Lemon cake


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Just the kind of laid back cake that packs a punch while dressed most plainly in a sponge batter.

The tartness of lemons balances ever so perfectly with the sweetness of cake that it’s difficult to understand whether its complementing your palette or squeezing in your cheeks.

Even better, it tastes more delicious the next day, if it survives, that is.

The summeriness of lemons does wonders to uplift your spirits and this cake works perfectly as a midday sweet snack filler or lazy dessert. It’s not easy to say ‘no’ to this bronze slab of sour sweet zing, and if you can resist it then you ARE heartless.

 

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there are two stages to this cake. one is the batter and the other is syrup and both idiotically easy.

 

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begin by creaming butter and sugar

 

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once they’re satisfactorily creamed, add vanilla extract

 

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and lemon zest

 

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and eggs

 

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also mix the leavening agents into the flour for an even mix.

 

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add flour to the mix

 

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mix well.

 

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it’ll be a thick thick batter, and a bit of milk will soften its consistency without thinning it.

 

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nice dropping consistency

 

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line a baking tin of choice with baking paper. Scrape the batter in and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean

 

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while the cake bakes we can get on with the syrup. It’s a simple syrup. With sugar and lemon juice.

 

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add sugar to a pot

 

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and the lemon juice

 

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and let it cook until the sugar begins to melt

 

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here the contents began boiling which meant the sugar was pretty much dissolved.Convey the pot to a cooler place and let it slowly cool. DO NOT be tempted to taste the boiling potion. You’ll come to regret it so.

 

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once the cake is baked and out of the oven, do not wait for it to cool down.

 

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start poking deep holes in it. Use a skewer or a toothpick.

 

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Drizzle lemon syrup all over, so that the top is sodden. Be brave. The cake won’t crumble under all that liquid. In fact it will absorb all the contents.

 

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The surface will be slick with the syrup. Let the cake continue cooling in its tin. If you try to pry it out at this stage it will tend to crumble and break apart.

 

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you might wonder why there’s a difference in picture of the said cake. I’d baked two cakes. The one baked in loaf tin was given away promptly and the one shown above was consumed by this blogger.

 

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Ingredients

For the cake

Butter: 120 g (3/4 cup)

Sugar: 170 g (1.5 cups)

Flour: 170g (1.5 cups)

Eggs: 2

Zest of 1 lemon

Milk: 4 tbsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Baking soda: 1/4 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

For the lemon syrup

Juice of 2 lemons

80g (3/4 cup) sugar


Recipe instructions: cream together butter and sugar, and add lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat them well. Add flour and leavening agents and fold all ingredients to form a batter. Add milk to thin the batter in spoonable consistency and bake in a well greased and paper lined baking tin at 180° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake bakes prepare the syrup. Heat gently the sugar and lemon juice until all sugar has dissolved.

Once the cake is baked and out of the oven, prick holes or puncture the top with a toothpick or cake testing skewer to form holes. Pour over the syrup and let the cake rest to absorb the syrup in its pan. Don’t take out the cake until it’s completely cooled.

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Cut into pieces and serve.

 

 

 

Lemon meringue pie


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This is the official dessert served to all sinners in hell. It’s also known as crack for angels! This slice of sunny gold is actually all the happiness in the world bound into a pie. It’s sweet, lemony, buttery and guilt inducing. Guilt you would happily live with, guilt that would never weigh on your conscience, guilt that would force you to commit this sin over and over again. Lemon meringue pie is also a perfect substitute for love and all those carnal pleasure everyone keeps raving about.

This is a time-consuming recipe, but that does not mean it is difficult. It’s easy and the time that takes making this is more than worth it, because time hasn’t eaten this and if it had, time wouldn’t be such an ass at times.

So let’s get the basic first!

DSC_0992this pie has three parts. The bottom pie crust which is like the tissues & the muscle fibres of a body, then it has the lemon filling which is like the soul of a body and finally the meringue which is like skin and makeup. So there you have it. This is easy stuff! let us begin

DSC_0906Pie crust ingredients: flour, water, butter, sugar and salt.

DSC_0908Make sure the butter is very cold and cut into cubes. Then into a bowl with the flour, sugar and salt we need to work the butter into the flour until it resembles fat breadcrumbs. you can either use a food processor/pastry cutter/fork or just use your finger tips and mush the butter and flour together, making sure the butter stays cold at all times.

DSC_0910this is what you want it to look like. Form this into a dough by putting in a tablespoon water at a time until it comes together to form a dough. DO NOT KNEAD!! we don’t want any gluten formation. using a spoon or a butter knife make criss cross actions until you feel the dough starts clumping at which time you shall stop and very gently with your hands form into a ball.

DSC_0913Like so!

DSC_0915Divide into two parts, Wrap them in cling film and stick into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

I do not have the rolling out pictures of the dough because my hands were greasy and floury but it’s very easy.

You only need one dough ball for this. Freeze the other one for the next time you want to make a pie.Once you’ve retrieved the dough from the fridge just roll it out on a lightly floured surface and keep rotating it so that it doesn’t stick on the platform. Once it’s the size of your pie tin, you need to lay it on to fit and cut the excess from the edges.

Another simple way it to break small balls off your dough and line them in the pie tray and with the back of a glass just flatten them evenly so that all the sides are covered with the dough.

DSC_0919Once you’ve lined the pie crust in the pie tin, poke some holes into it so that it doesn’t rise while baking. We are going to blind bake this pie crust, which simply means this..

DSC_0920Line your poked pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with beans/rice or pie weights if you happen to have them. This will ensure that there is no silly rising in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes

DSC_0922After 15 minutes let the pie crust out and let cool.

Now for phase 2

DSC_0924The soul of the pie: Lemon filling. You don’t need egg whites for this but you need them for the meringue, also I forgot to mention that you also need some butter (not pictured) because it’s forever alone okay?

DSC_0927Into thick bottomed sauce pan, add the sugar and the corn flour/ corn starch whatever you call in your part of the world.

DSC_0929Mix to combine

DSC_0931add water

DSC_0932lemon juice

DSC_0934On a low flame start mixing without stopping for even a second. Thou shalt not stop, no matter what. Keep stirring with a whisk, your arms will be sore but the pie will be delicious.

DSC_0939After a few minutes of whisking CONTINUOUSLY this is what will happen. It’s called magic. The corn starch/flour will form this..

DSC_0938This is what you want!

DSC_0940Put a spoonful of this hot mess into your egg yolks to temper them. You don’t want lemony scrambled eggs, so do this!

DSC_0942Put these tempered eggs back into the saucepan where we have some weird magic going, and now look at this transform

DSC_0943Very quickly add in the zest and the butter (not pictured, it’s forever alone).

DSC_0945Whisk, whisk and whisk. Keep the flame low.

DSC_0947Lift your whisk and admire your handiwork, Turn off the flame and keep it aside to cool for a bit.

Let’s get on to forming the skin & makeup of this pie.. I mean the meringue. Feel like a god!

DSC_0949Egg whites and a faithful beater

DSC_0950Beat till it’s all foamy, and add in sugar

DSC_0952Keep beating until it looks like this. It resembles whipped cream, but it is actually whipped eggs! The should look nice & shiny ok?

Assembly!!

DSC_0954Lemon filling into the pie crust now completely cooled.

DSC_0955Even it a bit

DSC_0956Top with the meringue.

DSC_0960Take a good look. I made pretty peaks!! Push into an oven and wait patiently.

DSC_0962Once the meringue is nicely browned you know it’s done. Pull it out and let it COOL COMPLETELY! you have to wait for at least 2-3 hours before you push this in your mouth. The cooling step is absolutely essential if you want an awesome pie, and as I mentioned that wait is worth it. I went out for a movie while it cooled. Just giving you some ideas..

DSC_0967And once it’s cooled you can slice it and bathe in it.

DSC_0989This is how it looks from the top

DSC_0994and from the side. If you want to know what it tasted like, then let me tell you that you’d want to take it to bed with you.

Make it this weekend.

Ingredients

For the pie crust

Flour 350 g

Sugar 1 tablespoon

Salt 1 tablespoon

Butter 200 g (cold & cubed)

Cold water 3-4 tablespoon

For the lemon filling

 3 Egg yolks

sugar 100 g

cornflour/corn starch 5 tablespoons

Butter 30 g

Lemon juice 4 tablespoons

Lemon zest 1 teaspoon

Meringue

3 Egg whites

Sugar 50 g

Recipe Into a large bowl sift in the flour, salt and sugar and add the very cold butter and work into the flour until the flour resembles fat crumbs. You can also process it. Add one tablespoon water at a time until the dough just comes together or starts clumping. Do not add too much water to the dough.

Divide the dough into two balls and wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. I use only one dough ball since my pie tin is 6 inches and freeze the rest for next time.

Roll the dough on a floured surface making sure it doesn’t stick to the surface, rotating every few seconds helps. Line in the pie tin and cut off the extra from the edges.

Make holes all over using a fork and line with aluminum foil weighing down with beans or weights. Bake in a pre heated oven at 180℃ for 15-18 minutes. Remove the foil and let it cool.

Lemon Filling: In a heavy bottomed sauce pan add the sugar, corn starch, water and lemon juice. Whisk continuously over a low flame until it starts coming together and looks weirdly congealed.

Take a spoonful of this mixture and add into the egg yolks to temper them.

Add the now tempered egg yolks into the sugar mixture and whisk again, adding the butter and the lemon zest. keep whisking for another few minutes until the mixture is hot and then remove from the flame and let cool slightly.

Meringue: Into a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites to form a somewhat foamy mixture and gradually add in the sugar and keep beating until it starts resembling shiny whipped cream and holds peaks.

Assembly: Fill the pie crust with the lemon filling and smooth it out evenly. Top with the meringue and bake at 170℃ for 30- 35 minutes or until the top starts browning.

Let cool completely for at least 2-3 hours before slicing.

Enjoy!

Citrus butter cookies


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These citrusy buttery delights were something I’d been longing to make ever since I stumbled upon Pioneer Woman’s recipe (here)

For whatever reason’s I kept postponing because procrastination is one of my super powers. Somehow after my man nagged me for a batch of fresh cookies which weren’t chocolate, I figured this is the time I make these citrus drops.

I altered the original recipe a bit because in my remote Chinese town, where even blogging can become a problem, I didn’t have all the ingredients necessary, but somehow I tweaked a bit and these came out ,oh so fabulous, oh so mouth-watering and oh so citrusy, that I imagine the original recipe must have been absolutely off the charts.

This wasn’t difficult, in fact it was one of the easier cookie recipes and so much fun to make.. so here goes.

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The ingredients really easy and quick to assemble. Butter, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.

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As with most cookies out there, it begins fairly easy by creaming the butter which becomes a lot harder if it isn’t at room temperature. Also you don’t have to cream it’s soul. Just a minute would do, or even less.

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In with the sugar

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followed by the egg yolk

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I’d really hoped the yolk maintained it’s integrity but NO!

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Beat the butter, sugar and egg yolk and add the zest of both lemon and orange, but also reserve a bit for later, which we will come to in a bit.

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now the flour

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beat that all together and you’d probably end up with a bit crumbly mixture. It’s really not a problem, because now you add some orange juice

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and some lemon juice

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Mix well and it shall all clump into this sunny yellow glorious dough. Just a faint whiff and you’d faint.

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Roll into balls. It’s almost as if I’m moulding a sun.

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this is just to let you know how big these were. I scooped out using my melon scooper. These were the prettiest things I saw all week.

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Lay them out on a parchment paper, so as to avoid any stick up that might happen.

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Behold the mighty yellow kisses of sun.. I baked mine for some 15 minutes at 190℃ . I also flattened their tops a bit using the back of a glass before pushing them in the oven. Can you see the orange specks of the zest? Let these cool, while we get on with the icing.

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The icing is simple enough. Lemon and orange zest, meringue powder, lemon and orange juice. It’s actually royal icing, but I’m not too sure about the eggs here, so instead of making them with egg whites, I used meringue powder instead. But if you have your own royal icing recipe using egg whites, please feel free.

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This is just Meringue powder, lemon and orange juice, the zests and powdered sugar, all beaten into a frenzy to create…..

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THIS!!! isn’t this beautiful? the consistency is really up to you, but i like thick fat icing ribbons so I didn’t let it get too thin a drizzle.

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Using a spoon,or a piping bag if you want more elegance, lay on the icing as you wish, however you want.

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Absolutely unsure fat patterns. Also before the icing dries don’t forget to put some more strands of zest on these babies.

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See??

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These are sugary, buttery bites of citrus in your mouth. Your cheeks will feel it, you will love it and your man, well mine kept lurking until the last pictures were taken, and then these were devoured rather mercilessly.

These have to be made to be believed, and you’d feel oh so competent about yourself..

Thanks a lot Pioneer Woman for these full flavoured bites of citrus love.

Ingredients

200 gms Butter

150 gms sugar

1 large egg separated

200 gms all-purpose flour

30 gms of lemon zest and orange zest (roughly 2 tablespoons)

40 mls each of lemon and orange juice

ICING

Meringue powder (as mentioned on the box)

30 gms of orange & lemon zest + extra for decoration.

30 mls tbsp orange and lemon juice

For the consistency I had, I used about 30 gms (around 2 tbsps) of meringue powder, 50 gms powdered sugar, scant amount of water and 30 mls (about 2 tbsps) each of orange and lemon juice. But really it’s up to you. You might want to go thicker or thinner with the icing.

Instructions

Cream the butter (make sure the butter is at room temperature), add in the sugar and egg yolk. Beat again to mix and add in the zest and the flour. Beat until it’s more or less mixed and finally add in the juice and beat to combine.

Scoop out equal sized balls using a melon scooper, or however your MO is and roll them into balls. Line on a parchment paper and slightly flatten their tops using the back of a glass. Bake at 190℃ for 15 minutes and let cool completely before icing.

Meringue icing as per instructions or as I mentioned above for the consistency I got. Decorate your now cooled cookies as you desire, or just go for a not so subtle pattern and drizzle the remaining zest before the icing dries off. Remember to let the icing set before unleashing yourself.

Lemon Apple pops..


They’re cold, they’re delicious and they’re very very healthy (these ones at least). Pops somehow always evoke the memory of my childhood, buying the cheapest and the coldest lick lollies, orange or cola flavoured, dripping down all over my dress, running down my arm I always had the most satisfying orange grin and a tooth cavity.

These are great desserts and my sweet toothed husband never seems to get enough of these. As a grown up now, I have lost that fondness for them but these babies- they’re delicious and you’d never feel guilty about letting these drip down your arms..

AS the name suggest you need an apple and a lemon.

An apple nicely peeled and cored.

Juicy fat lemon

Zest of the lemon

200 gms of yogurt

add in the zest and squeeze the lemon making sure that no seeds get mixed up.

if you want some sweetness add in 1 tsp sugar, you can omit this if you want no sugar in your Popsicle.

I also added in around 1 tsp of blueberry jam. It just gives it a very slight tinge & tiny blueberry note.

That’s it. These are all the ingredients and we just need to blend them together & pour them into the moulds.

Freeze these overnight and you’ll have the most awesome lemony pops ever.. ever!!!

Enjoy !!!!!