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What better way to finish off a meal than with one of the tantalizing desserts. So treat yourself to any one of these tempting dessert recipes and indulge in one of life's great pleasures.....!!!


Gateau Mercedes Recipe

Gateau Mercedes Recipe

Ingredients: Serves 8

225 g/8 oz/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
A pinch of salt
100 g/4 oz unsalted (sweet) butter, softened
375 g/13 oz caster (superfine) sugar
A few drops of almond essence (extract)

4 eggs, separated
250 g/9 oz ground almonds

Amaretto, to taste
75 g/3 oz crystallized (candied) fruits, chopped
100 g/4 oz apricot jam (conserve)
50 g/2 oz blanched almonds, cut into thin strips
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the butter, 100 g/4 oz of the sugar, the almond essence and the egg yolks. Work with the fingertips, gradually drawing in the flour, until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Wrap in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the almonds with the remaining caster sugar and the egg whites. Flavor to taste with amaretto. Mix the crystallized fruit with about 45 ml/3 tbsp of the jam. Roll out the chilled pastry (paste) and use to line a 20 cm/8 in springform cake tin (pan). Prick the base with a fork and spread the fruit and jam in the base. Spoon the almond mixture over, then scatter with the shredded almonds. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for about 45 minutes until golden brown and just set. Leave to cool. Remove the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Heat the remaining jam with the lemon juice, adding a little water if necessary. Brush all over the top of the cake to glaze, then chill until ready to serve.

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