Winter is the time for puds. Warming cooked fruit or indulgent chocolate both hit the spot.
HEALTHY This is a classic pud using British apples, made even tastier with spices, dried fruit and nuts.
BAKED APPLES WITH ALMONDS Heat the oven to 180C, then remove apple cores with a corer, leaving a hole right through from base to top.
Gently cut the skin around the middle of each apple to prevent bursting while cooking.
In a bowl mix the butter, half the almonds, sugar, raisins, zest and spices to combine everything.
Place the apples in a baking dish. Divide the buttery filling between them, using your fingers to push it into the holes. Rub a little on the outside and then sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top of each.
Cook for 20 minutes until they are golden and soft. Cool for five minutes before serving in individual bowls with any leaked juice poured over.
Serves 4 large Bramley apples 40g unsalted butter, at room temp 20g flaked almonds 2 tbsp muscovado sugar 75g raisins Finely grated zest of 1 orange Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 tsp ground mixed spice Pinch ground cloves HEARTY A real treat, perfect for entertaining friends as it can be made in advance.
CHOCOLATE TART Heat the oven to 180C. Make pastry by rubbing butter, flour, salt and sugar together until like breadcrumbs.
Mix in yolk and water and form a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 20mins. Roll on a floured surface and press into a greased 25cm tin. Prick base. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake for 10mins. Remove beans, etc. Cook for five more minutes and trim the excess pastry.
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Melt for 5mins then stir. Whisk eggs.
Warm cream and evaporated milk in a pan and whisk into the eggs.
Strain this over the chocolate then mix. Pour filling into a tart case and slide into oven on a baking tray (160C) for 15mins. Turn oven off and leave for 15-25 mins until slightly set.
Remove and leave out for one-and-a-half hours minimum. Don't refrigerate or it will solidify. Serve with icing sugar, chocolate curls and creme fraiche.
Serves 10 For the pastry (or buy 300g sweet shortcrust): 200g plain flour Pinch sea salt 100g unsalted butter, diced 1 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp cold water 1 egg yolk For the filling: 680g dark chocolate, broken up 4 free-range eggs 200ml whipping cream 160ml evaporated milk To garnish: Chocolate curls Icing sugar Creme fraiche ? In association with Graham's The Family Dairy ? For more info on Nick go to www.nicknairn.com