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Quick and Easy Desserts – Recipes To Make At Home

Because I cook a lot, I’m often asked by friends and family for tips, hints and ideas for easy desserts to make. You know, the kind of things that can be knocked up in no time and taste exceedingly delicious! The most common request by far, even in these austere times is for pudding. Specifically, quick and easy desserts that look and taste great – additionally, you can then pimp them with Lovi Sweets; an absolute bonus!

How to make Easy Desserts

A tumbler or cocktail glass is your friend! They will not only make your dessert look smart, sexy and professional but most of all, cut out the risk factor of things not setting or freezing and splatting all over the plate. Here are 3 super easy ‘glass’ desserts:

Dinner party dessert:

Try this for the easiest Panna Cotta…

3 gelatine leaves
450ml double cream
200ml whole milk
100g white caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

Put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water to soften – this will take about 5 mins. Meanwhile, pour the cream, milk and sugar into a pan. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add, together with the pod, to the cream mixture. Heat gently until hot, but not bubbling. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid then add, one at a time, to the hot cream. Stir until dissolved and leave to stand for half an hour. Strain the mixture through a sieve into 6 serving glasses, then chill for at least 3 hrs.

Panna Cotta Desserts

Now you have your basic panna cotta you can be as creative as you like. Just add your favourite topping – Simple, fresh berries? Coulis? Chocolate shavings? Furthermore, why not make every deceased Italian Nonna turn in her grave by scattering on some Dolly Mixtures! You’ve got a delicious, creamy, blank canvas – start painting!

Easy no-bake desserts:

Chocolate peanut cheesecake in a glass (makes 4)

200g LoviSweets chocolate peanuts
8 digestive biscuits, crushed
50g of butter, melted
4 tbsp icing sugar
250g mascarpone

Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Spoon into 2 glasses. Crush 3/4 of the peanuts, leaving the rest whole. Fold the crushed nuts and icing sugar into the mascarpone. Divide the mixture between the glasses and finally, scatter over the whole chocolate peanuts.

Easy desserts for kids:

Two words: ice cream. Don’t even bother with anything else, because if my kids are anything to go by, nothing comes close. Fill a plastic glass with whatever their favourite ice cream is, top with squirty cream and Lovi Sweets Foam Bananas and Chocolate bananas for the best ‘Banana Split’ ever.

Foam Bananas for Desserts

Do you have a go-to simple dessert that never lets you down? We’d love to hear about it!

 

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The Top Ten LoviSweets

I’ve spent today evaluating the relative merits of hundreds and hundreds of sweets that are currently stacked in great candy piles in our treasure trove of a warehouse. It’s a tough job but someones got to do it….

This list is definitive and I will brook no argument, but if you did want to tell me that this list is SCANDALOUS, then that would be fine – what’s your top 10? Am I quite mad? What’s missing? What has NO right to be there?

Without further ado here are the THE TOP TEN SWEETS OF ALL TIME, ranked in descending order.

10. Strawberry flyers

A sherbet dip but improved with the addition of strawberry AND the removal of all that dipping palaver. Take a licorice straw, make it strawberry flavor and stuff it with strawberry sherbet. Amazing. Lazy. Perfect.

Strawberry Flyers

9. Cola cubes

Officially the hardest substance known to man, able to carve diamonds. These are the classic eighties sweet, a white paper bag stuffed into your shorts with a quarter of Cola cubes. Lovely. Don’t taste like cola.

Cola Cubes

8. Rhubarb and Custard

Fish and chips, Mel and Sue, Rhubarb and Custard. A culinary classic and these make it into the top 10 despite the fact that I recently found out that the ‘rhubarb’ flavor in Rhubarb and Custards is actually lemon. It’s a scandal.

Rhubarb and Custard

7. White Mice

The anti-gourmet chocolate and none the worse for that. Sweet, sickly, coating your mouth and sending children hyperactive in seconds. An antidote to the artisan chocolate ‘bean to bar’ bores!

White Mice

6 Strawberry bonbons

Unlucky not to be higher but up against some stiff competition! Strawberry bonbons are a real taste of my childhood – the sugary dust coating, just the right ‘chew’ and a tangy, sweet, delicious strawberry flavor. Perfection

Strawberry Bonbons

5. Twin cherries

A work of art! shiny, deep colour and luscious cherry flavour with the added comedic bonus of being terrific Pat Butcher style earrings. PAAAAAT!

Twin Cherries

4. Fizzy cola bottles

Obviously.

Fizzy Cola Bottles

3. Chocolate bananas

I think I like these because they make your brain hurt – Ooh, sophisticated dark chocolate, these are grown up…whoah… wait… sticky, gooey, sweet banana gunk inside! I’m a child again! A delicious contradiction.

Chocolate Bananas

2. Cherry cola bottles

Obviously (see above) PLUS CHERRY! You might have noticed I like cherry. This could have been an all cherry list to be quite honest with you.

Cherry Cola Bottles

1. Watermelon slices

But not as much as I like watermelon…..  These are amazing. A chewier ‘chew’ than you might expect from a jelly and all the better for properly extracting that tangy watermelon goodness! They look great, taste great and actually even smell great – like watermelon on steroids. If you haven’t tried them then get some now. The best sweet in the world.

Fizzy Watermelon Slices

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Injuries!

I can’t eat a Toblerone without thinking about Billy Connolly. His sketch about eating one is simply the greatest sweet based comedy of all time and if this wasn’t a family website, I’d post the link here. The language is a bit fruity you can Google it if you’re not too sensitive…

It ends (and it’s hard to do it justice on paper) with Billy, imaginary Toblerone peak having pierced the roof of his mouth, exclaiming in his broad Scottish brogue ‘A sweetie that HURTS you’ as the audience fall about clutching their sides.

Anyway… The sketch occurred to me earlier when I had the misfortune of sampling our ‘Mega Sour Apples’. I had two and developed an almost instantaneous mouth ulcer, had a layer of skin removed from my tongue and almost choked as the acid reflux kicked in. Delicious.

That got me thinking about other sweet-based injuries that have occurred over the years – chipped tooth on a giant gobstopper? Yep! Dolly mixture up the nose? 3 hours in casualty. When we asked Twitter about their sweet injuries it was almost as if they weren’t taking it seriously…

Double Decker
‘I actually got hit by a real double-decker once’

and

‘Once had to have a skin graft after pouring caramel on myself LOL – That kind of thing?’

Oh those Twitter jokers….

Have you ever hurt yourself with a sweet? We’d love to know….

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10 Facts You Never Knew About Parma Violets

Parma violets are an iconic British sweet. You might remember them from childhood but you probably never knew this about them…

Parma Violets

Here’s our 10 facts you (probably) don’t know about parma violets:

  1. The name Parma Violet is from the City of Parma, in Italy. Starting in the 1500s, the violet plants were grown and traded by the elite. The flowers were popular in bouquets and for decorations and in food.
  2. The taste of violet was very common, in things like chocolate creams, during World War 1.
  3. The violet-flavoured sweets are manufactured by Swizzels Matlow in Derbyshire – they’ve been manufacturing there since the 1940’s!
  4. The factory now runs 24 hours a day, producing a whopping 100 millions sweets each day!
  5. There’s a band named after the confectionary
  6. ….and there’s also a song!
  7. Swizzles has, more recently, developed a cheese to celebrate the 70th birthday of Parma Violets.. and it’s….errr…interesting!
  8. In 2003, Swizzles threatened to discontinue Parma Violets! Luckily, though there was public outcry so they changed their minds.
  9. Some people really don’t understand Parma Violets!
  10. You can get them online from us!
Swizzles Matlow launch a Parma Violets cheese in partnership with The Cheshire Cheese Company

Swizzles Matlow launch a Parma Violets cheese in partnership with The Cheshire Cheese Company

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BONUS: Recipe for Parma Violet Cupcakes

parma violet cupcakes

Cupcakes

  • 350g unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 350g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp violet cocktail syrup
  • 100g crushed parma violets

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Cream the unsalted butter in your food mixer. Once smooth, add the caster sugar and cream.
  • Once light & fluffy, add the flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, violet syrup, crushed parma violets & eggs. Mix into a smooth batter.
  • Place a big mold on a baking tray and spoon in the batter. Bake for approx 45 mins, then check the top of the cupcake is baked and remove. Bake the bottom of the cupcake for a further 15 mins.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven & set aside to cool.

Buttercream

  • 350g icing sugar sieved
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 100g crushed parma violets
  • 1 tbsp violet cocktail syrup

Method:

  • Smooth half of the butter in a food mixer or with a hand blender.
  • Add all 12 oz of the sieved sugar with the violet syrup, mix slowly for 2 mins until the mixture has combined.
  • Add the crushed parma violets and mix on the fastest setting until smooth.
  • The mixture is ready to pipe with the rose nozzle!

 

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5 Things You Can Do With Dolly Mixtures

Are dolly mixtures your favourite sweets? You’ll love these craft and recipe ideas then…

1. Dolly Mixtures Jewellery
These are so pretty and cute – give an edible bracelet to a friend made from Dolly Mixtures!

2. Centrepiece
Another craft idea. These would look beautiful at any wedding!

3. Cupcakes
These look almost too good to eat. Dolly mixtures make a great decorative and tasty addition to any cupcake recipe.

cupcakes dolly mixtures

Image cred: Cupcake Corner

4. Rocky Road
Amazing! See below for full recipe.

5. Ice Cream 
Add a bit of colour to your ice cream on a hot day…

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BONUS – Sweetie Rocky Road Recipe
This recipe is from bakingmad.com

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

For the rocky road:

  • 200g Milk chocolate or dark if preferred
  • 100g Butter plus some extra for greasing
  • 3tbsp Golden syrup (we use Silver Spoon)
  • 225g Digestive biscuits crushed
  • 100g Dolly mixture
  • 100g Jelly drops

For the decoration:

  • 50g Dark chocolate
  • 200g Jelly sweets

How to make it:

Step 1. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper

Step 2. In a medium pan, melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup until well mixed

Step 3. Add the crushed biscuits and mix well

Step 4. Add the sweets and stir

Step 5. Pour into tin, press down until even. Chill in the fridge until set

Step 6. Decorate with the extra sweets and drizzle chocolate over the top.

 

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