Friday, 30 August 2013

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

The picture below is only roughly half of this traybake. Sometimes you just need a hefty dose of cake. This lemon drizzle marks the third and final (for now!) podcast in the Lucy’s Recipes series, which you can listen to here. I think lemon drizzle cakes are one of those bakes that are always popular – they’re seen in tearooms and cafes across the country. They’re also easy to adapt to your own likes and needs – I’ve made loaf cakes, mini cakes, covered the whole top with icing, used a crunchy sugar syrup instead of icing, and used oranges or limes instead of lemon. The possibilities are endless! The recipe I used is below, adapted from a Donal Skehan recipe – enjoy!DSC_0130Lemon Drizzle Traybake
225g caster sugar
225g butter
4 eggs
250g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
3tbsps milk
zest of 3 lemons
150g icing sugar
juice of one lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 160’C. Cream the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add in the eggs, mixing well in between each addition.
3. Grate in the lemon zest, then sift in the baking powder and flour.
4. Add the milk and fold gently until everything is evenly combined.
5. Pour the cake mixture into a lined rectangular baking tin (30x23cm) and cook for 30mins until golden and springy. Place on a wire rack to cool.
6. Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice into a smooth paste. Drizzle off the end of a spoon over the cooled cake in a large zig zag pattern. Enjoy!


Monday, 26 August 2013

Blackberry, Lime and Elderflower Cake

It appears lime recipes on this blog are like buses – you wait forever for one and then two come at once. I was really surprised when I was tagging my Lime & Rosewater cake that I’d never blogged anything limey in all 5 years of blogging – especially considering I have made 18 lemon and 16 orange recipes. It was actually a sheer coincidence that I ended up making two limey recipes so close to each other after years of nothing, but the tasty results of both cakes have persuaded me to make sure another 5 years of blogging doesn’t go by before I use it again.DSC_0086In this cake the limes are paired with a whole load of fresh blackberries. The bramble bushes near my house are ripening rapidly now – the fruit can’t be picked fast enough! I remember going blackberrying with my parents when I was younger – spending hours in amongst the huge brambles, perfecting a routine of one berry for the bucket, one for me, one for the bucket, one for me. Now my parents go together to pick the berries all growing by the river or the common – I think its great that even in London there is still fruit growing wildly. My Mum uses the fruit to make jars and jars of blackberry jam for gifts and to last us through the winter, and I take advantage of this wealth of free fresh fruit to bake with. DSC_0089This recipe makes a big tray of cake but it’s not rich (and it is addictive) so you’ll definitely find yourself repeatedly going back for more, and also the drizzle keeps it super moist. I really liked the combination of flavours in this cake – lime and blackberry isn’t something I would have put together but they really work – but I think I would have liked the elderflower to be a bit stronger. It’s only a delicate flavour that got slightly overpowered by lime, so I would up the cordial and reduce tCalendar Cakes Challengehe lime juice in the drizzle next time. Also, I think I would stir the blackberries right into the cake mixture rather than place them on top so that they release a bit more juice and flavour into the cake. Overall though I was definitely pleased with this traybake – it was super quick to make and really versatile. I’m going to submit this cake to my first ever Calendar Cakes challenge, hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.The August theme is ‘Summer Lovin’ using seasonal ingredients or summer memories and this cake combines both! Enjoy :)

Blackberry, Lime and Elderflower Drizzle Cake, adapted from Waitrose Kitchen Magazine
Ingredients: 225g self raising flour
75g ground almonds
250g softened butter
250g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 lime, juiced and zested
2tbsp milk
200g blackberries

Drizzle: 100ml elderflower cordial
6tbsp granulated sugar
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lime

1. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line a 22cm x 33cm cake tin.
Blitz all the cake ingredients apart from the blackberries in a food processor (or with an electric whisk) until smooth.
3. Tip the cake mixture into the tin and top with the blackberries, pressing in lightly (or stir the blackberries into the cake mixture gently before tipping into the tin). Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Use a cake skewer to poke holes all over the surface of the cake – this will enable the drizzle to properly soak into the cake. Mix together the drizzle ingredients and spoon over the hot cake. Cool in the tin before slicing. Enjoy!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sausage Plait

Today is the second instalment in the ‘Lucy’s Recipes’ series of podcasts over on and it is one of my favourite recipes – sausage plait! I spoke briefly about this a few months ago but it really is a weekday favourite at my house. With only 4 ingredients it is so simple but worth it and perfect for after a long day at work or school – and then the leftovers are just as good in a lunchbox the next day. It’s also really versatile to adapt to your favourite flavours – you an experiment with different types of sausages, herbs and spices. It also doesn’t require exact quantities – if you have some leftover sausagemeat or puff pastry it is You can find the recipe below and listen to the podcast here – enjoy! Lucy Sausage Plait collageSausage Plait

Ingredients: 350g puff pastry
8 sausages
1 apple
1 onion

1. Preheat the oven to 190’C. Dice the apple and onion – there is no need to peel the apple.
2. Remove the sausages from their skins by making a small cut in the casing and peeling it off. Add the sausages, apple and onion to a large bowl.
3. Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until the apple and onion are evenly distributed throughout the sausage meat.
4. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a large rectangle, a few mm thick. Shape the sausage mixture into a rectangle down the centre of the puff pastry.
5. Cut diagonal slits an inch apart in the puff pastry either side of the sausage mixture, towards the same end of the plait on both sides.
6. Starting at the end nearest you, fold the pieces of pastry over the sausage meat alternately, forming a plait effect. Bring up the ends of the pastry and trim off any excess.
7. Brush the plait with beaten egg and place on a large baking tray. Bake for 30minutes until the pastry is risen, crisp and golden. Enjoy!

Monday, 12 August 2013

White Chocolate & Raspberry Dipped Cookies

You might remember back in May I told you I had been interviewed all about this blog and baking for a podcast on Well, today is the start of a new 3-part podcast series with me over on Podium, called ‘Lucy’s Recipes’ where I bake and chat through a different recipe each week. I am super excited about it, I really enjoyed recording it and it was a really fun new challenge. These white chocolate and raspberry cookies are the first recipe in the series and were a big hit in my house!DSC_0102As well as talking through the recipe for these cookies on this weeks podcast, I also chat about my future plans now that I have finished school. I haven’t mentioned them on here before as I was waiting until everything was confirmed and I had solid plans to announce. But since exams results day was yesterday here in the UK I can finally be sure of exactly what I’m doing for the next four years. At the start of October, I am starting cookery school! I know it will be a massive challenge going from a fairly relaxed Sixth Form schedule at school to an intense year of learning everything there is to know about food but I am so excited! In case you are interested, I will be doing this Leiths Professional Diploma for a year. After that, I will be starting a History degree at Cambridge in October 2014. This blog will of course keep going and I’m hoping to be able to write posts about my time at Leiths and updates on cookery school as well as my normal content, if people would be interested? Now, back to the cookies!DSC_0145This is my fourth white chocolate cookie on my blog and they are always super popular but I wanted to do something slightly different with this version. I adapted a Dorie Greenspan sable recipe, meaning that the cookies are super sandy and buttery. This was the first time I have used freeze dried raspberries and I really liked them – they are super pretty and their burst of intense raspberry flavour helps cut through the richness of the thick layer of white chocolate! At first, I wasn’t sure if these cookies would be too rich but judging by the speed at which the cookie tin emptied I think we managed! You can find the recipe below, and head over to the podcast here to listen to me chat through the recipe and discuss cookery school a bit more. I hope you enjoy!DSC_0143
White Chocolate and Raspberry Dipped Cookies
Ingredients: 225g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
2 cups plain flour
250g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks freeze dried raspberries
1. Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer or with a wooden spoon until really light and fluffy.
2. Add the yolks and salt and mix until combined.
3. Pour in the flour and 100g of the white chocolate and stir until the dough comes together and looks uniform.
4. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 3 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Unwrap your log of cookie dough and slice into 1cm thick cookies. Place on a lined baking tray, leaving 1inch between them.
6. Bake for 15minutes until golden, then let cool.
7. Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave (stirring every 30seconds) or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
8. Dip the cookies halfway into the white chocolate and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle some freeze dried raspberries over the white chocolate and leave to set. Enjoy!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Lime, Yoghurt and Rosewater Cake

This post is an important post for me. It marks my first blog post with my shiny new camera! Well, technically, my Borough Market post did, but hey – this is my first recipe post with it. I have been meaning to buy a proper SLR camera since around my first blogoversary. Four years ago. Despite thinking how much I needed one every. single. time. that I struggled to get a half decent photo with my old camera I just always was too scared to make the investment. What if I stopped blogging? What if I dropped it? What if I lost it? Until this week, on my 5th blogoverary, I finally took the plunge! My old camera that I used, a little hot pink point-and-shoot that is over 7 years old has finally been relegated in favour of a proper Nikon SLR and, as much as I have fond memories of my old camera, I am beyond excited!DSC_0071This cake was also important in another way: it saved the baking day. My Mum looked through my whole list of bookmarked bakes – that’s a selection of 340 cakes, pies, ice creams, muffins, cookies, doughnuts, tarts and more – and found not one that she liked. (Update: she would like to add there were many that she liked, just none that she fancied that day.) Eventually, we found this cake that suited us both. Not too rich for her, summery enough for me. I can always rely on a Rachel Allen recipe to unite us! DSC_0081Luckily it lived up to expectations – the recipe delivered a really moist, flavoursome cake with plenty of lime zing but a touch of sweetness from the rosewater. My notes on this cake would be to take care with the drizzle. When I made it, I added the minimum 1tbsp of rosewater which seemed like a lot and certainly smelt and tasted strong when I tested it, but once it’s competing with the lime in the cake I felt it got a bit lost. Rosewater is always a flavour to be careful with to prevent bakes tasting soapy, but in this cake I think you can definitely add more than you think. The generous dose of drizzle also means the cake keeps really well for a few days – if you can get it to last that long! You can find the recipe here – enjoy!DSC_0083

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Borough Market

This week I’ve been enjoying acting like a tourist in my own city. I sometimes think I don’t take advantage enough of living in London – sticking to the areas I know and love rather than exploring everything this incredible city has to offer. My Thursday trip to Borough Market was something of a compromise – somewhere I love, but haven’t got round to revisiting for well over a year. I spent the morning at the market, establishing a great routine of wander, find something to eat, sit in the sunshine and eat, and repeat. In the afternoon I walked from the market all the way to Hyde Park (a good hour and a half or so at a leisurely pace in the sunshine), taking in all the sights of Southbank, the Tate, the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Mall and the Houses of Parliament on my way. I loved seeing the city at it’s best in the blazing sun and felt truly proud to be a Londoner! I thought I’d share a few photos from my Borough Market with you today – enjoy!DSC_0013
IMG-20130801-01012This was just a small selection of the unusual meats offered by the aptly named Exotic Meat Company – they also had kangroo, crocodile, elk and ostrich on offer! I was very intrigued but wimped out – has anyone else tried?!DSC_0035My gorgeous Lemon, Lime and Basil goats milk ice cream from Greedy Goat – the ultimate refreshment. I also ate (too speedily to get a photo of) gorgeous gnocchi stuffed with tomato and mozzarella served with tomato sauce from La Tua Pasta and several different types of fudge, including a great salted caramel fudge, from Whirld so I would highly recommend all 3 stalls! DSC_0030