Lemon Creme Tarts

1239576_10153238127385075_1501917106_n

 

What do you do when you have a spare weekend? Probably something a lot more social than I do. Unless you count talking to packs of flour as social. I have to. These tarts have a sweet short base with a hint of vanilla, a bitter lemon curd. creamy lemon custard and a chantilly cream. They’re dainty. They’re zingy. They’re easy to drop three out of eight on the floor.

INGREDIENTS:

Pastry:

  • 220 g of butter
  • 440g of plain flour
  • 20g of icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp of cold water

Recipe for pastry:

I’m putting it here as it needs to be done way in advance. It’s practically the same as the pastry recipe for the other tart (see bramble tart) except with no cocoa powder.

  • Take the cold butter and cut into small squares. Add it to a bowl of your flour (ideally cooled) and rub between your fingers to make a breadcrumb like consistency. It needs to be void of big butter clumps.
  • Add the water and  squeeze the dough, incorporate until the dough becomes a ball shape and feels mostly dry to the touch but doesn’t crumble.
  • Cover in cling film then cool in the fridge for at least 20mins. Preheat the oven to 190 and then form a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry out until about 5mm thick, making sure to keep turning it as you are rolling it out to prevent it sticking to the surface.
  • Cut circles about an inch bigger than your tin (or mini tins), place the centre in first then using a small piece of pastry to push the pastry to the sides. Using a sharp knife, cut the excess off (flat around the side of the tin).
  • Poke small holes at the bottom, If you are using mini tins then you won’t need to use beads but if you use a large one then follow the beads recipe on the bramble tart.
  • Cool again for 20min, then cook for about 15min until golden brown. Leave to cool and it should come away from the tin.

Curd:

  • Exactly the same as the one in the lime mojito cupcakes but with the use of lemons

Custard and cream:

  • Follow recipe in the bramble tart.

1098184_10153238127235075_1298473775_n

Guinness Chocolate [optionally mint] Cake

296125_10152885869095075_143148728_n

It may just be me, more specifically the irish, or even more specifically the alcoholic in me that feels this but In my opinion, the addition of guinness to a chocolate cake makes it inherently better than any other. This recipe also means you only need a pan and a tin, no mixing bowls involved, until you get to the icing that is. Anyway. It’s easy, deep, and has alcohol in it. Like a true essex bird. The mint is optional here, you can use whichever icing you want, if you like the mint icing you’ll find it on the mojito cupcake recipe! I find a lemon icing works well also (lemon essence and some lemon zest!)

Ingredients:

Sponge:

  • 250ml guinness
  • 8 oz butter
  • 75 g of cocoa powder (high-quality, no drinking chocolate)
  • 280g plain flour
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 140ml milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarb

Recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 180 and line two 8 inch tins
  • Pour the guinness and butter (sliced) into a pan on a medium heat until the butter is melted then whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Beat the milk with the eggs and then pour into the pan (still on heat) and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb. Mix very well. It’ll be thick and look like a brownie mix!
  • Pour the mixture into two tins but do not overfill (just under the rim should be good. wahey!) and cook for about 40mins until springy to the touch.
  • It’s a heavy and dark cake but will be moist inside so don’t worry. Do not take out the tin until almost completely cooled, it’ll fall apart if not!
  • Make some icing! A lot of people like it with cream cheese icing as it makes it look like guinness! To make this, whip 300g of cream cheese, 150g of icing sugar and 125ml of whipping cream together.

Other option: Add some fresh raspberry puree to a standard chocolate icing:

941953_10152885869400075_1927323634_n

Lime mojito cupcakes

As it’s nearing that time of the year where I challenge my physical ability to the point of stupidity, I decided to make cupcakes for a bake sale. These were one of the cakes on the menu. I say menu. There were two options. Elitist I know. Anywho, who doesn’t like a mojito? Me actually. But I love mint and lime. So here they are.

aaaaa

 

Ingredients:

Sponge:

  • 8 oz butter
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 8 oz self raising flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 0.5 teaspoons of baking powder
  • zest of three limes
  • juice of one lime (keep the other two for the curd)

Curd:

  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 1oz butter
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • juice of two limes (and zest of one)

Icing:

  • 8oz of butter
  • 3 oz of icing sugar
  • mint extract (or fresh mint reduced in sugar water)

aaa

Recipe:

  1. Do as usual: combine the butter and sugar of the sponge mix until fluffy and light yellow. Add the flour and baking powder followed by the eggs and mix well. This should result in a slightly stiff mixture. Now add the lime juice WHILST mixing, and it should loosen up. Lastly add the zest.
  2. Aliquot the mixture into 12 cupcake (muffin) cases in a deep muffin tin. Fill them to 2/3 of the way with mixture. This recipe will probably make about 14 cupcakes. Cook at 180 for 20mins until slightly golden, springy to the touch and a knife comes out clean.
  3. Whilst cooking, make the curd. Put all ingredients in a medium heat pan at the same time and whisk slowly constantly, it will soon thicken and when it reaches the point where your whisk marks can be seen, take it off the heat and decant into a bowl. This can be stored for a long time
  4. Take the cakes out of the oven and instantly remove the cakes from the tin, leave to completely cool.
  5. In the cooling time, make the icing.  The butter needs to be room temperature. You may need more or less icing sugar/essence depending on your taste, but use an electric whisk to bring it all together and it’ll expand slightly giving a minty marshmallow like taste. I reckon a teaspoon of mint essence is usually enough. Fill into a piping bag with a rose-ended nozzle (or any other that tickles your fancy) and cool in the fridge for a little bit
  6. Using a knife at about 45 degrees, cut a small lid off the cupcakes. Pipe around the outside with your mint icing and then fill the centre with your lime curd. If you fancy, decorate with sugar. Bit gay. Bit necessary.

aaaa