Scrummy showstoppers in just six minutes! As the nation bakes its way through lockdown, SARAH RAINEY's brilliant new book reveals how to rustle up mood boosters fast

Six minutes might not sound long, but it's just enough time to open up a world of delicious possibilities — if you know how. Or taking time out from the frustrations of working from home to make a decadent dessert to lift your spirits. In these not-so-ordinary times, perhaps it's not surprising that we are turning to baking for comfort — but that doesn't mean we want to spend hours on it. After my first book, Three Ingredient Baking, came out in 2018 and led to my Inspire column, many readers said the same thing: they wanted more 'ad break' bakes — the type of thing you can rustle up in the breaks of your favourite TV show. Sure, you can set a Ready Steady Cook-style challenge and race your friends, if that's what floats your boat. Read through to the end of the recipe — some of them require a bit of additional chilling or freezing — and follow the 'prep' steps to the letter, weighing your ingredients, maybe chopping or peeling, pre-heating where needed and making sure you've got the right utensils to hand. So dig your hands in, get your fingers sticky and your apron messy —and do it all with a smile on your face. START THE CLOCK: Arrange the blackberries in the base of your serving dishes (I use champagne saucers) and put them in the fridge to chill. Squeeze any excess water out of the gelatine leaves and add these to the gin mixture. START THE CLOCK: Put 110g of the chocolate in a Pyrex bowl and melt it in the microwave on high in 20-second bursts. Meanwhile, crush the digestives to crumbs by blitzing them in a food processor (or you can put them in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin). Mix the melted chocolate with the biscuit crumbs and transfer the mixture to a greased dish, using the back of a spoon to press it down firmly into the base and up against the sides. Spread the caramel sauce over the base and arrange banana slices on top. Whisk milk into the butterscotch powder for a minute or so until it thickens, and then spread this over the top of the banoffee mixture. PREP: Cut a circle of kitchen roll to around the same size as the rotating plate in your microwave. START THE CLOCK: Sieve icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the egg white. Place it on the circle of kitchen roll in the microwave and flatten it slightly to a diameter of no more than 8cm (it will spread). Tip the cream into a large bowl and whisk it by hand until it forms soft peaks (this shouldn’t take more than 1 minute). Whip in some cocoa powder instead of coconut, or top with sliced apricots and honey, or fresh mango, passion fruit and lime zest. Whisk the butter, icing sugar and Pimm’s together to make a light, fluffy buttercream. Once the cakes are cool, pipe mounds on top of each and finish with half a strawberry and a sprig of mint. Choca-mocha cake  PREP: Grease a 20cm-round, microwave-proof cake dish with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper. START THE CLOCK: Mix the cocoa powder and coffee together in a small bowl and add 100ml boiling water. Add the coffee mixture, followed by the milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract. Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, checking throughout. In a small bowl, add a splash of water to the teaspoon of instant coffee and mix to make a paste. Stir in the icing sugar, a little at a time, adding more water if you need to, until you have a smooth paste roughly the texture of thick cream. When the cake is baked, carefully tip it out on to a cooling rack and immediately spread the icing over the top (or drizzle). If you like, sprinkle chopped walnuts, pecans or coffee beans around the edge of the cake for a pretty finish — do this before the icing sets so they stick. You can serve it hot and gooey, as a stodgy pudding with ice cream, or wait until it cools and eat a slice with a cup of tea. If it is sticking, simply run a blunt knife around the inside edge to loosen it. PREP: Preheat oven to 250c/fan 230c/gas 9 and cover a baking sheet with tin foil. START THE CLOCK: Combine a tablespoon of icing sugar with the melted butter and brush over the tortillas. Whisk 90g melted chocolate into the mascarpone and sieve in the remainder of theicing sugar. Arrange on a platter and top with dollops of cheesecake mix and swirls of coulis. If you want to serve it later, keep the nachos in an airtight tin and everything else in the fridge, and assemble when you’re ready.