Tag Archives: blueberry

Boozy lemon & honey pots with blueberries…

My friend invited me over to lunch last weekend and as is very commonly becoming the norm, I was tasked with making the dessert. I decided to mix it up a bit and shunned the idea of baking anything, instead experimenting with a delicious sounding recipe for lemon and honey pots with blueberries that I’d seen in the February 2012 edition of Sainsbury’s magazine…

They sounded great and apart from the slightly fiddly task of making candied peel, were pretty simple. They also gave me the perfect excuse to make use of the last of my home made limoncello (recipe here)…

To give them a go all you’ll need is…

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp clear honey

2 tbsp limoncello (optional but highly recommended)

300ml double cream

1 large egg white

4 tbsp blueberries plus extra to decorate (apparently frozen ones are fine)

and to make the candied peel you’ll need…

Peel of 1 lemon, sliced into thin matchstick-like strips

100g caster sugar

I recommend starting on the candied peel first to get the fiddly bit out of the way. Use a vegetable peeler to take the rind off the lemon, be careful to only take the yellow layer and not any of the white pith as it’s really bitter. Slice each strip into long matchsticks. Put them in a pan of boiling water and blanch them for 30 seconds before draining and setting aside. Then put 100ml of water in a saucepan along with the caster sugar and bring to the boil. Leave it to bubble away until it starts getting syrupy. Add the peel to the syrup and leave to boil away for 10 minutes. Now comes the tricky bit…remove the strands of peel from the pan and lay them on some greaseproof paper to cool. I used some kitchen tongs that were large and unwieldy, making the task quite messy and arduous. The recipe suggested using tweezers but that just sounded ridiculous. I’m not sure what the perfect solution is but feel free to freestyle your own method 🙂

Now you need to start making the main part of the dessert…

In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, juice, honey and limoncello together.

In another bowl, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Do the same with the egg whites in a separate bowl. Then tip one into the other and fold together gently so that you retain the light airiness of the egg whites.

Finally fold in the lemon and honey mixture and make sure it’s well combined.

Put a spoonful of blueberries in the base of 4 glasses. Spoon in the creamy, lemony mixture and put in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve them.

Just before serving top each pot with a few strands of candied peel and a few more blueberries. I also toyed with the idea of drizzling a tiny bit of neat limoncello on top but decided against it at the last minute…maybe next time.

They were the perfect end to what had been quite a substantial dinner…light, zingy and creamy all in one!

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Blueberry muffins for those blue days!

Yesterday I was languishing at home, feeling ill and sorry for myself. I decided there was only one thing for it…I needed to call upon the healing powers of baking! I ventured to the fridge with trepidation but was pleasantly surprised to find that, amongst other random items, I had butter, a carton of buttermilk, some eggs and a punnet of big fat juicy blueberries…they literally jumped out at me and begged me to make them into blueberry buttermilk muffins, which is exactly what I did…

How could something that gorgeous looking not make even the most self pitying, sadsack feel better?…

They were instantly rewarding and ever so easy to make. So if you ever find you’re having a blue day and want the quick fix of a bit of simple baking all you’ll need is…

400g plain flour

175g caster sugar

1tbsp baking powder

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2tsp salt

284ml carton buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

85g butter, melted

250g fresh or frozen blueberries or other summer fruits

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon rind and salt in a big bowl.

In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, eggs and butter.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until (only just) combined. It’s important not to overmix it, for once you don’t have to be precious about leaving the batter lumpy. Lightly fold in the blueberries trying not to squash them.

Fill each of the paper cases generously and pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes. At this point they should have risen and be a delicious golden brown…

Leave them to cool in the tin for a few minutes before tuning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Go on…make your day!

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Deliciously moist blueberry soured cream cake

Is it just me or does anyone else think that cookery books make for good bedtime reading? My favourite book at the moment is 101 Cakes and Bakes. There are just so many recipes in it that I need to try out. After much deliberation this weeks cake of choice was a blueberry soured cream number, which also came highly recommended by my little brother…

mmmm looks good doesn’t it?…

I love nothing more than a house full of the buttery sweet smell of baking and the feeling of taking a freshly baked cake out of the oven…

My cake turned out to not only look divine but was also super moist due to the addition of soured cream to the cake batter. It’s one of the easiest cakes I’ve made for a long time. Here’s the recipe if you fancy giving it a go…

175g butter

175g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

225g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

142ml soured cream

375g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line an 8 or 9 inch cake tin.

Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until pale. Beat in 4 tbsp of the soured cream and then stir in half of the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the tin and put in the oven for about 50 minutes until firm but springy and golden brown.

Leave to cool while you prepare the frosting…

200g cream cheese

100g icing sugar

Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together with the remaining soured cream until smooth and creamy. My icing was a bit runnier than expected because I made the mistake of trying to be more virtuous by using light cream cheese. To be honest, although it still tasted good I’d recommend going full fat for a more luscious frosting.

Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake and scatter over the remaining blueberries. The cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days (if it lasts that long). I would go as far as saying that I think my cake was tastier after a night in the fridge…some things are worth the wait!

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Blueberry, peach and almond cake

A weekend with my family usually revolves around eating delicious food and lots of it! We had quite a few birthdays to celebrate so we rolled them all into one and had a huge family barbecue, to which everyone contributed something. It felt like we ended up cooking up and eating a whole farmyard’s worth of meat…I was in heaven! Once everyone had recovered from the meat fest and tucked into desert of fresh fruit brulee (a family favourite) and Granny’s summer pudding we entered the cake round…my domain. We still had a lot of the saffron clotted cream cake left but I also made Nigel Slaters ‘cake for midsummer’, which I’d ripped out of the Observer Food Monthly magazine in June and stashed in my book of ‘must bake’ recipe clippings. It goes a little something like this…

175g butter

175g golden caster sugar

200g ripe peaches

2 large eggs

175g self raising flour

100g ground almonds

1 tsp grated orange zest

a few drops of vanilla extract

150g blueberries

Line a 20cm (8 inch) cake tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Halve, stone and chop the peaches and set aside for later.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. I used a handheld whisk. Beat the eggs in one at a time. If it looks like it’s starting to curdle add a small amount of flour.

Mix the flour with the ground almonds and fold into the butter mixture in a few batches. Add the orange zest and vanilla and last but not least, the blueberries and peaches.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and Nigel says to bake it for 1 hour 10 minutes. I like my cakes extra moist so after 1 hour I tested it by inserting a sharp knife into the middle of the cake and as it came out relatively clean I decided it had had long enough in the oven.

On Nigel’s advice I sprinkled the cake batter with golden caster sugar before putting it in the oven, creating a gorgeous sweet, crunchy crust on the moist, fruity almond cake.

This cake was super easy, light, tasty and I never thought I would use this word to describe a cake but it was…well…refreshing!

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