Goodbye Summer (Fruit)...

8 October 2006

While I’ve been struggling to put regular posts up here (and here), the transient British summer seems to have gone – it almost feels like we’ve missed the autumn now, it’s suddenly been so wet and cold since the arrival of October (yikes)... Nevertheless, here are some more of the summer fruit desserts I was enjoying this season – and this will be the last of my rather intensive fruit posts this summer (well, more autumnal fruit will be on its way :))

I enjoyed quite a few blackberries this summer – In the UK, you can find them wild pretty much everywhere, just like elderflowers. Our friend’s allotment is surrounded by these thorny bushes so I go there to pick some whenever I want – you can enjoy them for a while as they ripen gradually.

If I had to pick a favourite from all the tempting summer fruit recipes, though, I might choose the sorbet – the intense flavours from all the berries/currants, the dark rich colour – it’s just irresistible! I always try to churn an extra batch for the winter but it never survives that long, it disappears so quickly every time I make it.

This little shortbread tower recipe is from the Claudia Fleming book – sandwiched by the crumbly shortbread biscuits (scented with grated orange zest) are blackberry puree, fresh blackberries and créme fraîche scented with orange-blossom honey & orange-flower water – all of which add a subtle but refreshing, distinctive flavour. You can find a similar recipe in Christine Manfield’s Desserts, which is paired with lemon cream instead of orange.

You can’t resist this if you’re a raspberry fan – I was just happy with the melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate mousse with the berries, but the raspberry milkshake (raspberry liqueur and coulis at the bottom, milkshake (coulis and milk blended together) on the top layers) really makes the most of fresh raspberries. I made lemon biscotti to accompany it. The recipe is from Formulas for Flavour.

I always love making charlotte and found a tempting recipe in the wonderfully comprehensive The Cook’s Book where Pierre Hermé writes the dessert and pastry sections.

I could have done it as one big cake, but I’m such a sucker for the pretty little ones :) His recipe called for simple raspberry mousse inside, but I added redcurrants to give a little more kick, and I’m glad I did :) The fruit, mousse, coulis and the light sponge marry beautifully – simple but definitely one of my favourite summer desserts. (oh and Matthew, who doesn’t always like everything I make, thought these looked pretty and even had some – that was definitely an improvement…)

Food - Sweet        72 comments    Permalink

  • Such talent and beauty through your creation and the lens..

    Keiko. You’re such an inspiration and model to learn from!

    Posted by Bel | 8 October 2006 #
  • Absolutely amazing - your talent for baking, displaying and photographing leave me in a tizzy! As blackberries are considered pests here and destroyed almost anywhere they decide to grow, the only place I can ever seem to get them are in supermarket punnets.

    I especially love those little charlottes, and think that I’m going to have to give them a try myself!

    Posted by Ellie | 8 October 2006 #
  • Love the photos Keiko! I am especially inspire by the raspberry milkshake! Thanks for the post!


    Posted by Daniel Herskovic | 8 October 2006 #
  • I adore blackberries! Unfortunately they are rather difficult to find in Spain. They´re frozen and tasteless. Living in the country is the only way to get them.

    Beautiful pitures ... as always!!!

    Posted by Guru | 8 October 2006 #
  • hi keiko, perfect, perfect, perfect...from the precise uniformity of your ladyfingers to the symmetry of your gorgeous ribbon bows ;) what a grand farewell to the best of summer’s bounty! as you say, of course, all that means is that we have your autumnal fruit creations, which will no doubt be fabulous, to look forward to :)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 8 October 2006 #
  • Waouh! Everything is always so nice here! It’s amazing!

    Posted by Loukoum°°° | 8 October 2006 #
  • this is delicious...

    Posted by Hale | 8 October 2006 #
  • oh my goodness! so many beautifully delicious ways to enjoy the summer fruits! i would expect nothing less from a master such as yourself, keiko. although i’m sad to see the summer fruits go, i’m sure we’ll see all sorts of lovely fall goodies coming out of your kitchen soon! Cheers!

    Posted by Amanda | 8 October 2006 #
  • I’m speechless, your desserts look staggering! And I thought that I had the most wonderful dessert in France in the Provence (a millefeuille aux framboises), but the most beautiful desserts are on your table!

    Posted by Dolce | 8 October 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, I finally made it to the Idemi shop and tried THIRTEEN of his cakes. They were all so good. I even recognized a couple of the ones you’ve made. I only wish I could’ve taken photos.

    Posted by Lynn | 8 October 2006 #
  • the 3 layer milkshake is the prettiest milkshake i’ve ever seen! i love the desserts on your blog - if i ever had a chance to eat sthg as pretty as that, it would feel like eating ART

    Posted by chinchowdoll | 8 October 2006 #
  • Keiko, those charlottes look spectacular. Berries are also my favorite fruits. In my parents’ garden there is a huge black mulberry tree that they inherited from my grandfather. We used to lay sheets and shake the tree to gather the fruit. They never made it to the kitchen :) By the way, I really can not understand how Matthew doesn’t worship every piece you make.He is one lucky guy. Waiting impatiently for your autumnal fruit desserts!Cheers. Cenk

    Posted by Cenk | 8 October 2006 #
  • I didn’t know I was a raspberry fan : I’ve learnt something today ! thanks !

    Posted by b@ | 8 October 2006 #
  • Your pictures are fabulous, as always , and the recipes look great.

    Posted by Cécile | 8 October 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I claim the rare honour of being first to comment on your splendid fruit desserts. Beautiful as ever. Please load all puddings on to a dessert trolley and wheel them over to Ealing!

    Best wishes,

    : )

    Posted by Anna | 8 October 2006 #
  • These are all so incredibly beautiful! I love the Claudia Fleming book, but don’t have any of the others (yet!). The shake looks amazing. Sounds like my dream dessert :-)

    Posted by L | 8 October 2006 #
  • Simply stunning. You really capture the essence of summer in your pictures, words and desserts.



    Posted by fanny | 8 October 2006 #
  • Keiko, What a way to end the summer! All your desserts look fabulous (as usual) Vancouver (and all over BC) we are also lucky to have blackberries growing most empty lots or other wild bits... they grow like weeds. Unfortunatley, with all the development going on here, they are getting more scarce.

    Posted by hag | 8 October 2006 #
  • amazing! spectacular!!

    Posted by Yael | 8 October 2006 #
  • pretty little ones they are. really, well done.

    Posted by orit | 8 October 2006 #
  • Your desserts always look amazing! I’m so yearning to try one of them. anyone!

    Posted by Yummie dummieS | 9 October 2006 #
  • hi keiko,

    the charlottes look so adorable. especially the little ribbons and the short cake tower looks so delicate. you’ve really outdone yourself with your farewell to the summer fruits :)

    Posted by ilingc | 9 October 2006 #
  • Keiko, why must you cause me to turn into this drooling mess everytime I come to your site? These are such wonderful applications of summer fruits. You have indeed created a great send off to summer and I am sure you will be getting on to welcoming autumn soon. Can’t wait to see it.

    Wonderful wonderful!

    Posted by jenjen | 9 October 2006 #
  • all of these are fantastic! compliments

    Posted by Francesca | 9 October 2006 #
  • can u make a wallpaper with this image please?

    Posted by valerio | 9 October 2006 #
  • I’m so glad you managed to squeeze in another summer fruit post, everything looks so detailed!

    Posted by Brilynn | 9 October 2006 #
  • Lovely! Spectacular! You are such a talent! You must be a celebrity chef with 3 huge Michelin stars:) And I really don’t understand how Matthew does not always like everything you cooked:) I think he is jelaous...Like me ;)

    Posted by Zeynep Seda | 9 October 2006 #
  • oh i long for the summer to be back too! now that it’s autumn, bring on the comfort food and stew (although i wouldn’t mind at all having whatever you are having) ;)

    Posted by Lil | 9 October 2006 #

    I have no words!

    Posted by Melissa | 9 October 2006 #
  • Keiko, as usual, you know how to create beautiful dishes. Your blog is a joy for the eye as much as it must be for the taste buds of your lucky table guests...

    Posted by Simonetta Taccuso | 9 October 2006 #
  • What a beautiful scrapbook of summer. Adore your perfect work as always!

    Posted by Anita | 10 October 2006 #
  • You are a true inspiration! These desserts are beautiful!

    Posted by Kat | 10 October 2006 #
  • Beautiful Keiko. I do love those charlottes and may try to make them myself.

    Posted by Barbara | 10 October 2006 #
  • ...

    I’m speechless -

    this whole post looks sooo good(!) mouth-watering!

    beautiful pictures as always! =)

    Posted by julia | 10 October 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, the little charlottes look really cute and delectable. You are really so talented. I love all your pastries. Just wondering, could you send me the recipe for the chocolate glaze(made of cocoa) you used in ambrosie? My bf’s birthday is coming up and I really want to bake him a chocolate cake covered with chocolate glaze. And yours looks really shiny and beautiful!

    Anyway, my email add will be

    Posted by Jacelyn | 10 October 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I’ve been wondering what you’ve been up to! I’m in Florida and the summer berries are long gone (the stone fruits are still around, but their quality has deteriorated). That post was a gorgeous wave good-bye at summer. I have no complaints about all your berry desserts, but I look forward to what autumn about some chocolate??

    Posted by Julie O'Hara | 10 October 2006 #
  • Wow keiko ,it looks so good ! The berries look so fresh and the color is so alive I could almost taste it.

    Posted by Veron | 10 October 2006 #
  • i’ve yet to experience fresh elderflowers. Have only had the vicarious pleasure of syrup and soda infused with the blooms. I love seeing the berries in full swing—it’s practically already winter where I am. Thanks for the trip back in time :)

    Posted by vanessa | 11 October 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, tes créations sont chaque fois plus belles ! Comment est-ce possible ? Tu as fait des merveilles avec ces fabuleuses couleurs de fruits d’été. Merci.

    Posted by Camille | 11 October 2006 #
  • Hi keiko, it’s me again, Veronica. I added you to my food blog link over at . Hope you don’t mind.

    Posted by Veron | 11 October 2006 #
  • oh keiko those are wonderful creations! perfect ending of summer, eh? i have tons of apples, i’ve been thinking of making them into apple charlotte :)

    Posted by eliza | 12 October 2006 #
  • this is so raffiné!

    Good for the eyes...

    Posted by sooishi | 12 October 2006 #
  • Simply stunning! All of your desserts look to good to be true.

    Posted by Dianka | 12 October 2006 #
  • These would be perfect for a 4th of July party here in the states. Unfortunately, picking wild blackberries is not ever going to happen in Manhattan. I’ll have to rely on Whole Foods.

    As always, your creations look amazing. I wish I could taste!

    Posted by Kelli | 13 October 2006 #
  • Speechless

    and my eyes have popped out of their sockets!

    What beauty you bring us each day!

    A treat extraordinare!

    Whenever you do a book PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!

    ...gee I wish i could live in your kitchen!

    Posted by tongue_in_cheek_antiques | 13 October 2006 #
  • I’d like to try one of each right now !! Amazing pictures coupled with fantastic recipes, that’s always a great pleasure to come and visit your blog.

    Posted by Entre amis | 13 October 2006 #
  • Absolutely delicious. I must admit that I didn’t take full advantage of our berry season...your post is making me crave a bumbleberry pie :)


    Posted by jasmine | 14 October 2006 #
  • Keiko, berry special. Love the idea of the shortbread tower and the milkshake.

    Posted by steffles | 14 October 2006 #
  • I love I love I simply LOVE everything you have right here!

    It’s such a pity we don’t have the luxury of having all kinds of temperate fruits here. Beautiful work!

    Posted by Melody | 14 October 2006 #
  • Beautiful!

    Posted by azu | 14 October 2006 #
  • beautiful photography and those little red bowed wonders topped with such a great combination of intense reds and blacks ---- ahhh, totally awed!

    Posted by eatzycath | 19 October 2006 #
  • Oh, you love Pierre Hermé like me, he’s a genious ! And your charlotte is gorgeous !

    Posted by Fabienne | 21 October 2006 #
  • Absolutely beautiful photographs, as always.

    It’s always sad to see summer leaving, but autumn is just as excellent for foods. It’s only at the end of winter when we are all longing for summer again, bored with all the cold weather!

    Posted by Scott at Real Epicurean | 22 October 2006 #
  • your pictures (and recipes)are still amazing and gorgeous !

    Posted by Christell | 25 October 2006 #
  • beautiful! keiko - i tried to email you but my email client doesn’t work. would you mind writing out your full email address because i can’t see what it is with my email client not opening correctly on my computer. thanks!

    Posted by a | 28 October 2006 #
  • I arrived via Tongue in Cheek, and I’m so glad I did! Just beautiful.

    Posted by tut-tut | 29 October 2006 #
  • Keiko,

    Berry Splendid!

    Oh, its citrus, chestnuts, persimmon, figs while i was in kyushu for last 2 weeks

    Happy Belated Birthday! :)

    Posted by slurp! | 29 October 2006 #
  • I like the little shortbread tower! Looks yummy!

    I know a golden retreiver, called Calum, who eats wild black berries so delicately and dexturously choosing only ripe ones;)

    Posted by poth | 30 October 2006 #
  • Hi! I’m a budding food blogger. I think your site is incredible! I hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked your site to mine.

    Posted by Noneng | 2 November 2006 #
  • Hello Keiko,

    So whats cooking? Missed your posts a lot!

    Your impatient fan!


    Posted by Cenk | 5 November 2006 #
  • The charlottes are gorgeous! Beautiful Picture!

    I added your link to my blog. Your website is so beautiful. I want to share with my friends.

    Posted by Leticia | 6 November 2006 #
  • yammie! :)

    Posted by kalyana | 8 November 2006 #
  • Hi, I love the pictures you posted on your blog. I’m very curious where can I get the recipes for these beautiful creations? If they’re in the book, how can I get it?

    Posted by Bertha Santoso | 8 November 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, it’s been a long time since my last visit to your blog. But it’s as always a complete pleasure for the senses. :)

    Best wishes,


    Posted by Marcela | 15 November 2006 #
  • Thank you so much for all your kind notes.

    Hi Valerio – I’ll definitely consider making it :)

    Hi A – I’m not sure why you couldn’t email me but I hope you received my message a while ago.

    Hi Bertha – I always note where the recipes come from (ie book titles), as for the Japanese recipes, I simply don’t have time to translate them – will try when I can.

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #
  • Hello Keiko-san, I just stumbled to this post, & oh yeah, I’m sooo glad I did! The charlotte cake looks beautiful indeed!
    I once made one as a 20cm birthday cake for a customer of mine a while back. Also with fresh summerfruit! (& chocolate shavings & letters). It looked very much like yours, only, not as neat as yours! ;-)
    Your post has given me the idea of selling charlottes at my stall (with baked middle – not with cream/ mousse inside because it’s an outdoor market with no refrigerator!). Although I have berry-tarts on my stall already – So do you have any suggestions as to what else could be used as the topping??

    Posted by Tamami | 18 May 2007 #
  • Beautiful photos and great blog!!

    Greetings, Margot

    Posted by Coffee & Vanilla | 29 August 2007 #
  • Hello Keiko,

    I’m so glad I bumped into your beautiful webiste. Would you be able to email me the recipe for that prettie charlotte? My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up in 20 days & I’d like to impress him. =D

    Thank you so much!!! Here’s my email —

    Posted by Priscilla | 4 September 2007 #
  • Hi there, thank you for all your notes and I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you.

    Tamami-san – your cakes always look beautiful and delicious, how about adding some cheese (ricotta, mascarpone etc) into the filling…?

    Priscilla – as I noted in the post, the recipe is from The Cook’s Book, it’s a great book and it’s worth buying if you are interested. Hope you had a lovely time on your boyfriend’s birthday!

    Posted by keiko | 21 January 2008 #
  • I discovered your blog today and I am spending my entire Sunday reading everything you have posted and already bought four of the cookbooks you like.

    You are amazing! I now feel like cooking all day. You have inspired me to change my favorite recipes and give them a new twist.

    Are you a Chef? I cannot seem to find your biography so far.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog, it has been a dream.


    Posted by Katy Renner | 6 July 2008 #
  • Hi Katy – thank you so much for your kind note, no I’m just a keen home cook :) Hope you’re enjoying trying new recipes from the cookbooks!

    Posted by keiko | 28 October 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko.

    I’ve stumbled on your site today and what a lovely refreshing surprise it was. I am a fine dinning chef in London and am always looking for new and exciting things to try. I admire your skill and love for food. Can’t wait to try out some of these recipes. Keep up the amazing work. And THANK YOU you’ve truely inspired me to do better.


    Posted by Squirrel | 27 August 2009 #

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