3 desserts from around the world to make while we wait for travel to return

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Waiting patiently (or impatiently) to book a holiday abroad? Sate your wanderlust with three delicious dessert recipes from around the world.

After nearly four months in lockdown, the UK is slowly inching towards something like normality. Summer holidays in England have been given the green light from 4 July, meaning that a staycation is within reach. International travel remains largely off-limits – but as we wait for other countries to reopen their borders and airlines to resume service, we can still eat like we’re abroad.

In his new cookbook One Tin Bakes (£17.99, Kyle Books), Edd Kimber brings the hugely popular trend of one-dish wonders into the world of baking. In a similar vein to The Roasting Tin Around The World by Rukmini Iyer, Kimber’s book features plenty of internationally-inspired baking recipes that require just one tin – and we’ve got three to share below. 

First up is Kimber’s passionfruit and lime tres leches. Inspired by a classic cake that’s hugely popular in Mexico, it’s made with three sweet milks, tropical fruit and a dash of rum for good measure. His s’more cookie bars, meanwhile, are perfect for any 4 July celebrations you might be joining with American friends.

Finally, fans of pastel del nata will love Kimber’s giant Portuguese custard tart, inspired by the melt-in-the-mouth treats found in Lisbon bakeries. 

Ready to embark on your culinary travels? Read on. 

  • Passionfruit and lime tres leches cake

    tres leche cake recipe

    Edd says: “Tres leches (three milk), is a classic cake from South America. The sponge, or sometimes butter cake, is soaked in a mix of three milks, usually sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk or cream. The soaked sponge, topped with whipped cream, is pure comfort, and it reminds me a little of trifle in texture. The original is close to perfect, but I wanted to make something with a few favourite flavours – passion fruit, lime and coconut plus, if you’re in the mood, a splash or two of rum.”

    Serves 10

    Ingredients

    • unsalted butter or neutral-tasting oil, for greasing

    For the sponge cake

    • 30g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    • 30ml whole milk
    • 5 large eggs
    • 185g caster (superfine) sugar
    • 185g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • finely grated zest of 2 limes

    For the soak

    • 120ml whole milk
    • finely grated zest of 2 limes
    • 397g can condensed milk
    • 240ml light coconut milk
    • 60ml dark rum (optional)
    • 160ml passion fruit purée

    For the topping

    • 600ml double (heavy) cream
    • finely grated zest of 2 limes
    • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar pulp from 3 passion fruit
    • 30g toasted coconut flakes

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and then dust the inside of the tin with flour, tapping out any excess.

    To make the cake, first heat the butter and milk together, just until the butter has melted, then set aside. Add the lime zest to the warmed butter and milk mixture, allowing it to infuse as the butter cools. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, whisk on medium-high speed for 6–8 minutes, or until tripled in volume.

    When the whisk is lifted from the bowl the batter should leave a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface.

    Sift together the flour and salt, then in three additions, sift this over the egg mixture, folding together gently until the flour is incorporated, keeping the mixture as light as possible. Mix a large spoonful into the melted butter mixture, then add it to the remaining batter, gently folding together. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and gently level out.

    Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springs back to a gentle touch. Set aside to cool in the tin while you make the vanilla cream soak.

    Pour the milk into a small saucepan and warm slightly (don’t bring it to a simmer), then remove from the heat, add the lime zest and set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in the condensed milk, coconut milk and rum (if using).

    Use a skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake and then pour over the passion fruit purée. Once this has sat for a couple of minutes, slowly pour over the milk and lime mixture, then set aside until the milk has been fully absorbed.

    You don’t mix the passion fruit purée into the milk mixture because it can thicken the milk, meaning it won’t absorb into the cake in the same way. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

    For the topping, whip the cream, zest of 1 lime and the sugar together in a bowl until just holding soft peaks. Spread the cream over the chilled cake and then top with the passion fruit pulp, flaked coconut and remaining lime zest. Cut into portions and serve.

    Store, covered, in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

  • S'more cookie bars

    smores recipe uk

    Edd says: “I’m British, so s’mores were not really part of my Scouting life when I was a child. Our campfire cookouts definitely included marshmallows roasted over an open fire and sandwiched between digestive biscuits, but there was a distinct lack of chocolate and a proper s’more needs chocolate. These bars are like a s’more when you don’t really want to venture outside to start a fire but still want the warming nostalgia a roasted marshmallow can bring.”

    Makes 12

    Ingredients

    For the biscuit base

    • 170g unsalted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
    • 100g digestives or graham crackers 
    • 185g plain (all-purpose) wholemeal flour
    • 75g caster (superfine) sugar

    For the filling and topping

    • 300g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
    • 300ml double (heavy) cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • pinch of fine sea salt
    • 200g mini marshmallows

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides of the tin. Secure the paper in place with two metal clips.

    For the base, add the digestives or graham crackers to a food processor and pulse a few times to break into crumbs with some little chunks remaining (we don’t want a super fine powder), then tip into a bowl and set aside. 

    Add the flour and sugar to the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture just starts to clump together, then add the biscuit crumbs and pulse a couple of times to mix. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and use a glass to press it into a flat, even layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

    Bake the base for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely in the tin.

    For the filling, place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Place the cream, vanilla and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and set aside for a couple of minutes, then stir to form a smooth, glossy ganache. Pour over the cooled base, spreading evenly.

    Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until the ganache is firm.

    Scatter over the mini marshmallows in an even layer, trying to ensure the ganache is fully covered.

    Preheat the grill (broiler) to high. Place the baking tin under the grill and cook until the marshmallows are as dark as you like (I want them almost burnt), but don’t walk away as the marshmallows will toast quickly.

    Set the bars aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the marshmallows to cool.

    Once cooled, lift the bars out of the tin and place onto a chopping board (using the parchment paper to help). These can be a little messy to cut, so if you want neat slices, between each cut, dip the knife in hot water and wipe dry.

    Store in a sealed container for 4 days.

  • Giant Portuguese custard tart

    portuguese custard tart recipe

    Edd says: “I am an advocate for pasteis de nata and I will tell anyone who’ll listen that Portuguese custard tarts are one of the best baked goods around. If they’re still listening, I’ll also tell them which bakery in Lisbon serves the best (it’s Manteigaria, if you’re asking). This recipe is my homage to these delightful Portuguese tarts. This recipe is notoriously hard to replicate at home as domestic ovens don’t generally get hot enough. Thankfully, I have come up with a workaround that replicates a bakery-style rack oven at home in a regular domestic oven.”

    Serves 8-10

    Ingredients

    • unsalted butter or neutral-tasting oil, for greasing
    • 320g sheet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
    • 2 large egg yolks, beaten, for brushing
    • icing (powdered) sugar and ground cinnamon, for dusting

    For the custard filling

    • 250g caster (superfine) sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
    • 4 strips orange zest
    • 360ml double (heavy) cream
    • 300ml whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    • 3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
    • 50g cornflour (cornstarch)

    Method

    For the custard filling, place 240ml water, the sugar, cinnamon and orange zest into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, cooking for a couple of minutes until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

    Lightly grease the baking tin and line the base with parchment paper. Arrange the shelves of the oven so two are very close together, leaving about a 13cm gap between them. On both shelves, place a pizza stone or baking steel, if you have one, otherwise use two stacked baking trays per shelf. You can make this recipe without the pizza stones/baking steels/ baking trays, but the effect won’t be quite as close to the real deal.

    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5 30 minutes before the tart is ready to bake.

    Unroll the puff pastry and roll out into a rectangle that is roughly 3mm thick. Trim the pastry into a neat 28 x 38cm rectangle and drape into the prepared baking tin.

    Freeze for about 10 minutes or until the pastry is solid. Line the pastry case with a crumpled piece of parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice.

    Transfer to the rack you have assembled in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans/rice and parchment paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until lightly browned.

    Brush the inside with the beaten egg yolks, then bake for a further 2 minutes, or until the yolks are set. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 240°C (475°F), Gas Mark 9, or as hot as your oven will go.

    To finish the custard filling, tip the cream, milk and vanilla into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place the eggs, egg yolks and cornflour in a heatproof bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour the hot cream mixture over the eggs, whisking to combine, then pour the cream mixture back into the pan. 

    Pour the sugar syrup into the pan, pouring it through a sieve to remove the cinnamon and orange. Place the pan over a medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Immediately pour into the blind-baked tart case and spread evenly.

    Bake on the rack in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the custard is burnished. As the tart is larger than a traditional custard tart, it won’t brown all the way to the middle before the egg overcooks, so take it out while the centre of the tart is still yellow. Leave to cool completely in the tin before serving.

    To serve, dust with a little icing sugar and ground cinnamon, cut into portions and serve alongside a strong coffee.

    This tart is best served on the day it is made and within a few hours of baking.

    One Tin Bakes: Sweet And Simple Traybakes, Pies, Bars And Buns by Edd Kimber (£17.99, Kyle Books) is out now

Photography: Edd Kimber 

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