Bill Granger’s just desserts

No caption Photo: Photography: Kristin Perers Food Chocolate and pecan cake with toffee crème frâiche. Photo: Kristin Perers

Most days I’m more than happy with a piece of fruit after dinner, but when guests come over, I like to go all out and indulge them with a luscious treat.


This is a great dessert and if you omit the topping and dust it with cocoa, it also suits an afternoon tea.


200g dark chocolate

125g unsalted butter

5 eggs, separated

200g brown sugar

150g pecan halves, very finely ground, plus extra for the topping

pinch of salt

for the topping

200g crème frâiche

1 tbsp icing sugar

3 tbsp thick toffee sauce or dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 23cm springform tin with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, set aside to cool. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy. Fold in the melted chocolate and ground pecans.

In a clean metal bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Stir ¼ of the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Tip into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, covering loosely with foil if the top starts to get too much colour. Cool on a rack before removing from the tin.

For the topping, place crème frâiche into a bowl and stir in icing sugar. Roughly fold through toffee sauce and use a palette knife to spread over the cake. Top cake with a sprinkling of ground pecans.


There are many different fruits you can use for tarte tatin – apple, pear, plums and mango all work well.


plain flour, for dusting

200g puff pastry

juice of 2 limes

5 ripe bananas, halved lengthways

100g unsalted butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

4 cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed

crème frâiche or vanilla ice-cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly dust a surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a circle about 26cm in diameter. Place onto a dusted baking sheet and chill. Squeeze the lime juice over the bananas and set aside.

Melt butter in a 23cm, heavy-based ovenproof frypan. Stir in the sugar and cardamom until the mixture turns a light caramel colour. Don’t worry if the butter and sugar separate. Carefully lay the bananas, cut side down, into the pan. Cook on the stove top for 2 minutes, until the caramel is deeply coloured. Lay pastry over the bananas, tucking edges down into the pan. Prick pastry with a fork and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden.

To remove the tarte tatin, place a serving plate over the fry pan and invert the pan and the plate with a swift movement. Take care, as the caramel will be very hot. Serve warm with crème frâiche or vanilla ice-cream.

Bill’s tipIf you don’t have an ovenproof frypan, make the caramel in a pan, then pour it into a metal pie tin before adding fruit and pastry and baking.

Food preparation by Rosie Reynolds and Marina Filippelli. Props styling by Rachel Jukes.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲学校.