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James Martin’s new book, Sweet, is full of contemporary desserts that would make some seriously smart finishes to a meal. The TV chef and Saturday Kitchen presenter is back with this collection of sweet recipes and we have three exclusive James Martin recipes to share. Learn how to make the basics like choux pastry, crème pâtissière and classic meringues, as well as more elaborate desserts that will wow dinner party guests.
For the more technical and advanced cookery techniques, James Martin walks us through step by step, in a way that’s easy to follow. He also includes a troubleshooting section for those times when we face the occasional recipe meltdown! This makes this book perfect for everyone – not just the seasoned baker, but also anyone without the technical know-how but plenty of enthusiasm.
First up, give stunning white chocolate pots with puff pastry finger, wild strawberries and white balsamic glaze a go – although it looks rather elaborate, it’s surprisingly simple to put together. This is a really great choice of recipe to follow up a big meal and the wild strawberries add a little edge if you can find them.
This roasted plum tart with crème pâtissière just goes to show that sometimes the simple things in life are best. It couldn’t be easier to make this dessert, and although you can buy plums year-round, it’s particularly good to make if you’re lucky enough to be able to grow your own, especially when you’ve got a glut of juicy fruit.
Wait, there’s more. If you’re entertaining, try this delicate melon and honeycomb cheesecake. The combination of flavours is quite unusual for a cheesecake, but it really works and the different colours and textures look beautiful on the plate. Cheesecake is always a favourite, but presented like this, it’ll be the real star of your dinner party.
“Make sure you reduce the oven temperature so as not to overcook the cheesecakes or they’ll crack,” says James. “Once they’re baked, don’t put them in the fridge or they’ll become too solid.” This should get them looking picture perfect!
Sweet by James Martin (Quadrille £20). Photography: Peter Cassidy