Ryan Finucane worked in Australia, Ireland, the UK, Bahrain and Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman before cooking up whimsical desserts as head pastry chef at Dubai’s Nikki Beach Spa and Resort.

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Serves 8

320g frozen sour cherries

680ml milk

220g white sugar

4g salt

6 eggs

80g all-purpose flour

2 vanilla pods

8 ramekins for baking and serving

1) Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature, the cherries are defrosted, all moulds have been buttered and sprinkled with sugar. 2) Portion out 40g of sour cherries to each ramekin. 3) Bring the milk, half the sugar, salt and vanilla to boil. 4) Whisk together the eggs, the remaining sugar and flour. 5) Pour the hot milk slowly onto the egg mixture. Strain using a fine sieve. 6) Place 150g of above mix onto the top of each portion of cherries. 7) Place ramekins on a tray with 5 -10 centimetre edge, then create a water bath by pouring water into the tray partway up the ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 163°C or until the clafoutis is set. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator.

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Serves 10


129g cold butter

65g brown sugar

160g cake flour

cheesecake base

267g cooked crumble

29g soft butter

32g white sugar


582g Philadelphia cream cheese

170g white sugar

123g sour cream

2.5 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

18g corn starch

115ml cream

zest from one lemon

1 vanilla pod


7 passion fruit for puree

6g powdered gelatin

20ml of cold water

30g sugar

30ml bottled water

18g passionfruit seeds

1 drop yellow food colouring

1) Add all crumble ingredients into a mixer and mix until a crumb forms. Bake at 160°C on a baking sheet until dry and a nice, golden brown. 2) Line a 22-cm cake ring with aluminium foil, creating a base. Put all cheesecake ingredients into a mixer and mix for one minute or butter is no longer visible. Spread out onto the cake ring, pressing it down gently into an even layer. 3) For the cheesecake, place the sugar, cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest into the mixer. Mix on the lowest speed, scraping as necessary. Add cornstarch; scrape. Add cream; scrape. Strain through a fine chinoise. 4) Bake at 95°C for 79-90 minutes, or until the top does not stick to fingers when touched gently. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place in the fridge until chilled. 5) To prepare glaze, soak the gelatin powder in ice water for 4 minutes to dissolve. 6) To make the passion fruit puree, blend passion fruits and strain in a fine sieve. 7) In a pot heat the sugar, water and passion fruit puree to 80°C until the sugar dissolves. Add the gelatin water. 7) Add the passion fruit seeds and food colour. Cool to room temperature. 8) Pour glaze onto cheesecake.

Passionfruit Pavlova

Serves 5


3.5 egg whites

150g caster sugar

5g corn flour

3ml white vinegar

0.5 vanilla pod

passion fruit curd

2 passion fruit for puree

half an egg

27g sugar

0.4g sosa agar powder

35g butter

marscapone cream

125g whipping cream

38g marscapone

7.5g icing sugar

1) To make pavlova, divide the sugar into four lots. 2) Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. 3) Add first lot of sugar and whisk for 5 minutes, repeating steps until all sugar is finished. 4) Whisk until stiff peaks, adding vanilla at the last minute. 5) Take off mixer and fold through vinegar and corn flour. Pipe 40-45g for each pavlovas onto a mat or tray. 6) Bake at 120°C until the outside is crispy and the centre is soft. 7) To make passion fruit curd, first make passion fruit puree by blending passion fruits and straining in a fine sieve. Stir puree and agar, while both are cold. Whisk together eggs and sugar. Put passion fruit puree and agar in a pot and bring to the boil. Pour onto egg mix and place back in the pot. Bring back to the boil for 15 seconds, then remove from heat. Pour onto on a small tray or into a small bowl and let harden and cool for at least 3 hours. Once set, whip in standup mixer until light and fluffy. 9) To assemble, cut a hole in the base of the pavlova with a ring cutter. Pipe whipped passion fruit curd into the hole created. Place pavlova on a plate. Pipe marscapone cream on top. Surround with fresh-cut fruit of your choice.

Peanut Butter Tart

Makes 5 tarts

Chocolate streusel base

40g butter (room temperature)

50g almond meal

50g dark brown sugar

6g cocoa powder

20g flour

13.3g butter (room temperature)

salted caramel milk chocolate ganache

30.5ml cream

15ml corn syrup

31.24g milk chocolate

5g cocoa butter

15g butter room temp

30.5g sugar

2 pinches of salt

pastry cream

152ml milk

2 egg yolks

30g sugar

15g corn starch

20g cubed cold butter

half a vanilla pod

peanut butter mousse

150g pastry cream (from above)

6g gelatin powder

30ml water

112g peanut butter

280ml whipped cream

1) To make the chocolate streusel base, mix all ingredients except for the second portion of butter together in a mixer bowl and mix. When a paste forms, take out and roll thin, placing the paste between two baking sheets. Bake at 170°C until dry, then cool at room temperature. Blend in food processor until a fine crumb. Mix the fine crumb with the second portion of butter. Divide into five portions, push each down into the 9-cm rings and set in the refrigerator. Once they are set, remove them from the rings and store in refrigerator. 2) To make salted caramel milk chocolate ganache, place cream and corn syrup in a pot and heat. 3) In another pot, heat just the sugar, stirring constantly until it turns into a dark caramel. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the caramel, whisking to emulsify. 4) Put chocolate and cocoa butter into a bowl. Take caramel mixture off the heat and pour onto chocolate and cocoa butter, then emulsify with a stick blender. Let cool. Blend in butter and salt. Pre-wrap the 6-cm rings with aluminium foil to give each one a base, then fill each one with ganache. 5) To make pastry cream for the peanut butter mousse, bring milk and vanilla to the boil. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar and whisk in the corn starch. Slowly pour the milk on top of the yolk and place back in the pot. Continually whisk while cooking the mixture out for 3 minutes. Let cool. Place custard mixture into food processor and add cubed butter slowly. Place in refrigerator until completely cold. 6) To make peanut butter mousse, dissolve gelatin powder in ice water, then place in a container in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. 7) Whisk together the pastry cream and the peanut butter until combined. Fold in the dissolved gelatin. Fold in the cream. 8) Pipe portions of peanut butter mousse into each of the 9-cm rings and smooth with a spatula.  9) Remove the ganache from its mould, place in the middle of the mousse, and press down slightly. Pipe some more peanut butter mousse on top, covering the ganache, and level out with a spatula. 10) Constructing the dessert from bottom side up, place each chocolate streusel base over each peanut butter mousse. 11) Flip over and let set, either in freezer or refrigerator. 12) Take out before serving and carefully remove the ring from each tart. Serve


Makes 12


560g pastry flour

I litre and 120 ml of water

170g butter

10g salt

2 eggs

cinnamon sugar

300g caster sugar

8g cinnamon powder

fudge sauce

170g good dark chocolate

70g butter

260ml water

230g white sugar

160g corn syrup

1) To make churros, weigh flour and sieve. Bring water, butter and salt to the boil. Reduce to medium heat and whisk in flour until a paste forms. Change to a spoon and continue stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. 2) Remove from heat and put straight into a mixing bowl, mixing for three minutes to cool. Add eggs, scrape down and mix until combined. 3) Take off machine and place in a piping bag with a multi-star nozzle. Pipe onto a tray in 12cm lengths and freeze. 3) After frozen, remove and fry in oil heated to bubbling ntil golden brown. 4) Dust immediately with cinnamon sugar. 5) To make fudge sauce, melt the chocolate and butter over bain marie (double boiler). Add the chocolate mix to all other ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Continue to boil on medium heat for four minutes. Remove from heat and serve with churros.