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CroquemboucheServes 6-8 (makes about 30)

Croquembouche

So light it almost floats, choux pastry is one of the simplest things to make – and one of the most versatile. This recipe guarantees perfect choux buns then transforms them into a golden croquembouche.

 
 
Michael's Mango FoolServes 1

Michael's Mango Fool

I happen to love the taste of fresh mangoes on their own (a combination of peaches and cream all in one fruit, I think). But as my husband rightly points out, you very often find the mango has ripened beyond the point where it can be decently served

 
 
Poached Pear in Caramel SauceServes 1

Poached Pear in Caramel Sauce

This makes just the right-sized, and most attractive, dessert for one. This idea also works very well with a poached peach in the summer. To poach a peach, follow the same method as for the pear...

 
 
Raspberry Shortcake CrumbleServes 1

Raspberry Shortcake Crumble

This is what I suppose I should call a 'master recipe' as it can be varied in endless ways. Raspberries are perhaps the nicest filling, but you could also use rhubarb, gooseberry or dried apricots and almonds. An alternative topping to the one I have

 
 
Chocolate Mocha MousseServes 1

Chocolate Mocha Mousse

I think if you're going to make a mousse for yourself then you deserve to get plenty of flavour from it – and this one certainly offers that!

 
 
Individual Bread-and-butter PuddingServes 1

Individual Bread-and-butter Pudding

The traditional recipe for this age-old favourite can be adapted for one person. With the quantities below it works best in a 4 inch (10 cm) diameter ramekin dish.

 
 
Mashed Potato with SageServes 2

Mashed Potato with Sage

Make the most of the 'old' potato season with this fluffy creamy mountain of lovely mash – flavoured with sage and a little spring onion it's brilliant.

 
 
Banoffee Cheesecake with Toffee Pecan SauceServes 6-8

Banoffee Cheesecake with Toffee Pecan Sauce

Find out how to stop the surface of a cheesecake cracking

 
 
Individual Crème CaramelServes 1

Individual Crème Caramel

This is a one-person portion (a man-sized portion almost!) that is made in a 4½ inch (11 cm) ramekin. It is possible, I've discovered, to cook it on top of the stove (see note at end of recipe), but I have to say I've come to the conclusion it's less

 
 
LinzertorteServes 6

Linzertorte

This is a famous Austrian torte named after the town of Linz. The rich pastry flan is made with ground hazelnuts. The fruity element usually is either redcurrant or raspberry but a while ago I tried using jellied cranberry sauce instead and liked the

 
 
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