Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake!

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeThere are lots of things that people don’t tell you about becoming a parent. Particularly some of the dilemmas a foodie parent might face…

For example, when I was making this cake – my 6 week old daughter Tilly decided that she wanted feeding 10 minutes before it was due to come out the oven. PANIC STATIONS! I somehow, miraculously, managed to solve both problems but it was an interestingly tense situation I can tell you!

I am slowly learning that timing is everything in these early weeks. Especially if you are trying to bake or cook as well. I’ve also learnt that one handed multi tasking is something you have to adapt to…

Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake TillyLets be honest though – there was nothing that was going to get between me and that pudding!

And these tiny people are much more intelligent than they let on. I mean, Tilly already knows how to take a selfie!

Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake TillyBaby antics aside, I wanted to keep it nice and simple again with this weeks recipe. Truth be told, I don’t have time for anything other than simple at the moment! So here’s what you need to make a gorgeous lemon drizzle cake with an easy Easter decoration.

(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

For the Cake

  • 225g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 225g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temp
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 225g Self Raising Flour

For the Syrup

  • 85g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Juice of 2 Lemons

For the Icing & Decoration

  • 225g Icing Sugar
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 180g Cadbury’s Mini Eggs

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm (8″) Round Loose Bottomed Cake Tin

Lightly grease the base & sides of the cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

Either in an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeCrack the eggs into a jug and beat. Then, a quarter at a time, add them to the butter mixing well inbetween each addition.

If the mixture starts to curdle, just add a tablespoon of flour into the batter and mix it through.

Add in the lemon zest & sift in the flour. Mix again until the batter is nice and smooth but try not to over mix.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakePour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeWhilst the cake is in the oven, let’s make the syrup.

Simply weigh the sugar into a jug & squeeze over the lemon juice. Give it a good stir until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to one side until the cake has come out of the oven.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeWhilst still warm in the tin, use a skewer to poke holes over the whole cake. Then evenly pour over the syrup and allow to cool completely before decorating.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir well with a spoon until smooth. It should be a little thick but still runny.

Now for assembly!

Remove the cake from the tin & peel off the baking paper from the bottom. Place on a wire rack set over some newspaper or a baking sheet.

If your cake has domed in the middle, you may like to level it off with a sharp knife first. Otherwise, simply pour the icing over the cake and encourage it to drizzle down the sides with a spoon.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeTop with the Mini Eggs & marvel at your creation! (Even though it was really quite easy to make, but sshhhh, if you don’t tell I won’t!)

It will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeI absolutely love lemon drizzle cake! Not only is it a baking classic, it’s incredibly simple to make and really easy to turn into an Easter dessert. It’s also something that the kids can get involved with. And no, I don’t mean by screaming when it’s almost ready like Tilly, I mean by actually getting stuck in and baking!

What a fabulous dessert to have at the centre of your dinner table this upcoming Easter weekend.

And on that note, I will catch you all next time!

Miss KitchenMason (And Tilly! x )

 

 

Crab Linguine

Crab LinguineYou may or may not be aware that I have been trying to train myself to enjoy the great riches of the ocean. I’m not fond of fish or crustaceans and I never have been, (if you can’t tell by the distinct lack of fish recipes on my blog!) but I can’t help feeling that I’m missing out on a great deal of fantastic food! So, as part of my ‘training programme’ I opted to try out this zingy crab linguine recipe from the awesome guys over at Sorted Food.

Here is what you will need to serve two people. (Easily doubled)

  • 200g (approx) Dried Linguine
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 large Clove of Garlic
  • Handful of Fresh Parsley
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3-4 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tin of Crab (170g) *

* It’s better to spend a little extra & use the jumbo crab chunks as opposed to the shredded crab

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then cook the linguine as per the packet instructions.

Crab Linguine

Crab LinguineMeanwhile… make the dressing.

Finely chop the garlic and the chilli. You can leave the seeds in if you like it a bit fiery, if not – take them out.

Then chop the parsley and add this along with the garlic, chilli, olive oil and lemon juice to a small glass or jug. (Reserve a little parsley for decoration) Season with plenty of salt & pepper and stir to combine.

Crab LinguineWhen the pasta is cooked, drain the water and return it to the pan.

Drain the crab meat and stir this through the hot pasta along with the dressing.

Crab LinguineDivide between two warmed plates and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley to finish.

Crab LinguineAnd that is literally it! It’s SO quick and easy to make and surprisingly (for me) really very tasty! It has a real ‘zing’ to it along with a little kick from the chilli, just delicious!

If you have never seen or heard of Sorted Food I highly recommend their website HERE. They have mountains of quick and easy recipes, most of which come with funny, yet informative, step by step videos on their YouTube channel HERE. I guarantee you will fall in love with these talented & fun, food loving lads!

Well, that just about wraps things up here. I hope you all enjoyed the post lovelies!

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous!

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousSo now we are in Spring, I think it’s about time to dust off those lighter meal ideas and start look forward to Summer! I’m kicking it all off with this gorgeous chicken and couscous dish covered in a sultry balsamic, garlic, and honey glaze. Here is what you will need to serve two hungry people.

For the Couscous

  • 90g Couscous
  • Knob of Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 260ml Chicken Stock (Reserve 60ml for the Chicken)
  • 1 heaped tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 15g Flaked Almonds, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

For the Chicken

  • 2 x Skinless & Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 60ml Chicken Stock (Reserved from the Couscous)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 large Garlic Clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Honey

Tip the couscous into a large glass bowl, add in the butter and season well with salt & pepper.

Pour in 200ml of the chicken stock (reserve the remaining 60ml for the chicken later) stir briefly with a fork then cover with cling film & leave to one side whilst we get on with the chicken.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousPlace a heavy, non stick pan over a medium heat.

Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts inbetween some clingfilm & flatten to about 2cm thick with a rolling pin. Season well with salt & pepper.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousAdd the butter & olive oil into the heated pan then lay in the chicken.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.

Cook for about 5-6 mins on each side until golden and cooked through.Place on a plate and cover with foil to rest and keep warm.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousWith the pan still on the heat, add in the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, reserved chicken stock, garlic & honey and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it reduces to a sticky glaze.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousBack to the couscous. Remove the cling film and fluff  the cooked couscous up with a fork.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousTip in the parsley, spring onions, almonds and lemon zest and give it all a good mix.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousFinally, slice the chicken and serve on warmed plates with the couscous. Finish off by pouring over the hot, balsamic glaze.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken with CouscousAnd there you have it! This is definitely one I will be making again. It’s packed full of fresh, spring flavours and only clocking in at around 430 calories per portion. Not bad if you’re after that bikini bod or 6 pack for the summer! Oh, did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious by the way? No? Well it is!

Hope you enjoyed the post and I’ll see you all next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Danish Pastries

Danish PastriesThis week I take on my toughest baking challenge yet. Danish pastries. They’re tricky, they’re time consuming and most definitely a labour of love. But my oh my are they rewarding! This recipe (adapted from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake) makes 24 pastries which I have split into two batches. Half chocolate chip & the other half apricot and lemon. The ingredients I have given reflect this. If however, you want to make the whole batch as one flavour, simply double the filling & icing ingredients. Right, onwards and upwards!

For the Pastry Dough

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 80g Caster Sugar
  • 10g Instant Yeast
  • 2 Medium Sized Eggs
  • 90ml Water, Cool
  • 125ml Full Fat Milk, Tepid
  • 250g Unsalted Butter, Cold

For The Creme Patissiere

  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Sized Egg Yolks
  • 20g Cornflour
  • 250ml Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 20g Unsalted Butter

For The Glaze

  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 150g Apricot Jam
  • 2-3 tbsp Water

For The Chocolate Chip Filling & Icing (Enough for x 12)

  • 50g Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 50g Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water

For The Apricot & Lemon Filling & Icing (Enough for x 12)

  • 100g Dried Apricots, Chopped
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

Essential Equipment

  • LOTS of Patience & Time!

Ok let’s get started with the dough. Ideally you do need an electric stand mixer as it is a very wet/sticky dough to start with.

Put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the salt & sugar to one side and the yeast to the opposite.

Beat together the eggs, water and milk.

TIP! If it’s too cold, pour into a saucepan over a very low heat, stirring constantly until it is tepid. (Meaning, if you can’t tell whether it’s hot or cold, it’s tepid.)

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on a low speed for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed together.

Then mix on a medium speed for a further 6 minutes.

Danish PastriesTip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Dust it all over with flour then place into a large plastic bag. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Danish PastriesMeanwhile, take the block of cold butter and bash it with a rolling pin until it is a rectangular sheet measuring approx 33 x 19cm. Wrap in clingfilm and place back into the fridge to solidify whilst the dough is still resting.

Once the hour is up, take the dough out of the fridge and roll to a rectangle measuring approx 50 x 20cm. (About 1cm thick.)

Danish PastriesThen take the butter rectangle and place it over the bottom 2 thirds of the dough.

Danish PastriesFold the top third over (so it overlaps half of the butter.)

Danish PastriesThen carefully cut the exposed butter off – without cutting the dough underneath it and place on top of the dough you just folded down.

Danish PastriesNow fold the exposed third of dough, up over the top of the butter.

Danish PastriesPinch the edges together lightly to seal and place back into the bag. Pop into the fridge again for another hour.

When the hour is up, remove the chilled dough and place on a lightly floured surface with the short side towards you.

Roll out into a rectangle the same size as before. (about 50 x 20cm.)

Danish PastriesFold the bottom third up…

Danish PastriesThen the top third down…

Danish PastriesThis is a single turn. Place back into the bag and into the fridge for another hour. Repeat this ‘single turn’ step 2 more times. (Always starting with the short side towards you.)

After this, dust lightly all over with flour, place back in the bag and rest in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. Then your dough will finally be ready to use!

Tic toc tic toc…

Whilst time is ticking on, make the creme patissiere.

Whisk the sugar, egg yolks & cornflour together in a bowl until smooth then set to one side.

Danish PastriesOh, and those spare egg whites? Don’t waste them! Pop them in a bag and freeze them so you can make some meringues or marshmallow later. Waste not want not!

Danish PastriesPour the milk into a large, heavy base saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and put into the milk along with the empty pods.

Bring it to the boil then remove from the heat.

Danish PastriesPour about a quarter of the milk onto the egg mixture and whisk until there are no lumps.

Danish PastriesPour this back into the pan with the rest of the milk and cook over a gentle heat, whisking constantly.

Danish PastriesThe mixture will become like a thick custard.

Once this happens, immediately remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir for a minute so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Danish PastriesPass the creme patissiere through a sieve then stir in the butter to melt through.

Danish PastriesDanish PastriesSpread it over a baking sheet and cover with cling film, making sure the film actually touches the surface of the creme patissiere. This will stop a skin from forming. Place in the fridge until needed.

Danish PastriesI told you it was a labour of love! Right. Now the dough has had time to rest properly and the creme patissiere is completely chilled, we can assemble our pastries.

VERY IMPORTANT! With laminated (layered) doughs/pastries, never roll it up into a ball and roll out as you will lose all those beautiful layers you’ve spent so long putting in. 

Halve the dough and roll out one of them to a rectangle with a long side towards you. Spread half of the creme patissiere over it leaving a clear 5cm margin on the long edge nearest to you. (I made a mistake here and didn’t leave enough room. Making it difficult for myself to roll as you can see in the photos below.)

Danish PastriesEvenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the creme patissiere then ‘tack’ the long edge nearest you to the worktop.

Danish PastriesTake the top edge and carefully roll it over. Continue to roll towards you, pulling away from you a little each time to create a little tension. When you have reached the tacked edge, gently roll the dough backwards & forwards to seal the join.

Trim the edges then cut the roll into 12 even portions.

(Again, I made a mistake and only cut 6 like a plonker! I rectified it later but it was far more difficult than if I had just cut 12 at this stage. It also made them a little misshapen. Doh!)

Danish PastriesRepeat the process for the other flavour only adding the chopped apricots instead of chocolate chips.

Danish PastriesLay the pastries cut side up on lined baking sheets. Allow a bit of room between each one for spreading.

Danish PastriesCover with large plastic bags and prove for about 2 hours until at least doubled in size.

About 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Danish Pastries

Brush the pastries all over with the beaten egg then bake for about 15-20 minutes until a deep golden brown on top. Turn the trays round halfway if necessary to ensure an even bake.

While the pastries are baking, Warm the apricot jam in a saucepan with a little water to make a thin, runny glaze.

Danish PastriesAs soon as the pastries are out the oven, brush them all over with the glaze and allow to cool. At this point, they will start to look very sexy…

Danish PastriesWhen they are cool enough to handle, transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool completely whilst we make the icings.

For the chocolate icing, simply put the icing sugar in a bowl or jug, add the water and mix until it becomes smooth and thick.

For the lemon icing (to go on the apricot pastries) put the icing sugar in a bowl or jug, add the water and the grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until it becomes smooth and thick.

All that is left for us to do now is to drizzle the icings over the pastries in a ‘haphazard’ manor and allow it to set.

Danish PastriesNow take a step back and applaud your masterpieces.

Danish Pastries

Danish Pastries

Ok, so it’s taken pretty much 2 days to make them, the list of ingredients is as long as my arm and they were pretty fiddly to make. But look at them. Look at that beautiful golden shine, those gorgeous pockets of apricots and melted chocolate chips… all finished with a beautiful drizzling of runny icing. Wasn’t it all worth it? I guarantee they will taste better than any of those horrifically dry pastries you get at the supermarkets. They somehow never fail to disappoint me. But these babies, particularly on the day of baking, are absolutely divine! They’re moist, oozingly sticky & just down right fantastic!

I hope this wasn’t too long a read for you all!

Until next time lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Frasier Cake

Frasier CakeMy Gran’s birthday is on Halloween and this year she decided to throw a Mason family party to celebrate. My Gran is a very special lady, so I decided to make her a very special cake. I got out my The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers book and saw this beautiful Frasier cake. It’s definitely a challenge but heck – my Gran is worth it!

Here is what you will need:

For the Genoise Sponge

  • 4 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 125g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 125g Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, Melted & Cooled*

For the Crème Mousseline

  • 600ml Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, Split
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 2 Egg Yolks, Room Temperature
  • 180g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kirsch
  • 100g Cornflour
  • 150g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature & Cubed

For The Syrup

  • 75g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Juice of 2 Lemons, Reserved from Sponge Ingredients

For Assembly/Decoration

  • 600g Strawberries
  • 200g Marzipan
  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • Icing Sugar, for dusting

Equipment

  • 23cm Springform or Loose Bottomed Cake Tin
  • Strip of Acetate (or Parchment/Baking Paper)
  • Piping Bag fitted with a Large Round Nozzle

*Melt the butter for the sponge in a small saucepan and set to one side to cool completely. You don’t want it hot or oily or you will deflate the sponge batter. Just really really soft. It should look like this:

Frasier CakePreheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar then roll out the marzipan to a thickness of 3mm. Using the base of the cake tin as a template, cut a perfect circle and pop it into the fridge to chill for later.

FrasierGrease & flour the cake tin then line the base with parchment/baking paper.

Put the eggs, sugar & lemon zest into a stand mixer with the balloon attachment. (Or a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water + electric hand whisk.)

Mix on the highest setting until it has more than doubled in volume, is very thick & pale. When you lift the beaters from the bowl it should leave a ribbon on the surface for about  4-5 seconds.

Frasier CakeSift over the flour a little at a time and fold in gently using a spatula. Then add in the softened butter and fold carefully.

DO NOT OVER MIX! Only fold until the ingredients are just incorporated otherwise you run the risk of knocking out all that air you’ve spent ages putting into it.

As close to the tin as possible (to avoid losing air bubbles) pour the batter into the cake tin and pop it into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. It’s cooked when the sides have shrank away from the tin & the top is golden brown.

Frasier Cake

Frasier CakeAllow to sit in the tin until completely cool.

Onto the crème mousseline filling. Add the milk & split vanilla pod to a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Frasier CakeMeanwhile, in a large glass bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, kirsch and cornflour until smooth and creamy.

Pour the hot vanilla milk through a sieve, onto the egg mixture – whisking all the time.

Frasier CakeTip the whole lot back into the saucepan over a medium heat and stir continuously until it thickens. It should take about 4-5mins. Continue to cook for another minute to ensure it will be thick enough, then stir through the butter until melted. Pour onto a baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill.

Frasier CakeFor the syrup, put the sugar, lemon juice & and 70ml of water in a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

Frasier CakeNow for the fun part… assembly!

Wash the cake tin you baked the sponge in and grease the base. Line the sides with a strip of acetate, or, if like me you didn’t have any – some good parchment/baking paper.

Carefully slice the sponge in 2 and place one half, cut side up, into the base of the cake tin. Generously coat with half the syrup then using the back of a spoon, gently squash the edges out. Make sure there are no gaps left between the sponge and the tin.

Frasier CakeTake about 12 strawberries (try and pick ones the same height) and slice them in half lengthways. Arrange them, pointed side up, around the edge of the tin. Press each strawberry firmly against the next to make sure there are no gaps.

Frasier CakeLoad the chilled crème mousseline into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe circles over the sponge base. Then pipe in-between each strawberry.

Frasier CakeLeaving a few for decoration, chop the remainder of the strawberries into quarters and scatter them evenly over the top.

Frasier CakeUsing the remainder of the crème mousseline, pipe another layer on the top then smooth over using a pallet knife.

Frasier CakeTop with the other sponge half and coat with the remaining syrup. Again – (carefully) squash down the edges ensuring there are no gaps left. Finish by placing the marzipan circle on top and chill for at least 2-3 hours. I actually left mine overnight just to be sure.

Frasier CakeIf you want to go the extra mile, try tempering the milk chocolate to make pretty decorations. It’s actually easier than you’d think! You will need a thermometer though.

Roughly chop the 100g chocolate and add 3 quarters of it into a glass bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Reserve the remaining quarter for later.

Gently warm to a temperature of 45°C then remove from the heat and add in the reserved chocolate. Stir until melted then bring down to 30°C. Speed up the process by placing the glass bowl into shallow cold water.

Don’t get any water in the chocolate or it will seize and become completely unusable. 

Quickly pour the chocolate into a piping bag, snip the end and begin piping your designs onto a lined baking sheet.

If you have the time, cool at room temperature and not in the fridge. The chocolate will retain more of a shine.

If you choose to use dark chocolate instead, heat to 48°C and cool back down to 32°C.

Frasier CakeWhen the cake has completely chilled, brace yourself, remove it from the tin and very gently peel away the acetate/parchment paper.

If necessary, smooth and bumpy bits with a knife, then sprinkle liberally with icing sugar and top with some whole strawberries & your chocolate decorations.

Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Frasier CakePhew, we made it!! Yes, it’s a little complicated and yes, it’s a little time consuming but just look at it, isn’t it totally worth it? I think this cake looks absolutely beautiful, so much so – it broke my heart to cut into it!

Every single person that had some, including my lovely Gran, said it was truly, incredibly delicious! And as for me? Well… I have never been too keen on marzipan and having tasted the crème mousseline filling on it’s own, I honestly thought I’d loathe it. However, after braving a slice I can happily say I was sincerely surprised! All the flavours worked gorgeously together. It was light, refreshing and honestly? A little slice of Heaven.

This bake is definitely a labour of love but the results are stunning. Best of all, my Gran was over the moon & everyone else loved it too. Possibly the most proud I have ever been!

Which only leaves me to say one thing… Happy Birthday Gran!

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Nat’s Birthday Bake!

I was really excited for this weekend. It’s my friend Natalie’s birthday soon and we wanted to do something a bit different. So I invited a few friends over to the KitchenMason kitchen to bake lots of yummy cake! YES!

First on the menu was the Ultimate Chocolate Cake from a post I did back in February. But this wasn’t enough for the likes of us ladies, oh no. On top of this, we also made a batch of lemon cupcakes… and a batch of  cherry chocolate chip cupcakes too!

Here is what you need to make both types of cupcake.

Lemon Cupcakes

Makes approx 12

  • 175g Unsalted Butter (Room temp!)
  • 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (Room temp!)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Finely Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 175g Self Raising Flour, sieved

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 200g Unsalted Butter (Room temp!)
  • 400g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Yellow Food Colouring Gel

Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until light & fluffy.

Gradually beat in the eggs one by one then add the lemon zest & lemon juice.

Fold in the flour and divide the mix between the cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes turning half way. Test if ready with a skewer.

Leave in the tin for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Blend the icing sugar in a quarter at a time, beat well after each addition.

Add the milk, the lemon juice and the food colouring then mix well until light and fluffy.

Pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate until your hearts content!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Makes approx 12

  • 150g Unsalted Butter (Room Temp!)
  • 150g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (Room Temp!)
  • 1 tbsp Cherry Soda Stream Syrup
  • 140g Self Raising Flour, sieved
  • 40g Cocoa Powder, sieved
  • 100g Chocolate, chopped

For the Frosting:

Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time then sift in the flour and the cocoa powder.

Add the chocolate chunks and the cherry syrup. Mix until just incorporated and divide the mixtre between the cases.

Bake for 15 minutes, turning half way. Test with a skewer to make sure they’re cooked.

Leave in the tin for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer then add the icing sugar. Mix well.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water then mix into the butter and sugar.

Add the milk and the cherry syrup, mix until light and fluffy.

Pipe onto the cupcakes and commence decorating!

It really was such a fun day. Great cakes, great wine and great company! Here are a selection of pics from the day to feast your eyes on. Enjoy!

Nat’s ultimate chocolate birthday cake

The girlees hard at work!

One of the many beautiful cupcakes that were made

Look at the concentration!

The fruits of our labour. Look how pretty!

The birthday girl and the cutting of the cake. Look at the joy on that face haha!

This is Jim. Chocolate covered Jim. I think he liked the cake haha!

Hope you enjoyed this weeks post my lovelies!

Enjoy the rest of your lazy Sunday and I’ll catch you all next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Herb Crusted Fish & Crispy Chips

I’m not really brilliant with fish but I saw this recipe from the BBC Good Food site and thought, I’ve got to try that one! There’s an extra brucey bonus too as it’s low in calories!  Here is what you will need to make enough for 2 people.

  • 25g Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 x White Fish Fillets
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Corn Flour
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Advanced prep!!

If you have time, I highly recommend that you soak the sweet potato chips in water for a few hours once you’ve peeled & chopped them into thin sticks. You want to get rid of as much of the starch as possible. Starch helps to keep moisture in and when you are after a crisp chip, you want moisture out. 

Me and my other half were a bit greedy so we had 2 fish fillets each. Despite this, it still only came to 475 calories each for the whole meal! I chose to use Cod which, as far as fish goes, isn’t that “fishy”, which made me happy. Also, to help keep calories down, I used 1 slice of wholemeal bread from a smaller 400g loaf to make the breadcrumbs.

Preheat your oven to 200°C

Peel & chop the sweet potatoes into thin sticks. If you have time (as stated above) soak the chips for a few hours. When you’re ready, rinse the chips in water. You will notice that the water has become cloudy, this is the starch that was in the potatoes. Once rinsed, pat as much water off them as you can.

Put them in a bowl & add 1 tbsp of corn flour. Get your hands in there and mix until all chips are evenly coated. Next, add 1 tbsp olive oil and mix lightly again until evenly coated.

Space the chips out on a non stick baking tray. Try and get as much room between the chips as you can. If you put them too close or too many on the tray, they will steam and never go crispy. If necessary, use a second baking tray.

Put them in the oven for 20 minutes turning half way.

Blitz the bread in a food processor until, you guessed it, it resembles bread crumbs. Put them in a bowl and add the lemon zest, the parsley & plenty of salt & pepper. Mix well.

Top the fish fillets with the herb crust & put them on a baking tray.

Place the tomatoes on the same tray & drizzle everything with the 1tbsp of olive oil.

Put the fish & tomatoes in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the chips cooking time.

Then commence stuffing your face! Considering this is actually a very healthy meal, I was pleasantly satisfied! Not only was it very tasty but it was low in calories too. And if me and my other half hadn’t have been greedy and had 2 fish fillets each, it would have been even lower than 475 cals!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

Miss KitchenMason