• Yoghurt and raspberry cake... thank you Matthew Evans! (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Taking it back to basics, Matthew Evans has all the sweet tips when it comes to whipping up the easiest desserts. #GourmetFarmer
3 Oct 2017 - 10:07 AM  UPDATED 19 Mar 2021 - 1:03 PM


Nothing like those instant custard powder mixes, real homemade custard is a real treat. Constant stirring over a low heat is the key to yielding a light, creamy and delicious custard. Be vigilant for lumps in your saucepan, and if they appear "whisk like crazy"! 

Put your custard-making skills to the test with this recipe for chocolate and Frangelico custard 

Melting chocolate

Who hasn't had the unfortunate experience of trying to melt chocolate, only to end up with hard blocks burnt to the bottom of the saucepan? Matthew's tip to avoid this: "when you melt chocolate, do it over hot water, not boiling water."

"And the trick is to actually take it off before it's quite melted." Have a crack at melting some choc and making a classic chocolate cake.


Fritters are classic; fresh fruit spiced and battered, then deep fried. The pro tip from Matthew? Using pork fat for the batter gives you a superior fritter. For these seriously tasty apple and rye whisky ones, let the apple rings macerate in the alcohol, sugar and saffron for an hour for the best flavour experience.

Plus, we heard fruit, so they have to be healthy!


Whoa, hold up, marzipan is well beyond the capabilities of a home cook, right? Wrong! Not only is it straightforward, but it also tastes worlds better than the artificially flavoured stuff that you pick up from the supermarket. 

Almond, egg white, sugar and salt are all that it takes to whip up a batch of marzipan. For a drier serve, just add some more almond. Simple! 

Rustic and really tasty, try Matthew's baked apples with marzipan and bush honey


Pot-roasted quince makes for a really delicious and different dessert. Matthew recommends you pick out the pineapple quince variety, rather than the smyrna, as it breaks up faster. 

Serve them with some yoghurt, or slice and pile them atop some fluffy pancakes.

Yoghurt cake

Yoghurt takes a regular cake and adds a whole other dimension of moisture and denseness. This delicious yoghurt and raspberry cake with elderflower syrup is really simple, yet totally delightful. Use a spatula to make the centre of the cake a little lower than the edges, so the syrup flows inward. 

Yoghurt and raspberry cake... thank you Matthew Evans!
Easy apple sponge

This is one from Matthew's hairdresser (which is why he calls it 'hairdresser apple sponge'). It's very easy to put together and relies on quality local ingredients. 

You'll need to soften the apples on the stove first, but the trick here is to take them off before they're completely done. They will get more stewing time when you transfer them to the oven. Allow it to cool before serving as it allows the juices of the apples to soak into the sponge, then dig in!


Roasting marshmallows by the fire get even better when they're homemade ones. If you've got a sugar thermometer and an electric mixer, you're set. If your kitchen is mixer-less, never fear: you can whisk the mix over a bowl of ice once all the ingredients have been added, this will speed things up. 

Put your mallow skills to the test with this honey and orange blossom recipe 

Ice cream

Kulfi is a traditional ice-cream-style dessert from India. When it comes time to boil the milk, make sure to only stir enough to stop it from boiling over or scalding. 

After freezing the kulfi in their moulds overnight, dip them in hot water and tip them out onto serving plates. They look impressive and taste even better. 

Have a go at Matthew Evan's honey, pistachio and saffron kulfi here.

More ice-cream
Goat’s milk ice-cream

Matthew Evans gives his recipe for goat's milk ice-cream infused with lemon. One of the most important ingredients in any ice-cream is air, which you get from a really vigorous churn in a machine that has a freezer unit. If you don’t have an ice-cream machine you can still make a good, if lesser result; simply swap over the quantities of glucose and sugar and follow the extra instructions at the end.

Visit the Gourmet Farmer program page for recipes and to find out more about the show. Return to the Gourmet Farmer homepage.

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