Almost every country on the planet has a variation of rice pudding, but this is the one I grew up on. We always added a spoonful of jam as an extra treat so the cherry compote is my nod to childhood tradition.
This mousse is a French classic -the bitter chocolate and booze make it quite grown up and the fact that it needs to be made a day ahead makes it a great no-fuss dinner party dessert.
Sometimes simple is best, and it really doesn't get any simpler than ripe peaches poached in a white wine syrup with creme fraiche and plump cherries.
I've taken this French classic in a slightly different direction with the flavours of black forest gateaux, one of my childhood favourites. There's very little that can go wrong and you can do all of the preparation ahead of time leaving you just to pop it in the oven when the guests arrive.
It might have caused the downfall of more masterchef wannabes than a fallen soufflé but there is something irresistible about an oozing molten chocolate fondant.
Pancake day is traditionally when people used up their luxuries, such as eggs and sugar, before they started their lent fast. Of course, it also coincides with the beginning of spring, so why not welcome the sun back into your life by adding some tropical flavours?
Posset is a traditional English dessert made by thickening cream with the citric acid of lemons or other citrus fruit. It makes a light and refreshing end to a meal and, with only a few minutes of actual cooking, is a great hassle free dessert.
Pain Perdu, or “lost bread”, refers to the practice of using up stale bread in times of austerity. You could do the same, but I would recommend pushing the boat out and using brioche or panetone instead.
A slice of lemon tart is a great way to finish a meal, whether you are in a cosy cafe or a fine dining restaurant. This is my version of the recipe served by Marco Pierre White at his famous restaurant, Harveys.
Legend has it that this French classic was invented by the Tatin sisters, who accidentally put an apple pie filling into a dish before adding the pastry.
Literally "cooked cream", this classic Italian dessert is the perfect foil for oven-roasted summer berries. Early recipes used fish bones to set the cream - but luckily you can now buy gelatine from the supermarket!
Mille-feuille, literally “a thousand leaves”, is a traditional dessert of layered puff pastry and crème patissiere. Use whatever fruits are in season for this simple introduction to French patisserie.
Similar to crème caramel, bunet alla Piedmontese is a chocolate and amaretti dessert originally served at noble banquets in the 13th century.
The secret to great brownies is easy - intense chocolate, a moist middle and a crunchy exterior. This recipe delivers all three and is perfect served with double cream or crème fraiche.
Traditional treacle tart can be a bit one-dimensional. I use ginger cake and ground almonds, instead of bread crumbs, and flakes of vanilla salt to bring out the toffee flavour.
Home-made jelly, amaretto soaked panetone, crushed amaretti biscuits, pistachios and freeze-dried fruit make this a proper dinner party dessert.