BEDA: Addendum! Limes and Lemons

Hello kittens!

Earlier this month (a few days back, really) I posted about the delicious Lime Drizzle Loaf I made for my Easter shindig. Not more than a week later, and actually around the time I was writing up the recipe, I made the cake again but with lemons, for my mother’s birthday cake. It went down a treat.

It’s really easy to substitute Lemons and Limes in recipes to change them to your personal preference, or what you have in the kitchen at the time. A good sized lime is approximately half the size of a lemon, so if a recipe calls for the juice of a lemon, you’d need the juice of two limes. If your limes are particularly dinky (I’m looking at you, three lime net baggies from the supermarket) you may need to stretch to two and a half. Same goes for zest.

If you are looking for a citrus hit, lemon is the classic go to fruit, but I think limes have a much tarter and more complex flavour, so I highly reccomend switching it up from time to time. Also, fresh lime zest is the prettiest shade of green and looks fab. Once baked inside a cake it greys out a little, but it’s still eye catching.

 

Hope that helps, and have fun!

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Snowcapped Gingercake : Recipe Advent Calendar 17th

I love gingerbread in all its forms, but I’ve never posted a recipe for the treacly, cakey variety. That is all about to change.

I have been making this cake since I was a student, and it is sticky and filling and satisfying and, just, yum. Topped with white chocolate ganache flavoured with lemon, and it’s a truly special treat. If you aren’t a fan of fruitcakes, you could even use this recipe as your ‘christmas cake’- dust the finished product with icing sugar to imitate fresh fallen snow, and decorate as for a snow scene!

To be honest, the topping is really, pun intended, the icing on the cake, as this burnished brown beauty is sumptuously tasty all on its own. I mean, just look at it…

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Snowcapped Gingercake

  • 1-2 quantities of white chocolate ganache as per the recipe here
  • OPTIONAL: Zest of a lemon and/or 1/2 tsp Lemon extract
  • 150g Butter
  • 175g Soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Treacle
  • 2 cups Plain flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 Free range egg
  • White chocolate curls or icing sugar to garnish

The first step is to make your ganache. If you just want to cover the top of the cake, then you need 1 quantity. If you want to cover the whole cake, then make two. Instead of adding liquor, you can either leave the ganache as it is, or flavour it with lemon zest and/or lemon extract. Don’t use lemon juice, as the acid will affect the consistency of the finished product.

Now, for the cake: Melt the butter, sugar and treacle together in a milk pan over a low heat. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes or so.

Preheat your oven to 170 c and grease a 9×9 cake tin ready for the baking.

Mix together your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. I use a whisk, as that what there is no need to sieve.

Stir in the milk, then the egg, then the butter-sugar-treacle mixture and mix everything together gently, and pour out into the tin.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 170 c. Check at 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely, then ice with the ganache and decorate as desired. Store in an airtight container or in the fridge.

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If you do want a fruitier twist than just the lemons, peel, core and cube a couple of eating apples and treat them with lemon juice, or acidulated water. These can be mixed in to the batter with everything else. I personally like my gingerbread unadulterated, but ginger and fruit are a match made in food heaven.

Enjoy!

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Festive Libations: Recipe Advent Calendar 5th-9th

Sorry tee-tollers; this post is not going to be for you.

I like my Christmas ‘merry’, and for me there is nothing so festive as a swanky Christmas cocktail party. Not that I get invited to too many of those, but an evening under the Christmas lights, martini glass in one hand and wrapping paper in the other does me just fine.

I like my cocktails fruity and sweet, so this ‘menu’ leans quite a bit that way. Some are long, most are strong, but all are instant festive favourites and I just know you’ll love getting ‘jingled’ on them as much as I do.

I dedicate this post to Simon, Davi, Pam, Amber, David, Gary, Holly and Izzy, who dutifully ‘tested’ these out for me over the weekend.

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Cheery Chocolate Cherry-tini

For a ‘martini’, this isn’t the strongest drink around, but it is so tasty and festively red. I adore it. If you really can’t get hold of creme de cacao you *can* use a sweet clear liqueur like Malibu, but I really recommend getting yourself a bottle of this stuff. One, you’ll need it for another recipe later on. Two, you deserve it. Three, it isn’t too difficult to find- a well stocked drinks specialist/off license should have it, or try amazon or thedrinkshop.com.

  • 1 part cherry juice
  • 1 part creme de cacao
  • 1 part vanilla vodka

Add ingredients to a shaker and shake over ice. Serve in a martini glass with a glacé or maraschino cherry garnish. If you like your drink a little longer, use two measures of cherry juice.

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The Grinch

I love love LOVE this cocktail because it is such a step away from the usual christmas flavours, whilst still being pretty darn festive, colour accurate and refreshingly delicious.

  •  2 measures midori
  • 1/2 measure lemon juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • OPTIONAL: a tap of confectioners glitter in Holographic White (for the snow of Hooville)

Shake ingredients over ice and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a glacé or maraschino cherry. For extra cheer, wet the rim of your glass with the rind of the lemon and rim it with coloured sugar- I recommend red.

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Poinsettia

This fruity, oh-so-red holiday favourite is a great pitcher drink for parties, but here are the measurements for just one glass… if you can restrain yourself to that. There is debate on the the orange liqueur to use, and the sparkling wine, but for me it has to be Cointreau, and I’m not fussy on the wine. White or pink, Champagne or reasonable-but-drinkable plonk- I don’t think you need to go all out on a wine you are using in the mix. If you can drink it on its own, you’re doing it right. If you’re breaking the bank to buy a bottle, you’re doing it wrong.

  • 1/2 measure Cointreau
  • 2 measures Cranberry juice
  • Sparkling wine or Champagne

Pour the Cointreau and chilled cranberry juice into your champagne flute and stir well. If the juice isn’t chilled before hand, use a shaker full of ice to bring the temperature of it and the liqueur down. Top with the fizz.

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Black Forest Martini

There are lots of versions of a Black Forest or Chocolate Raspberry Martini, but this is my favourite. I find this recipe irresistibly festive and delicious, so I’ve included it. Because I love you and I want you to get proper merry this season. This one is really very strong- you have been warned.

  • 1 measure Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 measure Cherry Brandy
  • 1 measure Creme de Cacao

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake over ice. Serve in a cocktail glass rimmed with sugar and confectioners glitter, like a touch of hoarfrost. Beautiful and delicious.

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Lets Get Sauced

I saw this fun and, essentially, frugal take on a Cosmopolitan on Mamrie Hart’s genius Youtube show ‘You Deserve a Drink’. If you’ve got some Cranberry Sauce that needs some love, fix yourself one of these. Please note that I’ve erred on the side of, erm, caution with these measurements.

  • 2 shots citrus vodka
  • 1 shot lime juice
  • A generous tablespoon of cranberry sauce

Add all your ingredients to a shaker and shake thoroughly over plenty of ice. Strain and serve in a martini glass with a slice of lime to garnish.

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After one of each of those you’ll probably be a little worse for wear, so please remember to drink responsibly, particularly around this feast season: you shouldn’t let anything spoil your celebrations.

That aside, the above concotions also make an excellent cocktail menu if you are planning a christmassy party- try writing or printing them up in a calligraphy style font to set out for your guests to order from or serve themselves with.

I’ll see you again on the 10th with another recipe. Have a Merry-in-more-ways-than-one evening, everyone!

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