Tag Archives: Lemon

Cake Castle: Strawberry and Lemon Yoghurt Cake

25 Sep

King Kong: ‘Wow did you make this?’

Me: ‘Yes of course’

A Castle of cake

King Kong peers into the cake box again ‘Wow how did you make it into that shape, that’s amazing’

Me…stifled laughter ‘Its called a cake tin’ 🙂

I love how baking a cake in a bundt pan, in fact baking in general can make you appear like an alchemist of flour and butter, even if it is not the most difficult of recipes.

Strawberries are in abundant supply at the moment and this seemed like a great way to showcase them. This cake is a lovely moist cake and I received more than the usual number of compliments even days after, so I am guessing this cake is not merely for cake lovers.

What is your favourite way to showcase strawberries?

Strawberry and Lemon Yoghurt Cake

adapted from Strawberry Yoghurt Cake

Serves 12

  • 225 gms of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda and
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 200 gms of natural greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 250 gms of strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Grease and flour a bundt tin thoroughly.
3. Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
4. Add the lemon juice and zest and then add the eggs one at a time waiting between eggs until combined
5. Alternate adding the flour and yoghurt in 3 parts, then add in the milk at the end and mix to combine
6. Bake the cake in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until the cake is springy to the touch and the skewer comes out clean
7. Allow the cake to cool in the tine for 10-15 mins and then remove carefully on to a rack to cook

Adventures in Eggs: SMASH the musical and Creamy Smoked Trout Pasta.

27 Jun

I am not a huge watcher of TV. I often have it on while I am at home, but if you asked me what I watched last night I would probably not be able to tell you. I have a few exceptions such as my beloved Mad Men. More recently I have become completely addicted to the TV series Smash, it is currently playing on Foxtel (as reruns and I am watching it again). It is a fictional series following the creation of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. It combines some of my favourite things……. show tunes, the theatrics of people in the arts and old Hollywood starlets.

I love musicals. In another life I was a dancer and as a result I know far too many show tunes and as previously disclosed have a tendency to shimmy in public places when I like the music. When I was a kid there was always a hand or foot practising steps and routines even while pushing the shopping trolley.

We record Smash in our house and usually save it for a Friday night, when Miss Wallflower and I sit down with our Friday night fishbowl of wine and watch it. I confess sometimes there are excited squeals as it starts and often we gasp in theatrical horror at the back stabbing of our favourite characters. Given that Smash has such an elevated position in our watching repertoire, I thought it was only appropriate that I create a special meal for it. This pasta was gorgeous… Miss Wallflower had seconds! The smokiness is balanced by the creaminess and the snow peas add crunch. This was also a way to use up some of those eggs I had accumulated. Lights, Camera, Action!

Do you have a favourite musical?

What to eat while singing along to a showtune!

Creamy Smoked Trout Pasta

Adapted from Ultimate Pasta by Delicious

  • 200 gms penne
  • 100 gms hot smoked trout
  • 2 eggs and 1 yolk
  • 100 mls of thickened cream
  • Large handful of grated parmesan
  • 100 gms of snow peas sliced in half
  • 1 Garlic clove crushed
  • Chives chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

1. Boil penne in salted water.

2. While penne is boiling combine eggs cream and parmesan in a bowl and beat until combined

3. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat and add snow peas and garlic. Heat until snowpeas are slightly softened and garlic is aromatic.

4. Remove half a cup of pasta water from the boiling pot and then drain the pasta, return the pasta to the dry pot.

5. Flake in the trout and then add the pasta water and egg mixture, tossing the pasta continuously as you add the eggs so they don’t scramble.

6. Toss in the snow peas and garlic.

7. Serve with some chopped chives and a squeeze of lemon.

Planning and Procrastination: Raspberry Lemon and White Chocolate Slice

30 May

I am in the final year of my Masters degree in Law and despite the fact that I have only had 1 subject to do this semester I have absolutely no motivation. In the beginning my motivation for doing my Masters was all about creating opportunities in case I ever wanted to seize the moment. I have never been a great planner of things in life, I never planned to be a lawyer and although I have dabbled in creating 5 year plans in my early twenties, a 5 day meal plan is about the best I can manage now. However when I know something needs to be done I unexpectedly become an excellent planner, I go about radically setting new goals and finding new motivation. I suddenly gather the focus and determination  to spend 2 hours googling lipstick colours while in my pj’s. A potentially crucial step on the path to my new goal of being an expert at retro make up techniques….. True none of this is may lead to a distinction on my criminology essay, but maybe I will find that elusive plum lipstick that you can wear from day to night. Lets be honest isn’t that an equally noble goal 🙂

Knowing that in good conscience I can’t leave the house because I should be chained to my laptop writing another 1000 words on the challenges of the adversarial system (yawn),  I try and find distractions within the home and at some point even I know I have to be cut off from my new googling addiction. So I bake.

I found this Recipe for Blueberry and Lemon Brownies a while ago on Strawberry Ginger, a blog I nominated for the Kreativ blogger award. Having undertaken to really hammer out some of my essay and then go to the shop for the blueberries the recipe required,  I then threw myself into 2 hours of research……this time on platform shoes…..so I never made it to the shops. Instead I improvised and thereby altered the recipe slightly using what I could find within my house. The alterations are as follows

  • frozen raspberries (not thawed),
  • doubled the zest content ( I like a lot of lemon)
  • white chocolate chips added to the mixture instead of creating a drizzle (just pure laziness on my part)

This was a really nice slice and I will make it again but probably double the quantities because too much of a good thing is never enough. Miss Meat had seconds every time she had a piece because apparently she felt it wasn’t so overpoweringly sweet that it required self restraint.

At least i have something to show for my web surfing!

How do you procrastinate? Are you a planner?

Summer Peach and Prosciutto Salad

27 Feb

I have previously indicated that I am not a great salad lover. While some people look at a bowl of salad and feel inspired by the range of colour and the vibrant green, I just feel like I should be placed into a rabbit cage with a drip water bottle and a salt lick. However I have always admired Italian salads with their mix of flavours and textures. I saw a recipe for this salad in Delicious magazine. Yes I am rather addicted to this publication! I made a slightly amended version of the recipe for an entrée to a dinner we were having. It was fresh, flavourful and light, leaving plenty of room for the next 2 courses 🙂

With peach season ending soon I would highly recommend you try it. It is simple and the peaches, which are really the only part of the dish that requires any cooking, can be done ahead of time. The rest of the salad only requires strewing and arrangement. Fool proof and pretty!

Grilled Peach, prosciutto and Mozzarella Salad

Adapted from a recipe in Delicious February 2012

Serves 4

  • 2 Large Peaches
  • 1 Bunch of Rocket
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 large ball of Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar

1. Slice peaches in half and remove stone. Dry peaches, then brush with olive oil

2. Oil the cut sides of peaches and place cut side down on the hot pan or griddle

3. Cook for peaches for a couple of minutes each side

4. Set peaches aside in bowl covered with clingfilm to cool

5. When ready to serve remove the skin from the peaches and cut into bite size peaches

6. Placetorn  prosciutto on serving plate

7. Top with rocket

8. Place cut up peaches on the assembled salad and then top with torn pieces of Mozzarella

9. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil

10. Drizzle olive oil mixture on top and then drizzle on balsamic.

 

Christmas Traditions 2: Limoncello and Blackberry Trifle

18 Dec

Just because I can’t get enough of Christmas festivities, I have an early Christmas dinner at my house with my flatmates and usually 1 or 2 extra friends. It is an excuse for me to don my reindeer antlers, Christmas apron and force feed my guests food and Christmas carols until they just can’t take anymore. I only started this tradition last year with my current flatmates. Last year’s dinner was largely a triumph, although I will admit to overdoing the dessert portions and dancing to Queen hits in the early hours of the morning.

The hallmarks of a Legal Tart Christmas are that we have a Christmas cocktail and I make a Blackberry and Limoncello trifle for dessert. Other courses are subject to the individual preferences of the cook. This year our Christmas cocktail is a Pomegranate Martini.

I have mentioned Mutti’s much loved Tipsy Pudding before, this dessert is a Christmas highlight in my family and is in essence a trifle but without the jelly and with more alcohol than is probably appropriate on a holy day 😉 Trifles are a great dessert to make for dinner parties, because they can be made ahead and always look rather spectacular with all their layers. For me any chance to use Limoncello is to be seized upon as I do love this liqueur. It is absolutely essential that this trifle sit overnight. I can not stress this enough. The first time I made it I ate it that same day. I was rather unimpressed with the dessert and felt that the Limoncello was overpowering and there was no complexity to the flavours. However I had some more a day later and it was completely in love. I have been making this adapted version ever since.

I use blackberry jam, although the original recipe calls for blackcurrant as I find blackcurrant jam very difficult to find here in Sydney. I also used flaked almonds in the place of Amaretti, as I am not a huge fan of the Italian biscuit. Mutti’s trifle has flaked almonds on top and they were one of my most favourite parts of the pudding when I was a kid. I have also added cream to the top as there really isn’t a time when cream can not improve a dessert. You can use the sponge finger biscuits, ordinary sponge or madeira cake on the bottom. Just make sure any sponge or madeira cake is dried out rather than fresh. You want the sponge to hold its shape and soak up the liqueury juices.

What do you eat for dessert at Christmas?

Blackberry Limoncello Trifle

Serves 10

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Anglo Italian Trifle

  • 1 Store bought square sponge cake cut into squares
  • 250 gms blackberry jam
  • 200 mls of Limoncello
  • 750 gms of blackberries
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 100 gms of caster sugar
  • 750 gms mascarpone cheese
  • Flaked almonds
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 150 mls cream

1. Cut the squares of sponge in half and spread blackberry jam on one side before sandwiching back together.

2. Wodge and the bottom trifle bowl and continue until the bottom of the bowl in covered by a layer of sponge pieces, tightly fitted together

3. Pour limoncello minus two teaspoons over the sponge and sprinkle a small handful of flaked almonds and leave to soak while you get on with the remainder of the trifle.

4. Put blackberries into pot with remainder of the jam and the juice of the lemon and stir until warm and the blackberries are softening. Pour over the sponge.

5. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they thicken and turn pale yellow. Whisk in the teaspoons of limoncello followed by the mascarpone until combined and smooth.

6. Whisk the egg whites separately until firm but not stiff. Fold 1 spoon of egg white mix into the mascarpone mixture. Then fold that mascarpone mixture into the remainder of the egg whites and fold until combined.

7. Pour mascarpone custard on to the partially assembled trifle. Whisk the cream until thick and then spread over the trifle.

8. Toast another handful of flaked almonds in a dry fry pan and then allow to cool before sprinkling on top of the trifle.

Bring on dessert!

Christmas Food Gifts: Strawberry, Pear and Vanilla Jam

5 Dec

I approach many festive events or celebrations with the type of organisation and efficiency that you would expect from the leader of an army. Christmas is by far the biggest festive event that I participate in every year, requiring  honed skills of preparation and organisation.  I don’t like feeling stressed or frazzled….no I take that back. I like feeling only mildly stressed and frazzled. Just frazzled enough to know I am alive and achieving things, but not so much that I am crying over a bowl of cookie dough.

The only way to strike this stress balance is to plan ahead. As previous posts have suggested, I like to plan and write lists and plan just a little bit more. This is why I am thinking of Christmas presents in October and I aim for having all Christmas shopping completed before November is even completed. Now for over organised freaks like me, one of the things we fear most is being caught short. Caught short of food. Caught short of presents. Worst of all caught short of booze. So on top of stocking up on wine and bubbly for the month preceding Christmas, I also start putting little stocking fillers aside, just in case. Food is a nice non gendered gift, that still requires effort and love to create. This year on top of my usual Christmas biscuits, I also decided to make some Jam to give away.

Christmas Presents!

I have never made jam before and was very excited to find I could make it quite easily, so don’t be afraid. I am not a great lover of strawberry jam as a rule. I find it can be overly sweet, but the pear, although not obvious, cuts through the sweetness. I do plan on adding more vanilla to my next batch, as I felt one pod was not sufficient. There are no setting agents added to this jam. But I did add lemon peel to provide extra pectin and set, as I like a firmer set jam.

Strawberry, Pear and Vanilla jam

Makes 2-3 small jars

Adapted from a recipe by Dan Lepard on BBC online (Original Recipe)

  • 2 large hard pears
  • 500 gms of strawberries, hulled. I cut the larger strawberries in half
  • 400 gms caster sugar
  • Juice of a small lemon.
  • ½ lemon rind grated
  • 1 vanilla pod

1. Grate the pears, minus the core and pips into 500 ml of water in a saucepan.

2. Cook for 15-20 mins over high, until water almost evaporated and pear is tender

3. Add strawberries and boil until liquid has evaporated. Then add the sugar and lemon. Continue to boil the jam until reduced and sticky.

4. Stir frequently to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom.

5. When the jam is the consistency you would like turn the heat off

Firm set

6. Stir in the vanilla seeds only.

7. Pour into warm sterilized jars, put the lid on, tip upside down to create a vacuum.

8. Once opened place in the fridge

Delicious Cajun Inspirations: Dirty Rice with Salmon

20 Nov

Like many people who love food and cooking, I am a bit of a cookbook collector. I have quite a few books and storage of them in my small terrace is becoming a bit of an issue. The excitement of getting  new cookbook is only surpassed by the excitement of a long loved dress going on sale while still stocking my size. I take my books to bed with me and tentatively turn each page with great care and anticipation waiting for the new visual pleasure that awaits me.

My most recent cook book acquisition is Valli Little’s Simply the Best cookbook. Valli, for those of you not in the know is the editor of Delicious magazine and a great cook. Her food is simple but very tasty and I previously have bought her cookbook Faking It which I would highly recommend. I love the Delicious magazine and buy one nearly every month and this new cookbook contains many new original Valli Little recipes. One of the first ones that caught my eye was a recipe for Dirty Rice with Salmon. Dirty rice is a Cajun dish that you can find in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana. It is packed full with flavour and is slightly spicy. I have never had my Dirty Rice with salmon before, so this recipe provided a different take on a favourite.

I have never made Dirty Rice myself, the ingredient list was longer than I would usually like. I tend to avoid recipes were there are more than half a dozen ingredients, but given the recipe involved largely pre crushed spices, I thought I could manage it without feeling too overwhelmed by having several ingredients on the hop at once.

Rice after all the stock and diced tomatoes have been absorbed

The recipe is packed full of flavour and would make a lovely meal placed at the centre of the table for a casual dinner party. I used roasted capsicum instead of Pimentos and I added a chopped chilli. I couldn’t seem to find black beans anywhere so I had to omit these. Definately add a squeeze of lemon it really makes the dish.

I haven’t included a recipe, but you can find it in the recipe book.  I am sure I will find more recipes from my new love to post soon.

Are you a recipe book fan?

 

 

 

 

Tasty Chicken and Chorizo One Pot Roast

6 Nov

The Parentals have been away in Wangaratta for the Jazz and Blues festival. So after their long journey I decided to cook them dinner, so they would have one less thing to worry about…. Aren’t I just the nicest daughter ever, and modest too! 😉

Last time I cooked for them, it was for Fathers Day. I made a roast chicken with hassle back potatoes and vegetables. Mutti utterly excited about the prospect of being able to have a bone to chew on demolished half the chook, by herself and didn’t eat any of the sides I prepared. I can honestly say that the only time Mutti is silent, is when she is given some carcass to clean. My father and I never ceased to be amazed by her abilities with a pigs trotter or lamb cutlet. She was probably a vulture in a previous life. I did think about doing an entire chicken again, but instead opted for something a little different and infinitely easier to carve, I am terrible at carving.

I love chorizo. I went through a phase where I used to put it in everything. The thing about chorizo is it adds so much flavour to a dish, so you feel like a highly accomplished cook churning out mouth watering perfection when really you just added some spicy sausage to an otherwise simple meal.  Who couldn’t do with some extra spice in their life. 😉  The added bonus is you can enjoy the va va voom of this meal without too many pots and pans to clean afterwards. Satisfying and fuss free!

Given that Dad is man who likes his meals both spicy and saucy and the pan juices would never be sufficient, I added 2 tablespoons of pan juices to some pre prepared gravy I bought at the grocery store, this maintain the flavour profile of the overall dish. I had mine with just the delightful pan juices spooned over the top.

Dinners Up!

Do you like the chew on the bones? Do you need gravy with your meat?

Chicken and Chorizo Roast with Capsicum

Serves 4

  • 4 Chicken Maryland’s
  • 2 chorizo cut into chunky slices
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon Juice and zest
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup of Oloroso sherry
  • 1 Capsicum cut into large slices
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Brown onion quartered in skin

1. Marinade 4 chicken Maryland’s in olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest,oregano, salt and pepper and for at least 30 mins

2. Chop 2 chorizo in to chunky pieces about 2-3 cm in length.

3. Slice 1 Capsicum into large wedges

4. Place 4 cloves of garlic skin included in dish

5. Place all items in large baking dish and drizzle over half of the marinade

6. Bake for approximately 40 mins

Serve with potatoes and a large green salad.

Crispy Baked Potatoes

Lemon, Raspberry and Ricotta Slice

19 Oct

Mutti made a supposedly very delicious lemon ricotta cake the other weekend. I say supposedly because she selfishly made it on a weekend I wasn’t visiting, even though she knows how much I love cake and more specifically lemon cake. I could eat madeira cake just about every day if it wasn’t so hazardous to my hips.

Citrus is one of my most favourite flavours. There is always a lemon or two in my fridge for adding to dishes both savoury and sweet and for whipping up a cocktail when required. Now I could have just continued to pout and threaten parent/child divorce on the grounds of intolerable cruelty. But instead I opted to take the higher ground, have a cocktail and use the other lemons for my own version of a lemon ricotta cake 😛  I would not be dissuaded by Mutti’s blow by blow account of how delicious her version was….not to mention the wonderful crumb, darling did I tell you about the cake  crumb……

So with an afternoon tea on the horizon and an intense desire for lemon cake on my mind, I stumbled upon this recipe in the March 2010 edition of Delicious magazine. Funnily enough it was not one of the recipes that got flagged with a coloured post-it, it is amazing what jealousy and lust can help you see.

The recipe calls for blackberries, but I used raspberries because I simply love their tartness, plus they are easier than blackberries to get frozen. I can’t wait until the fresh ones become a bit more affordable and I can gorge myself on them.  You could probably use blueberries as well if they are more to your liking. But the intense pinky red against the lemon is just too irresistible a combination for me to ignore.

To soothe mutti's neglect.

I did cook the slice for an additional 10 mins beyong the 30 mins called for, but clearly mine was still to soft in the centre and therefore prone to falling apart when I tried to lift the centre pieces out of the tray. I may try a hotter oven next time, mine is tempremental. This slice is definitely not super sweet, so you sweet tooths may not be satisfied. The lemon is intense which I love and the berries tart. I actually liked it better warm, but whether eaten cold or warm it was a dense and moist slice which was demolished with ease and yes the crumb was fantastic! 🙂

Lemon Raspberry and Ricotta Slice

  • 250 gms unsalted butter
  • 250 gms castor sugar
  • 6 free range eggs separated
  • Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 3/4 cup of plain flour sifted
  • 2 cups of almond meal
  • 350 gms of Ricotta well drained
  • 300 gms of frozen raspberries dusted in 1 tbs of castor sugar and flour
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
  2. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. add egg yolks one at a time then add zest and juice while beating
  4. Fold in flour and pinch of salt, then fold in the almond meal
  5. In a separate bowl beat egg white until stiff and fold into remainder of the cake mixture
  6. Add ricotta and fork through
  7. Pour into tray and push raspberries into the top of the slice
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until firm.
  9. Cool completely for slicing

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