Recipe: Lemon Meringue Cake

Here’s a recipe I tried for a recent family party.  It was my first go at a Nigella Lawson recipe and honestly it went pear-shaped!  It disappoints me when my baking doesn’t turn out right because I follow the recipes religiously, some take a lot of time and the ingredients are always cheap.  I won’t be rushing out to try another and will stick to my trusted Mary Berry recipes!

What you need:

Makes 8 slices

125g very soft unsalted butter
4 large eggs (separated)
300g caster sugar (+ 1 tsp)
100g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
25g cornflour
½ tsp cream of tartar
150ml double or whipping cream
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tsp lemon juice
150g lemon curd
2 tsp milk

What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 6/200°C/180°C Fan/400ºF.
  • Grease and line 2 x 8″ sandwich tins.
  • Mix the egg yolks, 100g of the sugar, the butter, flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarb, and lemon zest in a mixer.
  • Add the lemon juice and milk and mix again.
  • Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. it will look like you don’t have enough to cover the bottom of the tins as it’s a thick mixture. Spread with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form and then slowly whisk in 200g of sugar.
  • Divide the whisked whites between the two sponge-filled tins, spreading the meringue straight on top of the cake batter.
  • Smooth one flat with the back of a spoon, peak the other and sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over the peaks.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine took 45mins because the cake batter wasn’t cooked and was then overdone – be wary of time!
  • With a knife or cocktail stick, pierce the cake that has the flat meringue topping to check it’s cooked all through. No sponge mixture should stick to your knife.
  • Sit the cake tins on top of a wire rack and leave them to cool completely in the tins.
  • Place the flat-topped one on to a cake stand or plate, meringue side down.
  • Whisk the double cream until thick but not stiff and set aside.
  • Spread the flat sponge surface of the first, waiting, cake with the lemon curd and than spatula over the cream and top with the remaining cake, bronze-peaked meringue uppermost.

I was told that the cake was a success but I’m doubtful! I did have a little taste before I sent it on its way, and, it did taste better than it looked!  But I was really disappointed that the cake part was so overdone yet I’d checked it so many times and the stick kept coming out soggy! Aaarrgghhhh

Until next time…Happy Baking!

Mary Berry’s Malted Chocolate Cake

I was asked to make a cake for my daughter’s boyfriend’s family and I’d had my eye on having a go at this one for a while.  I was intrigued by what difference the malted chocolate would make to the taste of the cake.

What you need:

2 x 8″ round sandwich tins – greased and lined

For the sponge

30g malted chocolate drink powder (I used Horlicks light, you know…watching the calories!  Anyway, for info Sainsbury’s sell them in handy 30g sachets if, like me, this isn’t something you usually buy)
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
225g self-raising flour
225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225g caster sugar
4 eggs

For the icing

3 tbsp malted chocolate drink powder
250g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
50g dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids), melted (Aldi, 99p!)
1½ tbsp hot milk
125g butter, softened
1 tbsp boiling water
Approx 20 Maltesers for decoration

What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.
  • Put the malted chocolate drink powder (Horlicks) and cocoa powder into a large bowl, add 2 tbsp of water and mix to a paste.
  • Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until smooth.
  • Divide evenly between your tins and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes.
  • Set aside still in the tins to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the icing, put the malted chocolate drink powder into a bowl,  add the hot milk and mix until smooth.
  • Add the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate and mix again until smooth.
  • Add the boiling water which will (hopefully) give a gloss to the icing.
  • Put one cake on a plate and spread over half the icing.
  • Sandwich with the other cake and spread (or pipe, if you’re feeling brave) the remaining icing on top (if you’re feeling extra creative, use a round edged knife to create a swirled effect from the centre to the edge of the cake).
  • Decorate as you wish with the Maltesers over the top and dust with icing sugar before serving if desired.

Enjoy!

The cake is very easy and relatively quick to make.  The sponge was light and fluffy and the icing wasn’t really sickly or overpowering.  However, this isn’t a really chocolatey cake (not like a fudge cake), it has a very subtle chocolate taste…so you can just eat more of it without making yourself feel ill 😉

Until next time…Happy Baking!

#Recipe: Mini Victoria Sandwich

I haven’t baked anything new in ages and whilst a Victoria Sandwich is not a new bake, I’d not tried this Weight Watchers recipe for mini versions.  I’m still persisting with the weight loss plan but I still like to enjoy my cake!  There’s a vast array of recipes in the WW app that I subscribe so I’m not short of inspiration…just time!

What you need:

Makes 15-20 depending upon mould size

110g low fat spread (I used Clover lighter)
110g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
110g white self raising flour, sifted
60g jam, strawberry or raspberry
1 tsp heaped icing sugar, sifted

 

What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºc.
  • Beat together the spread and sugar until smooth.
  • Beat in the egg a little at a time with the vanilla.
  • Fold in the flour.
  • Spoon the mixture into a nonstick mini muffin mould and bake for 15–18 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.  It’s helpful to spray the mould with a little frylight.
  • Cool in the mould for 10 minutes, then loosen the cakes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When the cakes are cold, slice in half and fill with jam.
  • Dust with the icing sugar and serve with a nice cup of tea…or coffee 😉

These were so light and fluffy and just enough to satisfy the cake craving and only 3 Weight Watchers points per cake…yum!

Until next time…Happy Baking!

Recipe Post: Blueberry and Lemon Scones

Hey…I’m back with a novice baker baking blog on this fine Sunday! My lovely daughter bought me the National Trust Book of Scones for Christmas and this is my first tried and tested recipe from that book.

This blueberry and lemon scone recipe is a favourite of Hanbury Hall and Gardens in Worcestershire.  I visited here back in April 2015 but can’t recall if I sampled their scones.

So…is it scone to rhyme with cone, or scone to rhyme with gone?  I tend to sway to cone myself 🙂

 

What you need for approx 10 large scones:

500g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125 butter (diced)
Zest of 1 lemon
100g blueberries
150ml milk

To decorate, if required
100g icing sugar
Lemon juice

What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 190°c.  Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the butter.
  • With your fingertips rub together until it looks like breadcrumbs.  I tried using the dough hook on my freestanding mixer but it didn’t work so I had to use the old-fashioned method!
  • Add the lemon zest and blueberries, stir in.
  • Add the milk a little at a time to make a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll out to approx 3cm thick.
  • Stamp out your scones using a 7cm cutter and place on baking tray.  I brushed on a little milk here.
  • Bake for approx 12 – 18 minutes until golden brown.  Mine took the full 18.
  • Cool on a wire tray.
  • If required, make some lemon icing by mixing the icing sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle over the cooled scones.
  • Serve with a cuppa 🙂

These lightly-scented lemon scones are really delicious.  I wasn’t sure whether to serve them with butter and jam etc as you normally would a scone but I decided to go without.  Wise decision as they weren’t dry and didn’t need the butter/jam added.  Next time I need to roll the dough out thicker and more evenly – some of them were a little on the slim side!

Until next time…Happy Baking!

Eton Mess Cake

This recipe is courtesy of the BBC Good Food website which I picked as I had some end of life strawberries to use up and was perfect for afternoon tea with the family when they recently visited.

What you need:

225g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
200g golden caster sugar
175g unsalted butter
5 tbsp double cream
1 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
400g strawberries – ½ roughly chopped, ½ finely sliced
4 meringues nests (roughly broken up)
Sprinkle of icing sugar, to serve

What you do:

  1. Grease and line a deep traybake tin (ideally 20x30cm, although mine isn’t quite that).  Heat your oven to 160°c.
  2. Melt the butter then take off the heat and stir in the cream and the vanilla.
  3. Mix the flour, almonds, baking powder and ¼ tsp fine salt and set aside.
  4. Put the caster sugar and eggs into a large bowl, and whisk with electric whisk until very thick and foamy, this takes about 5-6 mins.
  5. Pour in the butter mix, whisk, then add the flour mix and whisk briefly again until mixed.
  6. Stir in the chopped strawberries, then pour the batter into the tin and level the top.
  7. Sprinkle the sliced strawberries and meringue over the cake.
  8. Bake for 40-45 mins until risen and a skewer comes out clean.  I did end up increasing my oven’s heat to 180°c for the final 15 mins as it wasn’t baking or rising.
  9. Cool for 20 mins in the tin, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar if required.

There’s nothing particularly healthy or reduced anything about this recipe so I had a day off from the dieting plan!

Until next time….happy baking!