Summer’s Better with Barker’s

Easy entertaining summer recipes and tips to keep your cool over summer!

These longer summer days create more moments to catch up with friends and family and the season calls for easy meals that can be shared by all, without too much fuss for the cook. We’ve got some tips and summer recipes for you to use to take some of the guesswork out of this busy season and make the most of the summer holiday period.

Did someone say ‘chocolate’?

For those chocolate lovers out there – and we know you’re there – here are a few ways to create easy summer treats for the family. Or even just you.

Summer breakfast waffles. Grab some store-bought waffles and warm them gently in the oven or toaster. Top with slices of strawberries or bananas. Add a dollop of cream or yoghurt – vanilla or coconut-flavoured yoghurt works well. Drizzle generously with our Choc Lovers Chocolate Sauce.

Easy dessert treat for the kids, or big kids. Serve scoops of vanilla ice cream into a bowl and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Offer finely chopped peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or hundreds and thousands to sprinkle over for extra crunch. Tip: Pre-scoop the ice cream, then freeze again until you need them to make serving lots of kids faster!
Summer's Better with Barker's Chocolate Dessert Sauce with ice cream

Need a quick chocolate treat just for you? Make up a bowl of fresh dark chocolate-loving fruit – choose from bananas, orange, pears, raspberries, strawberries or cherries – and toss to combine. Pour over chocolate sauce and enjoy.

Taking pavlova? If you’re on pavlova duty, here’s a delicious new twist – a chocolate pavlova using our Choc Lovers’ Chocolate Sauce. Our test kitchen gave this 11/10 and if you’re used to making pavlovas, it’s a cinch!

Fast food

If you need to feed the team fast, here are some summer recipe ideas to help you create something tasty in moments.

Faster than anything fruit dessert. Combine 1-2 cups of plain yoghurt and stir through 1-2 tablespoons of your choice of Barker’s Dessert Sauce, Lemon Curd or Passionfruit Curd. Taste and adjust if required. Combine your choice of seasonal berry fruit – strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries work well – chopping into bite-sized pieces where required. Serve in small bowls with the yoghurt sauce on the side. Tip: for an extra touch, dust the fruit with icing sugar just before serving.

Nachos anyone? Whip up some nachos with our Tomato Blackbean Meal Sauce. They’re perfect for sharing while watching sport or movies too!

Summer's Better with Beef Nachos with Barker's Tomato Blackbean Meal Sauce


Green fingers

Even if you don’t have the time or the space to grow your own veges, you can transform a summer dish from basic to brilliant in moments with the addition of fresh herbs, grown in a pot in your kitchen or on a balcony. The most versatile ones are basil, mint and parsley and are perfect for summer. Here’s some tips on ways to use these:

Basil – the quintessential summer herb – basil pairs well with Mediterranean flavours.

  • Sprinkle whole basil leaves over an Italian style pizza as it comes out of the oven

  • Chop basil leaves and stir through pasta with grated parmesan just before serving

  • Basil adds a sweet, aromatic touch to any salad, particularly if it includes tomatoes, but works well with strawberries in a salad too

Mint – while we’re familiar with mint matched with lamb in a classic mint sauce, it works well with Middle Eastern flavours.

  • Pimp your pesto. Stir through sliced mint into store-bought basil pesto to take it to a new level – basil and mint are a magical combination

  • Add a handful of washed mint leaves and slices of apple to a jug of iced cold sparkling water to create a refreshing summery drink

  • Use mint in a green smoothie to add some extra zing – just blend a cup of spinach, ½ an avocado, ¼ cup mint, 1 cup of your choice of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Italian (Flat leaf) Parsley – milder than its basil and mint friends, parsley is best used at the end of cooking or to finish a dish.

  • Add it to boiled new season baby potatoes with butter just before serving

  • Sprinkle chopped parsley over pasta dishes

  • Add fresh parsley to any sandwich or wrap for an extra flavour hit

Something special

Here are some ideas to whip up something when you need a summer dish that steals the show.

Make-ahead salmon. This spectacular salmon dish is easier than it looks because you can prep most of it ahead of time, and then cook the salmon when you’re ready. Our Barker’s Italian Style Dressing is used here as a multi-tasker to dial up the flavour in the salad as well as a dressing for the salmon in our Italian Baked Salmon.

Cheat’s Dessert. Buy store-bought meringues and break them up into chunks. Gently combine them in a large bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of Barker’s Lemon Curd and 2-3 cups of mascarpone or whipped cream. Serve in individual glasses topped with fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries or raspberries work well.

Wonderful waffles. If you love waffles but want something new to impress your brunch friends, here’s a twist on waffles with Barker’s Peach, Mango & Passionfruit Compote.

Summer's Better with Barker's Purple Kumara Waffles with Peach, Mango and Passionfruit Fruit Compote

Thirst quenchers

Summer in a glass. Create the perfect summer refreshment with Barker’s Blood Oranges with Lime & Bitters Syrup. Our Blood Orange & Basil Cocktail is versatile too – make it with gin for an adult-friendly cocktail or without gin for a refreshing summery drink for the kids.

Milkshake madness: Creating a cooling milkshake is easy with our Barker’s Dessert Sauce range. For each serving, put ½ cup milk and 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a blender. Add 1-2 tablespoons of your chosen dessert sauce flavour. Cover and whizz up for 10-15 seconds, then pour over ice into a large glass. If you want a thicker milkshake, add more ice cream – for a thinner one, add more milk.

Ice is nice. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll quickly overheat. Keep your hydration topped up by sneaking in extra water wherever you can. It’s easy to create simple iceblocks at home with seasonal fruit like blueberries and nectarines with our Fruity Lemonade Ice Blocks.

Cool coffee. It’s never too early for ice cream, so on a hot day, switch to an affogato dessert for a treat. Simply pour fresh, strongly brewed plunger or espresso coffee over scoops of ice cream. Decadent and delicious!