Dessert making with Opies

One of the brand stalls at the Blog On conference last month had some rather tasty looking treats. These treats were made using Opies jars. Opies are one of the oldest private family owned companies in the UK. They are well known for many family favourites such as their jars of pickle onions and cocktail cherries. Opies sell glass jars of meal accompaniments and ingredients.
I have been sent a big box of Opies goodies which I will certainly be making good use of with a few food type posts over the next few weeks.
The first two products I used are these! 

Cocktail cherries and the luxury Summer berry compote. 
The cherries are part of the Opies cocktail range and can of course be put on one of those little cocktail sticks which then gets added to a drink. But they are also great for cooking and baking with. 
At Blog On I got to try a cherry and almond cake which was delicious and I knew I just had to try to make it myself at home. This recipe can be viewed on the Opies website along with many others. The ingredients are basic, the usual things found in a cupboard (flour, eggs, sugar, butter etc) and a bag of chopped almonds plus almond essence which are both inexpensive. 

The cherries needed cutting in half and then everything mixed together just like a regular sponge cake. Izebella was so happy to be helping mummy make this. 

And then we baked it for 65 minutes until it was golden and ready for eating.

It’s a delicious cake to make. It tastes a lot like the cherry Bakewell tarts/cakes that can be shop bought and following the online recipe and ingredients gave us a pretty large cake to enjoy.

The cherries are quite chunky and juicy, even when sliced in half. I think next time we make this, we will try to cut the cherries a little smaller if we can. It is a really nice cake and makes the perfect afternoon tea.
The Summer berry compote is a blend of British berries together (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc). It looks like a rich jam but it is intensely sweet. This can be used for many things including adding to breakfast, yoghurt, on toast, pancakes, or in a fruit salad. It can even be used in cakes or for baking. I decided to use a little with my favourite dessert – meringue. 

Here I used shop bought meringue nests as I have no idea how to make my own. A pot of whipped cream (I whipped myself) and a drizzle of the compote. These went down extremely well with my children, so much so that they were asking me to go and buy some more. The compote adds that bit of sweet tangy flavour to break up the cream taste.
With the meringue, cream and compote I also made sundaes in sundae cups.

These were easy, using crushed meringue for the base, adding cream and the compote and slightly blending in. A perfect Summers dessert. 
Opies products are available in most good stores and supermarkets and I will be posting more Opies products and recipes in the next few weeks.

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