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I think raspberries are at least the strawberry's equal and, in most cases, a superior summer fruit. In fact, they are probably one of my all-time favourite, top-five, couldn't- give-them-up ingredients. With an exquisite blend of acidity and sweetness, underpinned by that floral, rose-like aroma…let’s be honest, whats not to like?

They also combine really well with so many other wonderful ingredients and some of my favourite flavour profiles for fresh raspberries include beetroot, hibiscus, orange blossom, chocolate, coconut, tomatoes and fresh figs, although they also work really well with pistachios, lemon, mangoes, yoghurt, soft cheese and watermelon.

Raspberries should be handled very gently and eaten as soon as possible. They should be plump, dry, firm, well shaped and uniformly coloured. Avoid buying berries that are withered or crushed. Rich in vitamin C and high in anti-oxidants, fresh raspberries are not only a tasty way to start the day, but a healthy one too. Sprinkle over cereals, add sweetness to granola or treat yourself to a delicious breakfast smoothie. Why not transform homemade lemonade into a resfreshingly, thirst-quenching vivid pink vision with hibiscus and redcurrants?

I must admit that I also love to throw a few raspberries into my decadent, chocolate brownie mix, coupled with a few lightly crushed amaretti biscuits to create a little texture and rich, indulgent flavour sensation. For a slightly heathier option, try this gorgeous, light and pretty raspberry and yoghurt teacake.

RASPBERRY AND YOGHURT TEACAKE

You can make small individual versions of this cake, but i’m using a simple loaf tin that can be sliced later.

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 65 mins
Ingredients serves 6

200g fresh raspberries
250g plain flour
25g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
120g soft butter
250g sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon, finely grated
2 large eggs
100g full-fat plain yoghurt
1 tbsp white sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C./350ºF Grease a 23-centimetre loaf tin and line with baking
paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor for five minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the lemon zest.

3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the sifted flour with the second egg. Gently fold in the remaining flour and the yoghurt until the mixture is smooth, then fold in the ground almonds.

4. Spoon one-third of the cake mixture into a loaf tin and scatter with one-third of the raspberries. Repeat twice, finishing with a layer of raspberries.

5. Bake for 25 minutes until the cake is nicely browned, then cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

6. Remove the cake from the oven. Cool for five minutes and carefully remove the cake from the tin and put it on a wire rack to cool. Serve in thick slices.

RASPBERRY, REDCURRANT & HIBISCUS LEMONADE

Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Ingredients serves 4

180g fresh raspberries
Juice of 2 lemons
80g redcurrants
1tbsp hibiscus tea
2tbsp sugar
500ml sparkling water
A few raspberries & redcurrants to garnish

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1. Bring to the boil 300ml water, remove from the heat and add the hibiscus tea.

2. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes and then strain the tea through a fine sieve.

3. Puree the raspberries with the tea and 2 teaspoons sugar in a liquidiser.

4. Divide the puree between 4 tall glasses and add ice. Pour over the sparkling water to
top up the glasses and garnish with fresh raspberries & redcurrants. Serve
immediately.

SIMPLE RASPBERRY MOUSSE

For the mousse:

80g sugar
4 free-range eggs, seperated
320ml raspberries
25ml raspberry creme liqueur
150g double cream, whipped to soft peaks
4 leaves of gelatine
1/2 lemon, juice only

For the chantilly cream:

25g icing sugar
300g whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds scrapped out with a sharp knife

For the mousse:

1. Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for 2 minutes until soft. Squeeze
out the liquid and place the gelatine into a heatproof bowl with one tablespoon of
water. Put the bowl over a pan of warm water for a few minutes and stir until
dissolved.

2. Blend the raspberries in a food processor and pass through a sieve into a bowl,
removing the seeds. Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a bowl using an electric
hand whisk until thick, fluffy and pale in colour. This will take about 3–4minutes.

3. Stir the sieved raspberries, raspberry liqueur and gelatine into the egg yolk and sugar
mixture, then carefully fold in the cream.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir 2 tablespoons into the
raspberry mixture, then carefully fold in the rest.
Spoon into 4–6 glasses. Place in the fridge for 4 hours, or until set.

For the chantilly cream:

1. Sift the icing sugar into the cream in a mixing bowl and stir in the vanilla seeds. Whisk
the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl.

2. To Serve, Decorate with raspberries and chantilly cream straight from the fridge.