"I love making this dessert for children, who are sure to take utter delight in eating out of a flower pot. To add to the fun factor, you can also put little edible flowers on top, or place sugared flowers sticking out. You could even play a game by hiding the pots around the picnic area and get the children to hunt them out, rather like an Easter egg hunt, but with flower pots. The ultimate test: to distinguish between the real and the edible! You can also make them in glasses, if you prefer."
For the pot filling
- 225g digestive biscuits
- 120g unsalted butter
- 2x397g cans of dulce de leche
- 300ml double cream
- 3 ripe bananas, finely sliced
- 175g chocolate (preferably plain), grated
To decorate the pots
- A small handful of fresh mint sprigs
- Edible flowers (such as violets or nasturtiums)
Break the digestive biscuits into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. If you don’t have a processor, place them in a plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin – a therapeutic task!
Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan, taking off the heat as soon as it becomes liquid. Pour the crumbs into the saucepan and mix well with the melted butter. Put a small slice of banana in the bottom of each plant pot to cover the drain hole, then spoon the buttery crumb mixture evenly between the pots. Using the back of a dessertspoon, press the mixture down firmly, then pop them in the fridge for about an hour.
Meanwhile, whip the double cream until it thickens into soft pillowy peaks. Divide the tinned dulce de leche between the flower pots, stopping about 2cm below the top of each one. Over the caramel, layer a good helping of sliced banana and, lastly, spoon in a big dollop of whipped cream to fill the pots right to the top.
This is the fun bit which your child can help with: use a palette knife to scrape the top of the cream away so it is level with the rims of the pots, then cover the top of the pots liberally with grated chocolate, which resembles soil. Garnish the tops with sprigs of mint poked into the cream to look like leaves, and a sprinkling of edible flowers.
Recipes adapted from Perfect Day For A Picnic by Tori Finch (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99)
More perfect picnic ideas... Rainbow slaw, Cheese Straws, Good Old Sausage Rolls