Blueberry And Lemon Muffins

Welcome to Feasting is Fun and these fruity Blueberry And Lemon Muffins. Made using a whole lemon, zest and juice and packed full of blueberries. Ideal for packed lunches, picnics or afternoon tea. Most importantly these muffins are perfect eaten any time of the day. Although, as always, they taste better when shared.

FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Blueberry And Lemon Muffins

Since I’ve been thinking about the names that different foods are given, for example, Buffalo wings, the name totally confuses me. You see Buffalos don’t have wings, well not the ones I’ve ever seen on television or in books. Now wait for it, this is going to come as a massive surprise,  they are in fact Chicken Wings. Also, as far as I’m aware, Moussaka doesn’t have Moose in it or Mousse! Bell peppers don’t go ding a ling a ding, when shaken. I’m pretty sure Horseradish doesn’t have horse in it. Such is the English language, if you think of any more please post them in the comments box?

FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Blueberry And Lemon Muffins

Well I can guarantee that these Blueberry And Lemon Muffins definitely have both Lemon and Blueberries in them. Now although I call these muffins, they aren’t proper muffins in the strictest sense,  but they’re not cupcakes either. So I settled on muffins, you know that whole thing with the English Language?  It doesn’t really matter, all you need to know is that they are good.

So good in fact that place two Blueberry Lemon Muffins in a bowl, whilst still warm and slather with custard, or cream, or both. Then dig in!

Recipe : Blueberry And Lemon Muffins makes 12

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Buttermilk

175g/6oz Fresh Blueberries rinsed and dried

1 Unwaxed Lemon zest and juice – zest first and then squeeze out the juice

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

Method : Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, 375F, gas mark 5

  • First of all place 12 large muffin cases into a deep muffin tin.
  • Place the sugar, salt and butter into a large bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk and juice of one lemon.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl.
  • Whisk together until just combined. Over mixing will cause the muffins to be tough.
  • Keep back 12 blueberries for topping the muffins.
  • Add the lemon zest and remaining blueberries to the batter and fold in gently using a large metal spoon.
FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Making the Blueberry And Lemon Muffin batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cases, dividing equally.
  • Top each muffin with a fresh blueberry.
  • Place the muffin tin into the oven centre and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • The muffins are baked when golden and spring back from a light touch. An inserted skewer will come out clean of batter, with some blueberry juices attached.
FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Filling the muffin cases and baking them.
  • As soon as the muffins are baked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the tin and place on to a cooling rack.
  • Leave to cool completely, or until just warm.
Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Blueberry And Lemon Muffins

Now arrange nicely and take a photo. Email this photo to five friends, put the kettle on and see who arrives!

Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Blueberry And Lemon Muffins

These muffins are at their best, just warm. Since each blueberry, when cooked forms it’s own little pod of jam throughout the muffin. Seriously yummy and very hard to stop at one, two, three….. Remember they’re for sharing.

Enjoy. While reminding yourself that blueberries are a ‘super food’  and there’s a whole lemon in the recipe, happily kid yourself that the feast before you is good for you. Since it is packed with Vitamin C.

Store cold muffins in an airtight container and eat within three days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Blueberry And Lemon Muffins then you may also like these:

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

FF Blueberry And Lemon Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

 

A fantastic recipe to make with children who will wolf them down as quick as they are cool enough to eat. With big jammy, smiling faces and wide eyes begging you to make another batch for them to share at school. Go on – it’s fun!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Amazing Apple Pie

Hi, how are you today? It’s Sunday, traditionally the day of rest. Since not everyone gets to stay at home, I have a treat for you. Either to make for your family and loved ones when then come in from work, any day of the week, or just because it is so delicious. A dessert that will make you want to go for a brisk walk afterwards, or snuggle up on the sofa and have a nap. Here is my Amazing Apple Pie.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie

Rest and relaxation is so important. More so nowadays in our 24/7 world. While life, with work/children/DIY/etc. can sometimes feel as though we are chasing our tails. It is important to take time to stop and rest. Turn off our electrical devices, mentally switch off from all the tasks still to be ‘done’ and simply be. Whether that be playing a board game, reading a book or going for a walk. Rest is good for our mind, body and soul.

I will let you into a secret, once you’ve finished your list of things that MUST be done, guess what? More ‘jobs’ will miraculously appear! So if we take a few hours, or even a whole day to chill out, rest, or spend time doing something, that in itself is relaxing, we will feel soo much better. And be ready to face the world and all the demands that are placed on us.

We were created to work and be fruitful (no pun intended on the Amazing Apple Pie) but also to rest.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie

Obviously I’m aware many, many people cannot rest on a Sunday. Our Doctors and Nurses, who do such a fantastic job of treating and looking after sick people, don’t just down tools and stop because it’s Sunday. There are millions of people who, without their commitment to providing our security, ensuring our power supplies continue, indeed run our government and many, many more dedicated professions who work around the clock. Far too many to mention here – who ensure the smooth running & care of the population of our Great United Kingdom. To them I give my heartfelt thanks. Just think, Vicars don’t get Sunday off.

Rest doesn’t have to mean just plopping down in front of the telly, although if that’s how you chill out, go for it! Personally I love gardening, gentle gardening, pottering. Planting a few bulbs, deadheading, a little light pruning, nothing that causes me to beak out in a sweat and lands me on the sofa for 3 days, simply because I’ve overdone it. That is not rest, I’ve learned the hard way!

Baking is right up there with gardening as a form of relaxation for me. Gentle pastry making, not frenetic mid-week meal cooking, followed by mums taxi running one child to piano, my lil man to scouts, not to mention the impossible task of getting a filthy rugby kit washed, dried, ironed and ready by the next day. I don’t even own a tumble drier!

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie served with Luxury Homemade Vanilla Bean Custard.

So to my recipe for scrumptious Amazing Apple Pie: am I stressed Noooo. I find the whole process relaxing – if you find that strange – that’s ok. You do what you must to relax, I bake or garden!!!!

You will need a 9-10″ glass pie dish ( the glass really does make a difference – the bottom of the pie doesn’t go soggy – don’t know why – but glass seems to conduct the heat better, resulting in a pie that is baked evenly on the bottom as well as the top! Anyhow it works!!!

Recipe: Amazing Apple Pie serves 6

For the pastry:

350g/12 oz Plain White Flour

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter – cold & cubed

75g/3oz Vegetable Shortening – cold & cubed (or broken into similar sized chunks as the butter) I use Trex

1 Free Range Egg, whisked with 1 tbs of water – for egg wash

1tbsp Demerera Sugar – I use Billingtons

For the filling:

600g/1lb 4oz weight of peeled Apples – Tart varieties (such as Granny Smiths, or cooking apples such as Bramleys) are best, but windfalls of any variety can be used

2 tbs Corn flour also called corn starch

1 Large Lemon – juiced

2 tbs Vanilla sugar or caster sugar & 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Method: Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6

To make the pastry:

Place all the ingredients into a bowl (of stand mixer if using, with paddle attachment), using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, quickly rub/cut/blend the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles lumpy breadcrumbs – pea sized pieces of fat should still be visible.

Add enough cold water – 1 tbs at a time until the pastry JUST comes together, stirring with a butter or palette knife. Just as the mixture starts to clump go in with your hands and gently & quickly bring the clumps together into a ball.

Place the pastry onto some cling film, pat out to form a disc & then cut the disc in half, reshape each half back into a disc. Wrap each half in cling & place in the fridge for at least 30 mins to allow the pastry to relax.

NOTE : Whilst the pastry is resting you can prepare the filling – see below.

Once the pastry has rested remove it from the fridge & place 1 disc on a clean floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling, using even outward motion & turning the disc, adding small amounts of flour so that the pastry doesn’t stick.

When the circle looks wide enough to fill the pie dish, will a small amount of over lap, place the pastry into the UNGREASED pie dish, so that the excess pastry drapes slightly over the edges of the pie dish.

Please don’t worry,  if you have followed the recipe & are using a glass pie dish IT DOES NOT need greasing. There is enough fat in the pastry for it not to stick. If you have used a different type of pie dish I would play it safe & butter it first.

For the filling:

Peel, core and quarter the Apples. Slice the quarters into 3.

Place the prepared apples into a bowl and pour over the lemon juice, cornflour, sugar and spices. Using clean hands toss the apples so that each piece is covered in the lemony, gooey mixture.

Place the apple mixture onto the pastry base.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the outside edge of the pastry with egg wash.

Remove the 2nd pastry disc and roll out as before, ensuring when placed on top, the circle of pastry slightly overlaps the top of the pie.

Using a sharp knife carefully trim the excess pastry. Then either using a fork or your forefinger and thumb, press the lid of the pastry to seal it around the rim to the bottom layer.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Creating an Amazing Apple Pie

Make a few snips in the top of the pastry, to allow any steam to escape.

If you want to be creative, make leaves, berries, whatever you want to decorate the top of the pie, making sure you don’t cover the slits in the pastry up. I just happen to have a mini apple shaped cutter that I couldn’t resist using on this pie.

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Decorated with Pastry apples and leaves, this Amazing Apple Pie is ready for the oven.

Brush the top of the Amazing Apple Pie with egg wash and then sprinkle the Demerera Sugar over the top of the pie. This adds an extra crunch and very mild toffee flavour. Put the pie dish onto a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The pie is cooked when it is a gorgeous golden colour, on top and underneath.

Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for 15 minutes, this will make it easier to slice.

 

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie 

I like to serve this Amazing Apple Pie with Luxury Homemade Vanilla Bean Custard, cream, vanilla ice cream (or all of them!!!!) and a big smile. Wait for a minute and you will, in the moment of the first mouthful become the most popular, loved person in the room.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Amazing Apple Pie you may also like these:

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Iced Bakewell Tart option for un iced version too.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Blackberry Nectarine Tart

This pie cries out to be shared with family, friends and loved ones alike. It’s also worth considering popping across the road to the gentleman who recently lost his wife and sharing a slice of pie with him.

Sometimes, when we are stumped by what to say, our actions can convey more than words ever could.

Until next time, challenge yourself to share with someone who is outside of your comfort zone. You may just make somebody else smile?

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Since we are a family of five, make ahead meals really are helpful when life gets busy. And if the recipe can be made in one pot and I am eternally grateful. My Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole ticks both boxes. Either bubbling away on the hob, or  in the oven, it’s aroma fills the house with a warm spicy scent. Welcoming you home like a warm hug.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole.

Why I love Autumn

Before we get on with the recipe, I wanted to share my thoughts. Autumn, or Fall as it’s called in the States is my favourite season. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Summer, in fact, I like all the seasons. Much as the glorious, unending sunshine places like California offer, I simply love the change in seasons we enjoy here in England. Read Autumn The Most Beautiful Season.

While there is something about, at first, the almost subtle change in weather, usually towards the end of August/beginning of September where I live. The deep, deep green of the leaves on the trees, the rustle as the wind blows through the drying out leaves. Followed by the gorgeous change, through deepest red to fiery orange and a last nod to the daily lowering of the sun in the sky, as the leaves turn yellow. And confetti, like fluttering of the leaves on a blowy day. The ravages of an adorned tree, ripped overnight of its leafy covering, by a violent storm.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole just add Crusty Bread.

Sunshine is always welcome. Especially on a clear, frosty, day. Also, there is something to be said though for darker, rain & wind filled days, snuggled up on the sofa, the smell of a spicy casserole, gently bubbling away in the oven. And puddings! A must, some may say essential,  during the colder months.

Creating a cheap meal using quality  products

Since first making this dish it has evolved to the final recipe given here. While most of the ingredients are relatively cheap, it is essential to use good quality sausages. Pale, flabby pink sausages will simply disintegrate during the long cooking process. Adding quality pork sausages adds to the overall flavour of the dish. Especially as one packet will feed up to six people.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

You will need a large ( 4 litre) ovenproof casserole dish, or bigger if doubling the recipe to feed a crowd.

Recipe: Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole serves 4 – 6

1 Large Onion – chopped into small dice

1 Aubergine – chopped into 1/2″ cubes

450g/1lb Good Quality Sausages each sausage chopped into 4 pieces – I use Graig Farm Sausages

2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of baked beans

2 x 400g butter beans – strained & rinsed with cold water

4 individual bulbs of garlic – minced

1 chilli (or 1tsp chilli flakes) finely chopped

200mls of red wine I use Claret( or 100ml Port – any type except Tawny)

2 tbs tomato puree

1/2tsp Celery Seeds

3/4tsp Fennel Seeds

Handful of fresh parsley chopped and added after serving

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to season.

Note: Having made this dish many times, it has never needed the addition of salt.

Method: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

Assembling the casserole

  • First of all place the onion, aubergine & sausages in the casserole dish & pour over the red wine or Port.
  • Add both tins of tomatoes, then half fill each tin with cold water, swirl around so that you get all of the tomato juices left inside the tin and pour over the casserole.
  • Next tip in the baked beans and swirl the tin with water as before, pouring into the dish, then add the rinsed butter beans.
  • Add the tomato purée, minced garlic, chilli, celery seeds, fennel seeds and a good grinding of black pepper
  • If needed add more cold water until all the ingredients are just covered with liquid. Making sure there is still a good inch between the liquid and the top of the casserole dish.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Making the casserole.
  • Place the lid (or cover tightly with tin foil) on to the dish and place in the oven.
  • Cook at 180C for 1/2 hour then reduce the heat to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1.
  • Leave to cook for 3 hours. Check and top up with recently boiled water so that the ingredients are just covered with liquid again.
  • Clamp on the lid (or foil) and return to the oven for 2 more hours. You can repeat the liquid adding throughout the day, the longer this casserole cooks the better it tastes!
  • The Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole will be cooked after 5 1/2 hours.
  • Serve in bowls, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley for fresh, grassy, Vitamin C filled flavour.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole dinner is served.

Add fresh crusty bread for dunking in the spicy juices.

Leftovers can be chilled, portioned into individual freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole you may also like these:

Slow Roasted Cider Pork

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Slow Roasted Cider Pork.

Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Chunky Chilli

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Chunky Chilli

 

I have wonderful memories attached to making this meal. While on holiday in Devon I wanted to make a meal for friends. Cooking dinner for our hosts resulted in more people being added to the guest list during the day. Extra beans, tomatoes and wine added, we sat happily around their big oak table, enjoying good food and most importantly, great company. Friendships were forged as conversation flowed. Most importantly, it was a feast to remember.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Still Smiling!!!

This Cosmos makes me smile!!
This Cosmos makes me smile!!

Good morning – well it is for me. Well better than yesterday and yes I am Still Smiling!!! Yesterday I had a migraine (which I get frequently, too frequently). I spent the day burying my head in pillows in a pitch dark room, in horrendous pain & fighting nausea. Not nice.

But today I’m feeling a bit better, I keep having to rewrite parts of this blog, as after a migraine it’s like all the wiring in my head goes wrong. I say & write words, out of order, back to front or just draw a complete blank. But the fact that I can tolerate some light, see out of both eyes (I lose sight in one or both eyes) & don’t feel nauseous is definitely a good thing. So I’m smiling!!! That’s me!! Always looking on the positive side of life.

As I’ve shown, life can be tough – in fact I also have other conditions which severely inhibit what I can do on any given day. Does it get me down? Yes! Have I had to learn ways of dealing with the restrictions, pain etc – yes!!

I always try to focus on something positive that has happened that day – a snuggle with my babies (I refer to my children as my babies a lot. I’m good with that & they are too!), a cry with my hubby (it’s good to let things out & not hold them in). My husband comforts & loves me like no other person on this beautiful planet & I love him to bits. Just knowing that he chose me, married me & stays with me through good times & difficult ones. He is one of the main reasons that I keep on Still Smiling!!!

So no, life’s not always easy but I have a lot to smile about. I have a wonderful family. I’m loved. I have true friends who love & accept me as I am. I also have Faith – the cornerstone of all I am.

My total belief in Jesus, my Lord & Saviour , who loves & accepts me just as I am is who I lean on. I celebrate life because of Him. He is the permanent smile in my heart.

All the love & sharing that I have comes from Him.  Until next time, keep smiling & sharing xx

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Super Easy Shortbread Cookies.

Hello again. I’m really enjoying this blogging lark, I hope you are enjoying my thoughts and recipes too? Please leave a comment if you try any. I’d love to hear how you got on. So today let me bring you my Super Easy Shortbread Cookies.

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

Today is the day…..all the children back at school. My mind is buzzing with all the possibilities that today holds! All the things I put off during the summer holidays  to spend time with our 11, 13 and 15 year old children.

I love having them home, they all get along pretty well (not bad for 2 older girls and my boy) and I shall miss their music/chatter/mess… Well maybe not the mess. But they do fill our home with energy and fun. Still tomorrow is the weekend, so today I shall enjoy the peace knowing chaos is only a day away.

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

Hmmm there’s jam to be made, not really in the mood for that, tidying – but it’ll only need doing again on Monday. Cookies! I have nothing really against shop bought biccies but you really can’t beat homemade and these are a doddle.

You will need:

2 x baking sheets with parchment paper on them.

Cling film (I’ll explain later)

Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature : it really makes a difference.

Recipe: Super Easy Shortbread Cookies makes 20-24

150g/5 oz Caster Sugar (plus 2 tsp for sprinkling on top)

1/4 tsp Salt

225g/8 oz Unsalted Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk – the white can be frozen for up to one month, perfect for Pavlova

225g/8 oz Plain White Flour

50g/2 oz Corn Flour – corn starch

Method:

  • Place butter, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • Whisk or beat (using a wooden spoon) together until the mixture is very pale yellow.
  • Now mix in the egg yolk and vanilla paste/extract.
  • Sift in the flour and corn flour.
  • Mix thoroughly, but gently until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Now take a big, deep breath. The smell is scrummy and will help you recognise later when the Super Easy Shortbread Cookies are nearly cooked!
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Making the cookie dough.
  • Set the mixture to one side so that you have a clear work top in front of you. You will need a clear space in front of you. Wipe this space with a clean, slightly wet, dish cloth.
  • Taking the clung film unwrap about 12 inches (30cm) lay it over the damp work surface as you do so. Magically the cling will lay flat and not become a tangled mess!
  • Place half of your cookie dough on the cling film in a rough log shape.
  • Using your hands and the cling mould the dough into a log, with a diameter of approx 1 1/2″ (7cm)
  • Wrap tightly making sure the cookie dough is as even as possible along the log.
  • Carefully transfer this to the fridge laying it on a flat surface (the dough will still be quite squishy – I usually lay it lengthways across my palm).
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the cookie dough. Leave the dough to rest and harden up for at least 2-3 hours.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Creating the cookie dough log, chilling and slicing the cookies.
  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4, just before you remove the cookie dough log from the fridge.
  • Remove 1 log from the fridge and leave to warm slightly for 5 minutes (I find leaving it for this time makes the dough easier to cut and not crack).
  • Using a sharp knife cut regular discs approx 1/4″ (1/2cm) wide.
  • You should end up with 10-12 cookie discs.
  • Place these on the parchment paper lined baking sheets, making sure there is at least 1″/2.5cm gap each way between the discs.
  • Sprinkle each cookie with a little sugar.
  • Place the baking trays in the centre and lower part of the oven
  • Bake the Super Easy Shortbread Cookies for 14-17 minutes. When baked they are a light golden colour.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
  • When you start to smell the scrumptious buttery, vanilla smell it’s time to check on your cookies. DON’T PROD THEM – however tempting! They will still be soft and firm up on cooling. These cookies are cooked when they turn a light golden colour. Remove from the oven, careful they are hot!
  • Leave the cookies on the baking tray to cool completely.
FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
  • The sprinkle of sugar added just before baking gives the cookies a sparkling sheen once baked.

Pop the kettle on and try one, just to make sure they’re good. These cookies travel well and I like to pop some in cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon and pass them on to friends andfamily. They are also scrummy when shared with a close friend over a cuppa and a heart to heart chat.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Super Easy Shortbread Cookies you may also like these:

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Cherry Bakewell Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Rolo Chocolate Cookies 

FF Super Easy Shortbread Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies

Since I am a self confessed Cookie Monster, I assume that others are too. Baking fresh cookies, ready to share, is one way of showing my friends and family how much I love them. I mean I’m giving away cookies! Whether it’s cookies, cakes or other bakes, I have never had anyone turn down the gift of a homemade treat.

If you want to see more of my recipes, or show me your bakes you can find me on Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest – @sammiefeasting

Sammie xx

No part of this post may reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake has to be one of my all time favourite cakes. While there are a gazillion recipes on the internet and in books, I wanted to add my own. Firstly because hopefully this blog will become a go-to resource for our children as they continue on their cooking and baking journey. Also, I like my lemon drizzle a certain way. That is, with a fresh lemon glacé icing draped and drizzled over the top. I hope that you enjoy my take on this classic cake?

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Since there are various ways to make a lemon drizzle cake, I thought I’d explore them. Traditionally a lemon sugar syrup is made and poured over the top of the cake, creating a crunchy, sugar crust as it cools. For my take on this version see these Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes.Perfect individual portions of sunshine.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemons are a must-have ingredient in my kitchen. Used in both sweet and savoury recipes they are essential in my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad where the un-waxed, scrubbed lemons are cut so thinly they are eaten as part of the dish. Also they are used to thin down mayonnaise for my Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw.Whether halved and added to the cavity of a roasting chicken, or simply squeezed over baked salmon, they add a burst of flavour that lifts each dish.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

While lemon extract is available and I confess sometimes is used in my recipes, nothing is quite as good as using the real thing. During lemon season I buy un-waxed lemons as they tend to be slightly under ripe. However, I have had many a mouldy lemon lurking in the fridge! So, if buying waxed lemons, simply scrub under hot water with a nail brush. As a note, I lightly scrub un-waxed lemons as well if using the zest.

You will need a 25cm x 11cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin,

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake serves 8

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Egg

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Whole Lemon – finely zested and juiced

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt, halve quantity if using free flowing

175g/6 oz Icing Sugar

Optional – White and Yellow Sprinkles – mine are from Waitrose

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3.

  • Place butter, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add 2 eggs, the vanilla extract and half of the sieved flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Whisk until just combined.
  • Now add the last 2 eggs, remaining flour and lemon zest.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the lemon cake batter into the prepared tin ensuring the top is level.
  • Place the cake into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake before and after baking.
  • While the cake cools make the glacé icing.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir until thickly combined and completely lump free. If the icing is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • After 20 minutes cooling, run a palette knife around the outside edge of the cake. Turn the cake out – take care it will still be warm. Peel back the parchment paper from the base and discard.
  • Place the cake on to a cooling rack which is then place over a tray or plate.
  • Using a spoon drizzle the lemon icing over the cake, encouraging it to drip down the sides in places.
  • Finally scatter over some yellow and white sprinkles and leave the cake to cool completely.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Freshly iced Lemon Drizzle Cake in the Spring sunshine.

Once cooled this cake is easily sliced. Serve with lemon tea for extra lemon flavour.

Keep the cake in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake you may also like these:

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Since this cake is so delicious, it’s good to know that I have successfully doubled the recipe and baked two cakes at the same time. It is my firm belief that all food tastes better when shared. So, whether you are baking this cake for yourself, or alternatively as a gift, it’s definitely worth making two. In fact why not give both cakes away?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Bread Baked The Easy Way!

My Large Loaf!!

image

Hi, thank you for dropping by.

Today is my first day of blogging!!! I’m excited. I’m going to show you how to bake bread the easy way! The sun is shining, so that means my veggie plants & flowers need watering.

I love the early morning smell of the garden, the slight dampness of dew on the grass, the smell of my tomato plants as I brush past them…

Anyhow I’m waffling, you may find that happens a lot! Back to business. Hey, no, didn’t I say that “Feasting is Fun”??

Bread: that’s what I will be making this morning (with the aid of my bread maker). If you have a stand mixer that can do the same job as my bread maker.

Recipe for a Large White Loaf

4lb loaf tin, buttered.

1 1/2 sachets dried yeast or 15g fresh (or I’m using frozen) yeast.

1lb 8oz Strong White Flour

380-400ml Water (warm -body temp)

1 tsp Honey

2 tsp kosher salt

2oz butter

1 large (4lb) buttered loaf tin

Clean tea towel

Place most of the water (380ml) into a bowl (of stand mixer or bread maker if using), add yeast. Swish about a bit with clean fingers to mix the yeast into the water ( rub the fresh/frozen yeast through your fingers until it is dissolved into the water). Add the teaspoon of honey & set to one side whilst you weigh the flour.

Add the flour so it sits on top of the yeast/honey/water mixture. Then add the salt.  Break the butter into 3-4 pieces (it’s best if it’s room temp – but if it’s cold don’t worry, the bread will just take a little longer to rise).

With a stand mixer make sure the dough hook is attached a mix on slow/medium speed for 8-10 minutes. If using a bread maker I use a spatula to manually mix the dough, giving it approx 6-8 good stirs (this amount of mixture is a little too much for the paddle in my bread machine, doing this starts the mixing process & then the machine can happily cope with fully mixing the dough!).

As the dough comes together it should mix smoothly & look soft & elastic. If it looks dry – or the mixing device makes a clunking sound add more water (the extra 20mls).  Be patient it takes a minute or so for the water to become incorporated.  Continue mixing for the 8-10 minutes.

If using a bread maker I use the dough cycle, so once mixing is finished the dough is then left in the machine to prove, until doubled in size (up to 2 hours), I then use the start of the dough cycle to knock back the dough for 2 mins before removing the dough.

If you are using a stand mixer, after the initial mixing process is complete, remove all the dough, place onto a clean floured surface & shape into a ball.  Place into a buttered bowl, turn over once, so the top has a coating of butter on it & cover the bowl tightly with cling film. Place in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size (up to 2 hours).  After this time remove the cling & punch down into the dough gently (feels sooo nice) to deflate the dough.

With either method you now have bread dough ready to be shaped.  Place the dough on a floured surface and stretch it out with your hands.  Fold one end into the middle & do the same with the other end.  Turn the dough by a quarter & repeat the stretching & folding.  Do this twice more.  This is building structure into your dough & this little bit if effort makes a BIG difference to your finished loaf.

Place the dough seam side down into your buttered loaf tin.  Cover with a tea towel & place in a warm draught free place until doubled in size (up to 2 hours).

Just before it has completely doubled turn your oven onto its highest setting, 250C/500F.

When doubled remove tea towel & place the tin in the oven.  I then turn the heat down to 230C (but it’s fine to keep it at its hottest – just don’t forget about your bread!!). Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on your oven & how crusty you want your bread), I usually tip mine out of its tin & leave it upside down on the oven rack (with the oven still on) whilst I rinse out the loaf tin –

White/Wholemeal 50:50 loaf with added seeds. Delicious - might need a lil more water.
White/Wholemeal 50:50 loaf with added seeds. Delicious – might need a lil more water.

– CAREFUL it’s very HOT!

When the bread is a gorgeous deep golden colour remove from the oven, tip out of the tin straight away, or you will have a soggy loaf on the bottom.  The bread should sound hollow if you knock on the base with your knuckle.

Enjoy the smell!!! There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread.

 

Now’s the hard part WAITING!  The loaf needs to cool to just above room temp otherwise it won’t cut properly.

Prep time is no more than 10 mins. Once you’ve made your first couple of loaves you should get into a rhythm & see how easy it is to make your own bread.

Then find someone to share it with.  Food ALWAYS tastes better when it’s shared.

Please let me know how you get on.  I’m not a professional chef but I’m happy to try & answer baking/cooking related questions.

Until next time have fun making each meal a feast!!

 

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