Rocky Road Knicker Bocker Glory

Here is what you need to make 2 cups:

4 Chocolate digestive Biscuits
2 scoops Rocky Road Ice-cream
2 tablespoons Belgian Truffle sauce
180ml Fresh cream
10 Marshmallows
6 fresh Strawberries

Start off by beating the fresh cream and set it aside. Now prepare the cups you will be using to serve the dessert in.

Slice the strawberries into thick slices and place them around the bottom part of the cup. Place the cream in the middle and press gently so that the strawberries will stick to the sides. Next cover the cream with 1 chocolate digestive biscuit.

We used the dark chocolate digestives to give a deeper chocolate taste to the cup, but if you prefer, you can use the milk chocolate ones.

Place the Rocky road ice-cream on top and dot with marshmallows. We tore the marshmallows slightly before placing them on the ice-cream.

In a microwave proof bowl, place the Belgian chocolate sauce and warm slightly until the chocolate is melted.

Drizzle the ice-cream with the chocolate sauce and serve immediately. If you are serving these cups as desserts, then place them in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Allow the cups to rest for 5 minutes at room temperature before serving. This will soften the ice-cream and will bring all the different chocolate flavours together.

Rocky Road Ice-cream as well as the Belgian Truffle Sauce are available from Marks & Spencer outlets.
This recipe has been previously published in the Best Buy Supplement, June 2009


Caponata is essentially a tomato based cooked salad. You can prepare copious amounts of this dish and store it in the fridge. Caponata is usually served as a side-dish but you can also use it as a pizza topping.

Very low in calories, this dish is great as part of a calorie controlled diet.

Here is what you need to make enough for a 2 litre bowl
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium onions
1 medium aubergine, peeled and diced
1 thick celery stick
2 tablespoons tomato paste (kunserva)
2 tins x 400g chopped tomatoes (polpa)
100g green pitted olives
50g capers
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
1 heaped teaspoon dried Oregano or some fresh leaves chopped
1 teaspoon sugar

Start off by placing about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Now add the onions and sizzle until they start letting off their aroma. Next add the aubergines and the celery sticks which needs to be cut roughly the same size as the aubergines that is in small cubes about 1cm.

Once the aubergines start softening, add the tomato paste and the tinned tomatoes. Now fill 1 of the tins of the tomatoes that you have just added with water and add it to the pot.

Add the olives and capers. You could chop these roughly if you prefer. Now, bring the tomato sauce to the boil and add the balsamic vinegar, oregano and the sugar. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.

Let the Caponata simmer for about 45 minutes until it is thick and the vegetables can be seen through the sauce. This dish can be served warm or straight out of the fridge. Caponata can be stored refrigerated, in a sealed container for a couple of days.

Aubergine Parmiggiana

Serve this dish as part of a buffet or as a meal on it’s own. This makes a very nice and filling vegetarian main course. For those of you watching you fat intake, you can grill the aubergines can be instead of frying them. For those on a low carb diet, good news; this dish is naturally now in carbs so you can indulge!

Here is what you will need to serve 6 as a main course:
Olive oil
3 medium aubergines
Rock Salt
2 cans x 400g chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove
400gr grated Parmesan cheese (hence the name)

Start off by washing and slicing the aubergines lengthwise, peeling is not necessary however if you prefer them peeled then this won’t effect the dish. Next, place the slices in a colander and sprinkle generously with rock salt between the layers. Now place something heavy on the colander to weigh the slices down and let the aubergines drip for a couple of hours or even overnight. I like to place a bowl with my pestle and mortar in it, it makes the tower heavy enough!

Once the aubergines have dripped, discard the dark liquid and rinse them clean of the salt. Pat the slices dry and set them aside.
If you are frying the aubergines, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergines until they are golden in colour. Once they are cooked, place the slices on a plate lined with some paper

towels to absorb the excess oils.

A healthier option would be to grill the slices on a griddle pan or even uur oven grill. Make sure to keep an eye on them if you are grilling as they will burn in no time and will become hard and bitter.

In the meantime, prepare your tomato sauce by placing some garlic cloves in a pot with a little bit of olive oil. Once the garlic starts to cook, add 2 x 450g tins of tomato cut in pieces. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally.

Once the aubergines and the sauce are ready all you need to do is to compile the dish.
Start off by preparing your oven dish; spread some olive oil on the base making sure that all the corners are well oiled. Next place some of the sauce on the bottom of the dish to just about cover it. Next place a layer of aubergine slices to cover the dish completely, place some of the sauce and spread it to cover the aubergines and sprinkle some of the cheese over the sauce.

Continue to assemble the dish in this manner until you have run out of you aubergines and sauce. Make sure to leave enough sauce for the top layer. The last layer needs to be covered in sauce and sprinkled with a generous helping of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and your parmiggana is done.

At this point to you can refridgerate until you are ready to bake.

Cook the parmiggana in a pre-heated oven at 150C. Cooking time should be around 30 to 40 minutes. Your parmiggana is ready once the middle of the dish feels firm. Don’t worry about the sides becoming a little bit overcooked; it’s part of the charm of eating a rustic dish!

Should you like to make the dish a little bit more cheesy add 1 layer of mozzarella half-way through your layering.

As all other baked dishes, this dish improves with time, so you can bake it a day ahead and re-heat in an oven before serving. Parmiggiana can also be served cold.

Cooking in June

June is the month where I write about salads and about how glorious it is to serve dishes that can be prepared in advance. Let’s face it, cooking your food at the very last minute is definitely tastier but serving dishes that can be prepared in advance is so much more convenient! I like to enjoy my guests when I have people over and even if it’s just a family meal, spending time around the dining table is quality time in our family.

So this article will be no exception!

Over the next couple of weeks I will be giving you recipe for some different salads you can serve instead of the standard lettuce and tomato salad. These dishes can be prepared in advance and can also be served as part of a buffet.

Don’t think of buffets solely for large gatherings, dinner for 8 can very well be a valid excuse. Serving a summer buffet for your guests is not as time consuming and definitely impressive.

Make sure to have the following:

1. Large buckets full of ice to keep your drinks. I suggest you have one bucket with soft drinks and another one with wine (if you are serving white) and beer.

2. Roll your cutlery in a napkin; should you be using paper napkins, buy the thicker ones and roll the required cutlery in the napkin so your guests can just pick one and hold it under the plate whilst helping themselves with the other hand. Roll only the cutlery required. It is useless including a spoon of there is nothing in the buffet that requires a spoon to be eaten with!

3. Prepare your glasses. If you are using glass cups, then buy thick rubber bands and write your guest’s names with a marker on each one, then just loop the rubber bands around the glasses. This is a safe way to keep your glass if you rest you glass on a table or ledge. If you are using plastic cups, then just write then names directly on the cups.

4. Make sure to have a good balance between hot and cold dishes. Whilst cold dishes are conveniently prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, you should also include some items that are served hot. These can be dishes that are also prepared in advance but can be warmed or baked at the last minute!

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