Lemon Posset

This elegant English dessert requires only three ingredients to make. Garnish each posset with fresh berries and serve with crumbly shortbread biscuits. 

Lemon posset is a popular dessert on many restaurant and pub menus and if I spot lemon posset on a menu I will always pick it over anything else without a second thought!

For something so simple, this stunning dessert wows with its beautiful citrus flavour and luxuriously smooth texture. Possets are no-bake and can be prepared several hours ahead of time.

Today I’m checking back in with this divine lemon posset recipe. This traditional English dessert is a magical concoction of cream, lemons and sugar. Acidity from the lemon is what sets this dessert, without the need for any gelatine. That means this dessert is gluten-free (as long as you serve it with a gluten-free biscuit) and vegetarian.

You might have noticed my absence from the blog. Over the last few months I haven’t strayed too far from my blog though, I’ve taken this time away as an opportunity to update some of my older recipes with new photographs like these Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, also these Chocolate Fudge Brownies, these Jammy Dodgers and most recently these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes.

I thought about which other recipe in my repertoire I wanted to update and I eventually decided after much deliberation that I would make my favourite lemon posset.

This recipe was originally shared in April 2015. 

Lemon posset will take you about ten minutes to prepare and be ready to set in the fridge. The hardest part really is waiting for it to set, but it’s certainly going to be worth the wait! This recipe also doesn’t need any specialist equipment, all you’ll need is a lemon juicer and zester/grater for zesting the lemons, a large saucepan and a spoon for stirring. You can serve your posset in any dish you like. I have used vintage tea cups, glasses and small ramekins, but it’s up to you what you serve them in. Aways remember be creative and put your own twist on anything you make and most importantly, have fun!

Once you’re ready to serve, decorate the tops by garnishing with fresh berries (I love blueberries and raspberries) and serve with homemade shortbread biscuits. Feel free to swap the shortbread for another biscuit of your choice, I think gingernuts would also pair fantastically with this dessert.

These creamy lemon pots will be perfect to welcome the arrival of spring next week, or dessert for Easter Sunday lunch and upcoming St. George’s Day in April, but they’re wonderful for all occasions.

(Makes 6)

Ingredients:

Lemon Posset:

600ml double cream

Zest and juice of 3 lemons

150g caster sugar

Shortbread:

125g unsalted butter, softened

55g caster sugar

180g plain flour

Method:

1. To make the lemon posset: Place the double cream, lemon zest and sugar in a large saucepan and on a medium heat gently bring the mixture up to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes take the pan off the heat and stir through the lemon juice. Now sieve the creamy mixture into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins or small serving dishes/glasses and cover. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if you want to make these in advance. Serve the lemon posset chilled.

3. To make the shortbread biscuits: Preheat your oven to 190°C / 170 Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour and mix into a soft dough. Now roll the dough out to approx. 1cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a biscuit/cookie cutter of your choice, cut the dough into rounds or a shape of your choice. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with extra caster sugar and then spread the biscuits out evenly on two large baking trays that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Chill the biscuits in the fridge for 20 minutes.

3. Once chilled, bake the shortbread for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Watch the biscuits closely nearing the end of the baking time as they can colour quickly. Allow the biscuits to cool on the trays for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Recipe Notes:

  • Refer to this page for conversions.
  • Be careful when boiling the posset mixture, make sure you’re using a large enough saucepan as this mixture could erupt and  boil over if you take your eye off it.
  • I recommend transferring the posset mixture into a jug when pouring into the serving dishes, this makes sure they’re really clean and neat. Allow the posset to cool a little at room temperature before chilling in the fridge – I left mine for about half an hour before refrigerating.
  • This shortbread recipe yields approx. 20 biscuits, but this will depend on the size of your biscuit/cookie cutter. If you make smaller biscuits, baking time will be a few minutes less. The baked shortbread biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up 5 days and the lemon posset will keep for 3 days stored in the fridge.

Lemon posset recipe from The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook, shortbread recipe from BBC Food

Enjoy!

jess

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Master homemade chocolate chip cookies with this simple recipe. You’ll love the crisp outside and chewy centre! 

Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie can be a difficult task for many bakers to master. But don’t fret, I have this easy chocolate chip cookie recipe ready to share with you just in time for the start of the festive season. Everyone has their idea of the perfect cookie, but if you’re a fan of crispy, yet soft and chewy textured cookies, then you’ve come to the right place.

You can never have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes in your life. I’ve already shared a basic CCC recipe with you and I wanted to share this new recipe I recently discovered and ended up thoroughly enjoying because of its ease and amazing taste.

As soon as these cookies leave the oven you’ll be reaching for one almost straight away! There is nothing more tempting than the aroma of a freshly baked cookie!

But hold on, before you go ahead and devour the cookies, for a pretty presentation that’s easy on the eyes as soon as the cookies have finished baking and are out of the oven I like to press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops. The reason for this is sometimes when you’re rolling the cookie dough you can’t choose how the chocolate chips are dispersed, so to guarantee every cookie has a generous helping of chocolate I decorate the top of each cookie with even more chocolate chips.

I also thought I’d share some of my tips for freezing and making the cookie dough in advance. Rolled cookie dough freezes well in a sealed sandwich/ziplock bag for up to 3 months. The perks of having cookie dough in the freezer is you can bake how ever many cookies you want ready for unexpected guests or for when a craving for cookies strikes! When you’re ready to bake the frozen cookies just take how ever many you want out, then once your oven has heated up all you’ll need to do is to bake the cookies for a couple of extra minutes more than the recipe states.

Lastly, if you have ever had any problems occur when baking cookies, below I’ve rounded up some of my top tips, which I hope you’ll find helpful.

Tips For Baking Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • Always use room temperature butter. I use room temperature butter in most recipes, having the butter nice and soft will make creaming it easier. I tend to leave my butter out at room temperature for one hour before using, however, in the summer months when it gets really hot it doesn’t take that long to soften up! To test your butter is soft enough and ready to bake with, it should still be cool to the touch, but when pressed using little pressure your finger will leave an indentation. Please don’t be tempted to microwave butter to soften it!
  • Use two different types of chocolate. I love all kinds of chocolate, so I like to use a mix of dark and milk chocolate in my cookies. You’ll love the rich, slightly bitter flavour of the dark chocolate in contrast to the creamy, sweet milk chocolate.
  • I’ve found since testing out several cookie recipes that chilling the cookie dough for a length of time isn’t always necessary. I don’t personally believe it changes the flavour too much, only the texture very slightly. Chilling will produce a slighter thicker cookie, but not much more than that. I like that this recipe only requires an optional 15 minutes chilling time, which is great over the busy holiday period! I’ve baked many cookie recipes which have suggested the dough should be chilled for a minimum of 24 hours, however, there’s never been any instruction on what you do when you need to roll the dough ready for baking, as after overnight chilling it’s usually rock hard and impossible to roll.
  • Try shaping the cookies by hand. I used to use an ice cream scoop, however, I now prefer to individually divide and then roll the dough into balls, shaping between my palms to get a nice round shape.
  • You’ll be able to tell the cookies are ready as they’ll brown slightly around the edges. Cookies often appear uncooked, however under baking is the secret to a soft centre.

(Makes 24)

Ingredients:

150g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

80g light brown sugar

80g caster sugar

1 large free-range egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

225g plain flour

Pinch of salt (add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200g chocolate chips (I use a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips and chunks), plus extra for decoration

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated.
  3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together over the top of the mixture and gently fold in until a few specks of flour remains.
  4. Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
  5. Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes (this is an optional step).
  6. Divide the cookie dough into 24 equally sized pieces, roll into balls between your palms. Evenly spread on two to three large baking trays lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (leave a gap between each cookie to allow for spreading).
  7. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until they’ve turned a light golden colour. When the cookies come out the oven they will appear under baked, however, as they cool they will firm up.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes. As the cookies cool you can press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops if desired, then gently transport the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. The cookies will store in an airtight container for up to one week, but they’re best eaten on the day of baking or the day after.

Recipe from Bake Play Smile

Get your apron and mixing bowl at the ready, it’s now your turn to bake these divine chocolate chip cookies!

Enjoy!

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Almond Cranberry White Chocolate Granola

Crunchy granola with flaked almonds, dried cranberries and creamy white chocolate chips. A sweet breakfast or snack to pack up and take to work with you.

I’m constantly on the search for new granola recipes. Granola is something I often bake, not just for my blog, but I will try to make it almost weekly if I get the chance.

Lately I’ve been going back to older granola recipes I have shared on previous occasions and I’ve been updating a few of those recipes. I based this new granola on my favourite vanilla almond granola, which I add a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract. I’m fully aware that all of our taste buds are completely different from one another, so feel totally free to adjust the amount of vanilla in this recipe to your own taste.

My latest granola marries flaked/slivered almonds with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Another addition I like to add to my granola is ground cinnamon, I absolutely can’t get enough of the warming spice flavour especially during autumn or wintertime. Again, if you don’t enjoy spices you can omit the cinnamon and if you’re not a fan of dried cranberries you can swap those for a different dried fruit instead, you could also choose to leave them out entirely or add even more chocolate chips.

So you’re wondering, how is this granola made? It couldn’t be simpler, grab yourself a large mixing bowl and give the oats, almonds and ground cinnamon a good mix together. In a small saucepan, gently heat together honey or maple syrup with oil and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Transport the granola mixture to a large lined baking sheet/tray and leave your oven to do the rest of the hard work.

After allowing the granola to cool, the last step is adding the dried fruit and the chocolate chips. It’s important to remember to add the chocolate chips after the granola has finished baking and has cooled otherwise the chocolate will melt!

This granola is fantastic as it requires minimal effort and the result is divine, toasty deliciousness. I’m not sure why I ever bought pre-made granola in the first place as it’s pumped full of odd ingredients (most of which I can’t even pronounce), has more fat and sugar added than needed and doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as homemade does.

I love keeping a jar of this on the kitchen countertop, sprinkle your homemade granola on ice cream or Greek yoghurt and top with fruit or simply just serve it with milk of your choice. If you’re on the lookout for some edible Christmas gifts then I think this granola will make a tasty present for someone special at Christmas, pop the freshly baked granola into jars and tie with ribbon for a sweet gift.

Ingredients:

200g (2 cups) old-fashioned/rolled oats

100g (1 cup) flaked or slivered almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

75ml (5 tablespoons) honey or maple syrup

75ml (5 tablespoons) vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

80g (2/3 cup) dried cranberries

100g (1/2 cup) white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C / 130 Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2.
  2. Weigh the oats out into a large mixing bowl along with the almonds and mix together with the cinnamon (if using).
  3. In a small saucepan, gently heat together the honey/maple syrup, oil and vanilla until warmed. Don’t boil this mixture.
  4. Stir together the honey/maple syrup mixture with the oats until moistened. Spread the granola out evenly on a large lined baking sheet/tray and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give it a stir and return the granola to the oven for a further 15 minutes. After the second lot of 15 minutes is up, again remove the granola from the oven and give it a stir. Pop the granola back in the oven for another 15 minutes more to finish baking. (Granola will have baked for a total of 45 minutes before it’s ready.)
  5. Once the granola has finished baking, take it from the oven and leave it to cool. As it cools, it will get crisp, once cooled completely stir through the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. This granola will store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use old-fashioned/rolled oats to make this granola, unfortunately porridge oats will not work as the consistency is too powdery.
  • This time I used vegetable oil to make the granola, however, I sometimes make this granola with rapeseed oil, but coconut oil can also be used in this recipe. Honey could be substituted with maple syrup.
  • If you prefer, you can swap the cranberries for more almonds or chocolate chips. The white chocolate chips could be switched for dark or milk chocolate chips instead.
  • The baked granola will store in an airtight container or a jar for up to a fortnight (2 weeks).

Enjoy!

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Naturally coloured and flavoured strawberry buttercream made with freeze-dried strawberries. Your summer isn’t complete without a taste of these cupcakes! 

Recipe originally shared July 2015, updated June 2017. 

Fruit based buttercream is a summer favourite of mine and the yummy addition of freeze-dried strawberries creates the beautiful pink colour in this buttercream recipe I’m sharing with you. I’m personally not really into unnaturally coloured foods so often when I want to make a buttercream that’s coloured, I’d rather look for alternative ways of naturally colouring mine.

This recipe is based on a classic buttercream recipe except freeze-dried strawberries are ground to fine powder in a food processor and then the strawberry powder is incorporated into the buttercream. Incorporating freeze-dried strawberries into buttercream adds amazing natural strawberry flavour and it also tints the buttercream a faint pink colour.

To allow this strawberry buttercream to be the star of show I sat it atop a basic vanilla cupcake. Strawberry and vanilla happen to be my two favourite flavours, so combing the two had to happen sometime! My vanilla cupcake recipe is easy to make as it doesn’t require any out of the ordinary ingredients such as buttermilk or yoghurt, which are ingredients you might not happen to have in your kitchen. This vanilla cupcake recipe however uses your everyday baking store cupboard essentials such as butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour.

You might be wondering about why I choose to use freeze-dried opposed to fresh strawberries? Fresh fruit is great to use in some buttercream recipes, but strawberries in particular have a high water content so using fresh could produce a runny buttercream that’s impossible to pipe. The fruit and moisture levels are more concentrated in freeze-dried fruit compared to fresh, so when following this recipe you won’t have to be concerned that your buttercream will curdle or won’t be able to be piped.

What better way to celebrate summer and the strawberry season than with these cupcakes! They’ll be a hit at summer picnics, parties or barbecues or even served as part of an al fresco afternoon tea.

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes:

150g (2/3 cup) butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar

3 medium or large free range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g (1 and 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted – you can sub with 150g plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

Strawberry Buttercream: 

170g (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature

12g (1 cup) freeze-dried strawberries

2 tablespoons double cream (heavy cream), chilled

230g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C Fan / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. To make the cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one along with the vanilla and mix to combine. Using a spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Be gentle and try to not over mix the batter.
  3.  Now evenly distribute the cupcake batter among the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes until the cupcakes are a light golden colour and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove from the tin and transport the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on a medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and using a spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, continue to mix the butter for a further 3 minutes until it’s creamy and pale. In a food processor pulverise the freeze-dried strawberries until finely ground (wait for a moment to allow the air in the powder to settle). Add the strawberry powder to the creamed butter and stir through until combined. Now add the cream along with the icing sugar and again mix until incorporated. Whip the buttercream on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, then stop the mixer and scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
  5. Fit a large disposable piping bag with a piping tip. Fill the piping bag with the buttercream and decorate the cupcakes as desired.

Recipe Notes:

  • Butter will need to be at room temperature for both the cupcake and buttercream recipes. Take butter out from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour. You’ll know your butter is ready to start baking with if when you press your finger gently into the butter it leaves an indentation. Either salted or unsalted butter can be used, typically I always use unsalted, but this time I used salted and it worked just as well.
  • Please note humidity can affect the outcome of your buttercream. The best way of avoiding your buttercream curdling is making sure your butter isn’t too soft (follow my tip above when softening butter).
  • Freeze-dried fruit can usually be located down the baking aisle of most supermarkets or sometimes, they can also be found in some specialist bakeware shops, but if you’ve had no luck looking in store you can order over the internet.
  • If you don’t own a food processor you can crush the freeze-dried strawberries in a resealable bag using a rolling pin until they’ve reached a fine powdery consistency.
  • Cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If it’s humid where you live I’d recommend storing these cupcakes in the fridge and when ready to serve take the number of desired cupcakes out and allow them to sit a room temperature for a few minutes.

Enjoy!

jess

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Homemade Lemon Curd

Four ingredients and just half an hour of your time is all that’s required to make this creamy and tangy homemade lemon curd. 

Making my own curd and jam has been on my list for a long time. A few summers back I got my very own private jam-making session with my grandma, we spent the day preparing homemade plum jam and I came home with a several jars of jam to enjoy. As a food blogger a few of the recipes I test unfortunately don’t make it onto my blog. Some recipes are just a plain fail, whereas with some of the recipes I will write down and change things to do better the next time round.

Lemon curd is something I failed at miserably when I made it for the first time a couple of years ago. It was so terrible that it put me off making lemon curd until now. I used a recipe from another source and it never thickened. After standing for over an hour stirring the pot I was left with a bowl of runny lemon slop, not the creamy and thick lemon curd I’d hoped to make.

I learnt from the mistakes I have previously made when making lemon curd and now I am happy to finally have found a lemon curd recipe that works and produces beautifully tangy curd that you could eat by the spoonful.

This is recipe is one my mum handed down to me, my grandma gave my mum a cookbook and this lemon curd was from that book. The cookbook I got this recipe from is called “The Dairy Book of Home Cookery”. My mum has had this cookbook for nearly thirty years and it she’s told me this is the first cookbook she ever owned. It’s the kind of book you go to for reliable recipes that actually work and come out well.

Once opened this lemon curd with last for only about two weeks and that’s good because the recipe only fills one large jar – about 550ml worth of curd in total. It’s so addictive that you’re probably going to want to keep the entire jar just to yourself and not tell a single other person about it!

Lemon curd is fantastic served as it is, you can drizzle it over cheesecake, swap the classic raspberry/strawberry jam filling in a Victoria sponge and spread a generous layer of lemon curd instead and you could even dollop it on top of a toasted crumpet, English muffin or a stack of pancakes.

Before I forget to mention it’s also absolutely divine swirled through plain yoghurt and topped with fresh fruit. One of my go-to desserts, but truth be told all I need is a jar of this lemon curd and a spoon!

(Yields enough to fill 1 large jar – approx. 550ml)

Ingredients:

100g (4 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

225g (8 ounces) caster or granulated sugar

3 free-range eggs plus 1 yolk, beaten

Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie/double boiler). Make sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs and egg yolk and lemon zest and juice.
  3. Cook gently without boiling until the curd thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to overheat the mixture otherwise it may curdle and separate. This recipe takes about 30 minutes to reach the correct consistency.
  4. Sieve the curd if you want and then pour the curd into sterilised jars that are still warm and cover as you would do for jam. Leave the curd to cool completely before placing in the fridge – as it cools it will thicken even more.
  5. Store the curd in a cool place, I usually leave mine in the fridge. The curd will store for up to 2 weeks.

This lemon curd is also delicious sandwiched between two biscuits to make homemade jammy dodgers!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Loaf Cake

Welcome spring with this zesty lemon loaf cake that’s similar to pound cake with its buttery taste and texture. This classy cake will make you want to skip dinner and go straight to dessert! 

I love cake and I love knowing even more that there’s a cake for every holiday or season. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate and mint, Christmas is all about candy canes and peppermint everything or gingerbread, whereas in spring and summer we celebrate all the gorgeous fresh berries and fruit that are bountiful.

This year I decided to prepare in advance for Easter and planned to bake a simple lemon cake to welcome the first day of spring in a few days time. This cake is fresh, zingy and will transport your taste buds straight into the new season. You may have figured out my love for anything lemon from my previous recipe for lemon herb rice? Since I shared a savoury recipe showcasing lemon it was now time for something sweet.

Back last summer I shared a buttermilk lemon cake that was slightly different from the one I’m sharing today because that recipe had buttermilk added the batter to keep it moist and the cake was drizzled with a simple lemon sugar icing. This time I thought it would be a nice change to bake the cake in a loaf tin as you traditionally do when you’re making pound cake. This cake is made in the same way but instead of a lemon sugar icing it just has a lemon glaze soaked into the cake whilst it’s still warm and fresh from the oven.

Another thing I kept the same as I did when I made my lemon buttermilk cake is that I made my own homemade lemon sugar. Using your fingertips you’ll rub the sugar and zest together until fragrant. Doing this enables the natural oils in the lemon to be released and your cake will have a stronger and more intense lemon flavour. This is a step I will always go to the extra effort to do as you can definitely taste the difference.

My family love serving this beautiful cake with Greek yoghurt and fresh raspberries. Eating cake with yoghurt takes my sister and I back to our childhood as this is something we would always do with leftover birthday cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast is the absolute best!

If you prefer you can serve the cake with ice cream, pouring or whipped cream instead and top with berries or fruit of your choice. You could also try warming a slice of cake in the microwave, when it’s warm it gets all extra buttery and gooey.

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake:

230g (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

250g (1 and 1/4 cups) caster or granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest – approx. 4 lemons

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

210g (1 and 1/2 cups) plain/all-purpose or cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze: 

100g (1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar

60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. Toss the sugar and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips rub the sugar and zest together for a minute or two until the sugar smells fragrant. Add the softened butter and beat until creamy and smooth.
  2. Next add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between each addition. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix through. Don’t be concerned at this point if the mixture looks curdled and like it’s going wrong, once you add the dry ingredients it’ll resemble more of a cake batter.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) on top of the wet mixture and then gently fold through until you have a smooth batter. Be careful not to mix the batter too much.
  4. Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Now reduce the oven temperature to 170°C / 150 Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Carry on baking the cake for a further 35-45 minutes (turning around halfway through) or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out completely clean without any uncooked batter remaining. After a total of 60 minutes baking mine took a further 15 minutes to finishing fully baking so my cake was in the oven for a total of 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes – much longer than the original recipe suggested).
  5. Once the cake is completely baked through remove it from the oven and set the tin over a wire rack. Meanwhile make the lemon glaze by combining the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture up to the boil and then once it’s boiling turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for about 2-3 minutes until thick and syrupy.
  6. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes then remove it from the tin. Using a toothpick poke holes all over the top and sides of the cake and brush the lemon glaze over all the cake. Leave the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. The cake will store at room temperature wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days – it may last for longer but in my house cake only seems to last more than a few days!

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Lately I’ve been absolutely loving my new kitchenware from Leila’s General Store. I love this denim apron with its cute pineapple design and I’m also enjoying baking using my silicone spatula. If you like the look of these items you can get a 20% discount using the code “whatjessicabaked” (excluding electronics and gift cards). This discount code is valid until 23rd of April on leilasgeneralstore.com!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Herb Rice

This one-pot rice pilaf is bursting with Mediterranean flavours! Baked and then garnished with herbs and lemon just before serving – you’ll want to eat this tasty rice straight from the pot!

lemon-herb-rice.png

I love that in food there are memories. Tasting a certain food can transport you back and allow you to reminisce about somewhere you travelled to or a time you really enjoyed and have fond memories of.

That’s exactly what this recipe does for me.

I first had a taste of rice very similar to this a number of years ago on holiday on one of my first visits to the glorious Mediterranean island of Cyprus. My family and I would visit this one restaurant a couple of times during our trip, the restaurant specialised in souvlaki which consists of various meats and vegetables grilled on a barbecue. Each diner received a massive plate that included a jacket potato, souvlaki meat of your choice such as beef, chicken or pork, a corn on the cob and a small portion of rice. The rice wasn’t just boring plain boiled rice it was incredibly buttery and rich in sensational flavours.

Greek is one of the many cuisines I really enjoy. A few of my personal Greek food favourites include spanakopita, tzatziki and tiropitakia – we used to buy these from bakeries on the way to the beach and would sit eating these amazing cheesy pastries whilst feeling the gentle sea breeze and sun on us. Just thinking of that I’d desperately like to be transported back there right now!

Wave goodbye to the winter blues by making this rice, it’s sure to bring a touch sunshine to your day!

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

30g/2 tablespoons butter

Drizzle of olive oil

1 medium white onion, diced

2-3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

1-2 dried or fresh bay leaves, torn – tearing the leaves releases the flavour

450g (2 cups) long grain rice

900ml (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

Zest from half a large lemon and a squeeze of the juice

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Few sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary, finely chopped

Small handful of fresh parsley (approx. 2-3 tablespoons), finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Fan / 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. In a large ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat melt one tablespoon of the butter and the oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and a touch of salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and translucent – you don’t want this to colour too much.
  3. Now add the rice and stir until all the grains of rice are moistened by the butter. Then add the stock, cover the saucepan with a lid and allow it to come up to the boil.
  4. Once boiling take off the heat and place in the oven to braise for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is completely cooked through.
  5. Add the chopped herbs, lemon zest and a generous squeeze of the juice and season with extra salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Leave the rice with the lid on and allow the flavours to develop for about 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish the rice with extra chopped parsley if desired.
  7. Rice is best served straight away or at room temperature. Don’t reheat rice more than once. If you’re reheating it check temperature has reached at least 75°C before consuming.

Recipe Notes:

  • If your saucepan lid is not ovenproof then you can cook this rice in a dish covered with tin/aluminium foil.
  • If you’re planning to make this rice dairy-free you can substitute the butter for a dairy-free alternative or just use oil.
  • I’ve tested this recipe out a few times and I’ve found adding the zest from half a large lemon adds more than enough lemon flavour without being overpowering. If you want you can add the zest of the whole lemon if you’re a lemon lover!
  • This rice doesn’t have to the braised in the oven you can cook it by boiling it the stove top instead if you’d prefer to do that. I baked it as this is how I was taught how to cook the best rice at culinary school. Just check how long your rice needs to cook, each brand can cook differently. There’s nothing nice about overcooked rice and you won’t want this rice to be the texture of rice pudding!
  • Rice can be eaten on its own but it’s also great served with chicken or fish such as salmon or prawns/shrimp.
  • This recipe will typically serve 4-6 people generously but it can serve up to 8 smaller portions.

Enjoy!

jess

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