Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love lemon drizzle cake it’s so effortlessly simple, and tastes fantastic. You start with a basic sponge recipe and then drizzle it in a deliciously tangy lemon syrup.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • Zest of 2 lemons

Icing:

  • Juice of 2 lemons (the ones you zested)
  • 150g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Grease a bread tin (about 24 x 10.4) & pre-heat your oven to 180C. I like to place of strips of baking parchment horizontally across the bread tin, these will act as handles for removing the cake once cooked.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs followed by the rest of the cake ingredients. You should be left with a nice smooth cake batter.
  3.  Pour the cake batter into your pan & bake for about 40 minutes.Lemon Drizzle Cake
  4. While you’re waiting, mix together your icing sugar & lemon juice until totally smooth and pop it to one side.
  5. After 40minutes check the cake by inserting a skewer (anything pointy and clean) into the middle, if it comes out clean it’s done. If not, give it a few minuets more.
  6. When it’s ready use your skewer to poke holes all over the cake, all the way down to the bottom. Wait a few minutes till cooled slightly and pour over your lemon glaze.Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe
  7. I made a little bit of plain icing to drizzle over the cake for effect. I did this using 100g icing sugar with a dribble of water.

Chocolate Fondant Meringues

After making lemon meringues on Saturday, I was inspired; I wanted to make a treat which was bite-sized and would go well with a nice cup of tea. As I bought too many eggs, I was swayed to make another, yet very different meringue recipe. This is what I came up with.

chocolatefondantmeringues

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams dark chocolate

Method: 

  1. First, set up a bain-marie, as we are making a swiss style meringue.  Then, preheat oven to 130c.
  2. In a metal bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over your pot of simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when the mix is too hot to touch.
  3. Take off the heat and whisk the mix until firm and it has doubled in volume. You will get the best results with an electric whisk.Meringue Mix
  4. Melt the chocolate (best with bain-marie) and fold into the meringue, leave it a bit uneven for a more marbled effect. Use two teaspoons to place small balls of the mix on a tray with baking paper. Bake for 35min.

little meringues

Your finished product should be crisp on the outside with a gooey liquid centre. Stuff entire meringue in your mouth and enjoy.

Chewy Lemon Meringues

Lemon meringues

Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • Tea spoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 3 table spoons of lemon curd (for recipe see my Lemon cupcakes)

Method:

  1. Turn oven to 130 degrees fan (150 regular).
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff with an electric mixer, if you have one it’s best to use a ballon whisk. Then, while the mixer is still going, gradually incorporate the sugar. Beat until glossy, thick and will form stiff peaks. Next, mix in the vanilla extract, and half the lemon zest. Fold in the lemon curd so you create swirls in the mixture.
  3. Put spoonfuls on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and sprinkle with a little zest, bake in an oven for 55 minutes.fluffy lemon meringues
  4. When their time’s up, switch the oven off and allow the meringues to cool down in there.
  5. I like to dust mine with a little Icing sugar and a bit more lemon zest. They taste fanatic with ice-cream or as an eton mess.

Strawberry Cupcakes

DSC_2458

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 340g Plain flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 170g Unsalted butter
  • 230g Caster sugar
  • 100ml Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 large strawberries 

For the Butter Cream:

  • 5 Large strawberries mushed or blended
  • 170g Butter
  • 240g Caster sugar
  • 3 Egg Whites

Recipe makes about 16 Cupcakes

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180c and line your cupcake pan with paper liners.

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. Next, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla extract. Next, mix in the flour mixture in tree parts, alternating with the milk, and beat until just combined; set aside.

4. In a clean bowl whisk the eggs whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. Then, gently incorporate the egg whites into the mixture.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cases, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 25minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

DSC_2437

6. Now for the butter cream. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

7. Remove from heat  and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

8. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat until all air bubbles are eliminated. Add the strawberry puree and beat until combined. Continue to stir  with a rubber spatula until  smooth. Keep the buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

9. Now to decorate. Spread or pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. I added some little sugar craft daisies that I found buying my cupcake cases. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

DSC_2268

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 360g plain flour
  • 370g golden caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300ml plain yogurt
  • 70ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 70g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g blueberries

For the crumble:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp of golden caster sugar
  • 4tbsp of plain flour

I made a lemon & yogurt spread/drizzle to accompany the muffins (not essential):

  • 4tbsps plain yogurt 
  • 110g softened unsalted butter
  • 200g  golden icing sugar
  • Zest 1/2 a lemon
  • Juice 1/2 a lemon
Method:
1.Preheat oven to 170c/325f, gas mark 3. Line a muffin tin with cases. This recipe makes about 16.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and combine.
3.  Next, in a separate bow, combine the milk, yogurt,  egg and vanilla extract. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour in the melted butter and beat until the butter is just incorporated, then beat until the batter is even and smooth.5. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries until evenly dispersed.6. Spoon the mixture into the cases until two-thirds full.
7. Now for the crumble topping. Bring all your ingredients together using a fork or your finger until you have fine crumbs. Then sprinkle over your mixture in the cases.
8. Now place your mixture the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. If you want to make the spread/drizzle. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the softened butter and mix. Then pour in the yogurt and the juice and zest of the lemon and mix again.

Et voilà

DSC_2250

Chocolate Malteser Cake

maltesercake

Unlike maltesers, this cake is not light. So any calorie counters replace all ingredients with air… or just get a life and dig in.

Ingredients:

I used a spherical tin but if you’ve got some great sculpting skills you could have a go at carving.

For the sponge (Nigella Recipe) 

  • 150 g soft brown sugar (muscavado sugar is best for flavour)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 15 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Horlicks powder
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing and decoration:

  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cocoa
  • 100 g Horlick’s
  • 250 g soft unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 500g of  Maltesers

Method:

Make sure to leave your ingredients out for a couple of hours to come to room temperature. Buttercream is near on impossible to make using butter strait from the fridge.

1. Preheat the oven to 160c and butter and line your cake tins. I used the technique shown bellow to make sure I could easily remove mine from the tins.

linedtins

2. Whisk together the sugars and eggs until light and frothy. Heat the milk, butter and Horlicks powder in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Beat the milk mixture into the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients thoroughly. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, by which time the cakes should have risen and will spring back when pressed gently. Let them cool on a rack for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out of their tins.

Maltesercakehalves

3. Once your cakes are cool, you’ll need to level them up so they fit together nicely. Then carefully using a bread kniffe divide the sponge into four layers. You can now get on with the icing. I use a processor just because it makes life easier: you don’t need to sieve the ingredients. You may want to divide the quantities for the icing into two batches as it makes a fair bit which probably will not all fit into your processor. So,  place the icing sugar, cocoa and Horlicks in the processor and blitz to remove all lumps. Then add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down, and start again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running until you have a smooth buttercream.

4. It’s now time for the assembly. On your base/plate or whatever you want to present your cake on, put a small amount of butter cream in the centre to secure the cake.  Get the bottom layer of your cake and place it onto the butter cream and, using a pallet knife (or a butter knife), spread on a 1/2 cm of butter cream.  Do the same with the rest of your layers until you’re left with a ball.

Maltesercakelayers

5. Now  cover your cake with 1/2cm of the remaining butter cream. To cover the undersides of the cake with your maltesers you may want to chop a few in half. Then you can just go for it and cover your cake in maltesers. Make sure to press them in firmly but be quick as you don’t want them to melt.

Maltesercakebuttercream

Fancy Rice Krispy Cakes

fancrisecrispies

I loved Rice Krispy cakes as a kid, but they do lack inspiration. These are a bit more fun and the fruitiness of the raisins and strawberries takes the edge off the sweet marshmallows.  Perfect for parties or summer picnics (If summer ever comes).

Ingredients: 

For this recipe you will need a  28x18cm baking tin or similar to press the mixture into.

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 200g Marshmallows
  • 125g Rice Krispies
  • 200g Chocolate raisins
  • 360g Milk Chocolate (I used Cadburys)
  • Strawberries for decorating

Method:

1. Start by lining your baking tin with some cling film this will make the squares easy to remove.

2. Next, place your butter and marshmallows in a sauce pan on a low heat. Don’t worry if they look a bit like this, they’re supposed to.

marshmallowmix

Leave until the mixture is smooth and runny, turn off the heat and then fold in your rice crispies making sure they’re all covered. Add the raisins into the mixture, then spoon into your lined tray making sure to flatten the mixture. Now leave in the baking tray to cool, have a nice cup of tea and eat any remaining chocolate raisins. flatternrice

3. Now its time to melt the chocolate. Break up your chocolate into small squares and place in a  bain-marie. Never let the water boil just leave it at a simmer. Once your chocolate is smooth and runny remove from the heat and spread over the top of your Rice Krispies.

5. The time the chocolate takes to cool will depend on the chocolate you use.  But anywhere between 10-40minutes. You can put the tray in the fridge but if its still warm it will lose its shine.

6. When the chocolate is set, cut into squares and garnish with half a strawberry.  Alternatively you could use cupcake cases instead of a baking tray for this recipe. I would recommend doing this if your having a party as these are very sticky.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

One of my favoriate cupcakes recipes to date. These are really moist and zesty. lemonmerignue

Ingredients: 

Recipe makes 6 cupcakes

For the cupcakes

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract (I like the one with seeds in)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the lemon curd

  • 180g golden caster sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the meringue topping 

  • 2 egg whites
  • 50ml water
  • 100g caster sugar


To decorate

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Edible glitter if you want a bit of sparkle

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. For the lemon curd, place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a large heat proof bowl. Add in the butter and eggs and whisk. Set the bowl over a pan of just simmering water, being careful the bowl does not touch the water. Continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened (takes about 10minuets maybe a bit longer) then remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken.  This recipe makes allot of lemon curd so you may want to have a jar on stand by to store some.
  3. For the cupcakes, cream the butter, sugar  and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, and beat until both are fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the flour and lemon zest.
  4. Place a couple of teaspoons of batter in the bottom of each cupcake case. I like to mould mine around the sides of the cases with a spoon to create a crater to put the lemon curd in (about a teaspoon). Then place about another teaspoon of cake mix onto the top of the filled crater.
  5. Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 18 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
  6. While your cakes are baking you can start on the meringue.  First make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water. You can do this over a pan of water or on a low heat in a pan.  While the sugars dissolving whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form and the mixture has doubled in volume. Gradually add the sugar syrup, continuing to whisk, be careful the syrup doesn’t touch the whisk directly. Keep whisking until the meringue mixture is thick and glossy and has cooled down.
  7. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe some meringue on the top of each cake. Using a blowtorch or your grill, toast until the topping is a nice light brown. To decorate zest over some lemon and if you want some glitter.

Melt in the mouth short bread

One of my most vivid memories from my school days was the short bread at break time.  Until I tried this recipe I had no idea how they did it. That warm comforting feeling when you bit into one, some how despite its crispness it just seemed to melt away in your mouth.  I adapted this recipe from one of Jamie olivers and it simply is the best I’ve tried.

Ingredients: 

  • 250g Unsalted butter (left a room temperature)
  • 125g Fine caster sugar or golden for a more caramel taste
  • 250g Self raising flour
  • 75g Semolina
  • 75g Corn Flour
  • 1 vanilla pod or a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • You can Jazz these up with chocolate chips or freeze dried strawberries

Method: Preheat oven 150 c. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whilst still mixing slowly sieve in the flour semolina and cornflour. Then add the vanilla and anything else you would like. The dough will be soft and don’t worry if its not to firm you wont be able to role it. Butter and line your baking tin (I use a 9-15inch). Press your dough firmly into your tin making sure its spread evenly. You don’t want your short bread falling apart.  Prick the dough with a fork I do it in even rows but it dosen’t really matter. Place in the oven for 50 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Do not try to remove the shortbread from the in until cooled as they will firm up.   Cut the shortbread into rectangles or squares and scatter with caster sugar.

Banoffee Cupcakes

banoffecupcake2

My boyfriends a big banoffee fan, and having seen him devour most of the batch I think they were a hit.  This recipe makes a particular moist sponge which isn’t claggy and the dulce de leche butter cream is very scrummy.  I would have liked to finish them off with some white chocolate coated banana chips but I couldn’t seem to find any short notice.

Make sure your banana’s are nice and ripe otherwise you won’t get a smooth texture to your sponge.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 150g Self raising flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g Golden caster sugar
  • 125g Butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 Free range eggs
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 60g of fudge cut into small chunks

Icing: 

  •   1 Tin of condensed milk
  • 150g Golden Icing Sugar
  • 75g Butter

Method:

1. For this recipe you need to make toffee/dulce de leche with the condensed milk which takes about 4 hours. So it might be best to make the evening before when you’ve got time to watch the stove. To make the toffee place the condensed milk in a small pan of water, making sure to take the label off the can. The water should come about 2/3 of the way up the can.  You will need to keep topping up the water over the 4 hours. Bring the pan to a simmer and leave for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. When finished leave to cool before opening.

2.Preheat the oven to 180°C 0r about gasmark 4. In a bowl whisk your eggs and sugar for about 8 minutes until light and fluffy. While stil whisking sieve in the baking powder and flour. Then the soft butter ( if its not soft, stick in the microwave for a few seconds). Whisk until smooth. Next mash the bananas and fold them into the mixture along with the fudge. In a cupcake tin place in your cases and fill 2/3 full with mixture. Smooth the top of the mixture and bake in the oven for about 15 minets until golden brown. I like to test the mixture with a tooth pick to ensure they’re cooked through. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

3. For the icing, beat the butter until soft and smooth, then add the icing sugar a little at a time until you get a smooth mix. Fold in a teaspoon of the dulce leche. Pipe on the icing and drizzle over the dulce de leche. I used a banana chip as a little garnish.