Annabel Karmel’s Summer Delights

Here Annabel Karmel shares a selection of tasty party meals to get you in the summer spirit, including delicious recipes for Jelly Boats, Crunchy Caramel Popcorn and an adorable Watermelon Pig! Perfect for food fun in the sun!


8 leaves leaf gelatine
300 ml cranberry and raspberry cordial
300 ml water
4 large oranges
Rice paper


Soak the gelatine in 250 ml of cold water for 5 minutes until soft. Measure the cordial and water into a saucepan. Gently warm until hand hot. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves, then add to the warm liquid. Stir until dissolved. Leave to become cold.

Cut the oranges in half using a sharp knife. Remove the inside flesh of the oranges and carefully scrape out the membrane taking care not to make a hole in the skin.

Using a small spoon, put the empty orange halves into a muffin tin to keep them steady. Pour the jelly into the cases. Refrigerate until set for about 6 hours or overnight.

Once the jelly is set, cut the oranges in half again to make quarters. Cut triangles out of the rice paper to make sails. Attach the sails to the boats using cocktail sticks.


Makes 4-6 portions
A cinema treat loved by everyone – serve in stripy bags or tubs for the full effect. If using microwave popcorn then try to buy the natural, unflavoured type.


Sunflower oil, for greasing
100g (3 1/2 oz) popping corn or 1 regular packet of microwave popcorn (natural)
55g (2oz) butter
100g (3 1/2 oz) soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 150c/300F/Gas 2/Fan 130. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with oil. Pop the corn according to the packet instructions. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Heat gently, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and remove the syrup from the heat,

Let the syrup cool slightly then drizzle over the popcorn. Toss the popcorn carefully to coat in the syrup – use 2 large wooden spoons or salad servers. Spread the popcorn out in the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully stir the popcorn and bake for a further 15 minutes, watching closely in the last 5 minutes as the sugar can brown very quickly towards the end of the cooking time.

Remove the popcorn from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and serve warm (check temperature before serving as the caramel coating can stay hot for a while) or leave to cool completely (it will crisp up as it cools).

Party planning – the popcorn can be made 1 day in advance and stored overnight in an airtight box. Make sure the corn is completely cold before covering, if it is warm then it will turn soggy. Also hide the box – it is so irresistible it may not last the night!


1 watermelon
1 cantaloupe melon
1 ogen or honeydew melon
Round black and white grapes

2 limes
2 glace cherries
4 raisins

This is a fun way to serve fruit for a party and its always greeted with squeals of delight..

First mark out with a pencil or pen the spiral tail of the pig on the watermelon. Cut around the spiral tail and then cut out a large round hole from the top of the melon. Remove the cut –out sections and from this cut a 5 cm (2 in) diameter circle for the snout of the pig and two triangles for the ears. Stick two melon seeds into the centre of the snout for the nostrils and set aside.

Using a melon ball scoop, scoop out watermelon balls until the shell is empty. Discard the seeds as you go. Scrape out any remaining melon and drain the shell of juice. Mop up any remaining juices inside the shell with absorbent kitchen paper.  Cut the other two melons in half, remove the seeds and scoop out balls of melon. Add to the watermelon balls in a large bowl.

To decorate the watermelon, halve the limes and attach with toothpicks for the pigs trotters. Attach the snout and ears with toothpicks. Slice the end off the cherries, push a raisin into the centre of each and attach with toothpicks to form the eyes. Drain any liquid from the melon balls. Fill the watermelon with the melon balls and grapes.

This is a fun way of serving bagels and you can make the snake as long as you like depending on how many bagels you use.  It’s really quick and easy to make and its great for a special tea party or a children’s birthday party. 
2 bagels
Tuna Salad Topping
1x 200g  can of tuna in  oil (drained)
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt
2 spring onions,  finely sliced
Egg salad
2 to 3 hard boiled eggs (10 minutes)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
3 tbsp salad cress
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 stuffed olive, sliced
a strip of sweet pepper
Slice the bagels in half and then cut each half down the centre to form a semi circle.  Cut out the head of the snake from one of the pieces of bagel and the tail from another.  Mix the ingredients for the tuna salad topping and mix the ingredients for the egg salad topping. Spread half the bagels with tuna and half with egg.
Decorate the tuna topping with halved cherry tomatoes and the egg topping with strips of chives arranged in a criss cross pattern. Arrange the bagels to form the body of a snake.  Then attach the head to the snake’s body and arrange two slices of stuffed olive to form the eyes and cut out a forked tongue from the strip of sweet pepper. 


For the Train
10 mini  Cadbury’s mini chocolate Swiss Rolls
1 tub ready to spread buttercream (150g)
3 large Battenberg cakes
1 French Fancy (Mr Kipling)
1 mini Battenberg cakes
1 mini meringue
1 licorice Catherine whell
8 Oreo cookies
1 iced chocolate doughnut
2 wafer shells  (I used 1 Oyster Delight which I split in half and I removed the marshmallow centre – made by Carousel – 6 oysters in a box)
2 Gingerbread Penguins  (see page 00) we have the recipe in Easter episode
Black Writing Icing for the eye
Licorice Allsorts
3 large chocolate buttons
Iced or chocolate  Gems
Mini chocolate candy coated eggs
Chocolate shells

For the Grass

2 x 250g bags dessicated coconut
Green food colouring
Cake board approx 70 x 40 cm
5 tbsp Strawberry jam

Rice paper flowers or sugar flowers

For the Track

Wafer curls for the tracks
20 Boudoir (sponge)  biscuits for the sleepers

To make the grass, pour the coconut into a large freezer bag preferably with a zip lock and mix with a little of the green food colouring and a few drops of water. Using your hands on the outside of the bag, move the coconut around so that it mixes with the food colouring and turns green. Warm the  strawberry jam and brush it over the surface of the cake board. Sprinkle over the green coconut and press down
onto the board so that it is completely covered.

Lay out the track using the wafer curls in parallel lines and place the
Boudoir (sponge) biscuits across the tracks to form the sleepers.

Cut about a third off the end of  one of the large Battenberg Cakes and cut the remaining length in half to form the carriages.  

Spread a little buttercream over the top of one end of the whole  Battenberg
cake and stick on the cut third   to form the cab. Finish with an iced French Fancy on top. 

 Place a mini Battenberg cake upright at the front of the engine  (secure  all the decorations using a little buttercream  as ‘glue’) then position a mini meringue on top Arrange 4 mini Swiss Rolls on top of the track and spread with some of the buttercream. Carefully position the whole Battenburg cake on top.

 Again using a little dab of buttercream place the licorice Catherine wheel and Licorice Allsorts at the front of the train.  Arrange the  Oreo Cookies along either side for the wheels.

Place two  mini Swiss rolls on the track behind the engine, cover with a
little buttercream and position one of the cut lengths of Battenberg
cake on top . Place half an Oyster wafer on top of
the cake and fill with mini candy coated Easter eggs.

Place two more mini Swiss Rolls on the track behind the first carriage, and place  a chocolate iced doughnut on top. Stand a Gingerbread Penguin on the doughnut – you can attach an iced chocolate gem on top of the penguin using a blob of buttercream for a hat. Stick Licorice Allsorts onto the ends of the two Swiss rolls for the wheels.

Place another two mini Swiss Rolls behind, with the remaining cut length of Battenberg cake on top. On top of this, put an oyster wafer filled with chocolate shells

Decorate the train with Iced Gems,  Licorice Allsorts, halved Oreo Cookies and two Giant chocolate buttons.Attach these using some buttercream..

Stand a Gingerbread Penguin on the engine. Finally arrange a few edible flowers on the cake board.