part of Queensland I used to go to on holiday as a kid, where most of the ingredients are grown.
Makes 20 rough pieces
300g/10oz white chocolate
50g/2oz golden syrup
125g/4oz Rice Krispies
50g/2oz dried mango, chopped
50g/2oz dried pineapple, chopped
50g/2oz macadamia nuts, chopped, plus 2 tbsp
50g/2oz shaved coconut, plus 1 tbsp
Line a medium-sized baking tray with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate and golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, and stir to combine. Combine the Rice Krispies, dried fruit, the 50g/2oz of nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Pour over the white-chocolate mix and stir to coat everything in the chocolate. Pour into the tray and smooth out. Scatter the extra nuts and coconut over the surface and press gently. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set, then cut into rough pieces to serve.
Food preparation: Rosie Reynolds,
Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes
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