Blackberry and Lemon Curd Swiss Roll

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Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my lovely little blog. No, I haven’t just forgotten about it for the passed 2 months, and I feel awful for not committing to not posting. I think part of the reason why it’s been so long is to do with the shame of coming back after such a long time. I’m sorry…

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I also feel awful because I didn’t post any lovely little Christmas recipes over December, which I would have enjoyed because it’s my absolute favourite time of the year. But Christmas is over now, and even though it’s ridiculously depressing that it is, I believe that in life you always need something else to look forward to once something amazing has passed. And what is there to look forward to after winter??? SUMMER!

I’m already sick of he cold weather that bites at you and makes you wish you didn’t wear a skirt to school, and especially after winter, the cold seems rather pointless. So I thought I’d cheer myself up on this weekend by making something that would remind me of the sun to come. And what better way is there to do that than to throw berry’s and citrus fruit at a cake? ((There isn’t one))

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This swiss roll is sure to knock your fluffy socks off and demand you to put on your beach sandals. Truthfully, I’ve never made a swiss roll before and I was nervous about the outcome (there’s this whole letting it cool wound up thing that I didn’t get but now totally do), but they’re surprisingly easy to make and are absolute delicious (who’d of thunk that a cake with no butter would taste so good? No one).

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I found that the sweetness of the jam and the tangyly sour taste of the lemon curd complimented each other perfectly inside the gorgeously light sponge wrapped around it. You don’t even have to use blackberry jam, you can use any of your choice – raspberry would definitely be delish.

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The cake consists of 4 incredibly straight forward ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla. That’s it. How easy is that?

Okay, sure, the method might make your arm want to drop off but if you have an electric mixer then you’ll be fiiiiiine (if not then I’m incredibly sorry for doing this to you).

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I’m having as much fun eating this cake as I did making it. I can’t wait for summer…

My recipe:

  • 4 free range eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g self raising flour

For the filling:

  • heaping tbsps blackberry jam
  • heaping tbsps lemon curd

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F and grease and line a long, level rectangular baking tray with grease-proof paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together until the mixture becomes light, thick and fluffy (it should roughly double in size). Sift in your flour and fold with a metal spoon very gently. If you just stir it will knock out all of the air that you’ve worked so hard to put in there. Transfer this mixture to your prepared tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

Cut a piece of grease-proof paper roughly the size of the baking tray but bigger and dust it with cast sugar. When the cake is done, remove it from the tray and transfer it (face down) onto the sugar covered parchment then peel off the grease-proof the cake was baked in. Starting from one end, start to roll the cake with the grease-proof paper until you achieve a cylinder shape. Let this cool completely. Rolling the cake with the parchment will help it remember it’s “roll” shape when you come to fill and finish it.

Soften up your jam and your curd then roll out the cake that’s wrapped with the baking parchment. Spread out the jam to cover the cake then lay on the curd and spread out evenly on top of the jam (do this carefully so you don’t end up blending the two together). Starting from the end that you started rolling the parchment in, roll the cake over the filling, making sure not to push down too hard or wrap it too tightly or the filling will just ooze out.

Et voila! A beautiful rolly polly cake that just whispers summer is coming. Enjoy!!

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Blueberry Lemon Drizzle Loaf

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What’s better than blueberries? Nothing. What’s better than lemon drizzle cake? Nothing. Combine them? YES PLEASE THANK YOU.

Anyone that says they don’t like lemon cake is lying, and if they are being serious (wth) then they haven’t tasted this cake. I will convert you. I can promise you that m’friend. This cake is fluffy, sweet, tart, moist (thank you drizzle) and sticky (thank you glaze – oh yes, there is GLAZE too)

Yep, this is one exciting cake.

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I do understand why some people don’t enjoy lemon flavoured desserts. The tart flavour of lemon isn’t to everyone’s taste and that’s totally cool, no-one is judging (I am).

But the blueberries in this cake are a blessing. The little sweet bursts throughout the cake take the edge off of the bite in the lemon and give you a mellow combination of both flavours.

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And the cake isn’t even the half of it. Not only is there drizzle, but there is also glaze.

The drizzle is made from the juice of two lemons, the zest of one and some sugar. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, the pre-made syrupy lemon juice gets poured all over the top of the cake, allowing it to seep into the sponge as it cools… Does it get better than that?

YES. Then there’s glaze. Confectioner’s sugar and more lemon juice. This gets drizzled into the centre of the cake when it’s cooled down, ooooozing over the sides creating a crunchy, sticky topping.

What.

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This cake is the perfect way to say “goodbye” to summer. Blueberries are going out of season, so the packets are getting smaller and smaller in the supermarkets (which is depressing) and so this is their final HOORAH! The bright, vibrant taste of this loaf will give you a cheery farewell to the sun in preparation for the fall. Damn, baking can get deep…

Although this cake is a slow cooker (it took 85 minutes in my oven) and is best left to stand overnight, it is well worth the wait, you won’t be disappointed.

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And here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups of plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 (heaping) cup blueberries (washed, obvs)
  • Zest of half a lemon

For the drizzle:

  • 2 lemons, the zest of 1, juice of both
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Begin by preheating your oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350°F, then grease and line a loaf pan with grease-proof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating the batter with a whisk in between each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and the salt. Add half of the combined dry ingredients to the butter/egg batter with a 1/4 cup of the milk. Once just combined, add in the other half of the dry ingredients and the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk. This promotes a smooth batter (if you combines everything simultaneously, you could get lump… lumpy cake… yum)

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries in 2 tablespoons of plain (all-purpose) flour then add to the batter, folding in gently until just incorporated. Transfer the mixture to your prepared loaf pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. While that bakes away, make the drizzle!

In a medium sized bowl, zest 1 on the lemons, then add the juice of both lemons. Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved and the syrup is ever so slightly thicker. Cover your drizzle and leave it until the cake is ready.

Once the cake is out of the oven, immediately poke tiny holes into the top of the cake with a toothpick. Spoon your pre-made drizzle all over the sponge slowly, allowing it to seep into the cake with each spoon. Allow the cake to cool completely then transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack. Combine 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with the juice of 1 lemon until  it’s just runny. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze all over the top of the cake, allowing it to trickle down the sides of your loaf.

It’s best left to stand over-night, but you can just tuck in and enjoy immediately 😉

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Lemon Meringue Pie

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So, my exam’s start next week (the first is on Friday) and this weekend has been a tough one. I’m stressed out (as are other people in my life) and so I took comfort in pie because I couldn’t find it anywhere else [insert violin solo audio].

I know what you’re thinking: Fabienne, it’s pie time you showed us how to make Lemon Meringue. I can’t believe I just made that joke. Forgive me.

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This pie has forever been my arch nemesis. For some reason, I have always found it ridiculously hard to make and I’ve gotten so frustrated in the process countless times. My presentation with this pie is not perfection, I’ll admit, but damn does it taste good. The pastry is sweet and flaky, the curd is smooth and tart and the meringue is fluffy and delicate… Let me just go grab another slice, I’ll be right back…

*pie eating intermission*

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But seriously now. Back to business. This pie is seriously good. Fair enough, it’s a bit of a long process to make, but it’s so worth it at the end and you’ll be thanking me profusely for sharing this beautiful recipe (you’re welcome fellow citizens). Give it a try, I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it.

For the pastry:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 125g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 35g icing sugar (what?!)
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling:

  • 4 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 450ml water
  • The zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 3
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs

Let us begin. Grease a 10 inch pie tin with butter. Throw 2 tablespoons of flour (not the flour you’ve just weighed out) into the grease tin and shimmy it about to coat the whole thing in a thin layer of flour.

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In a large bowl combine your flour and butter. Rub the two together in-between your finger tips. When you’ve achieved a fine bread-crumb like consistency add in your icing sugar and the zest. Using a fork combine all of the ingredients together. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the milk. Add the two to the dry bread-crummy mixture. With a rounded edged knife, cut through the pastry mixture combining the two gently.

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Check me out with my 4 frame pictures! When you see the mixture begin to come together, switch to your hands and gently kneed with your hands just until all is combined into a beautiful ball of doughy goodness. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF and pop a baking tray in there to heat up. When you blind bake the pastry, the hot tray will prevent the pie from having a soggy bottom.

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Once the dough has been chilled, turn it out onto a floured sheet of grease proof paper. Do your best to roll it out into a circle about 5 mm in depth. The pastry will be very short due to it’s sugar content; if the dough cracks and you find it tough to roll out, butter your fingers and massage the cracks until they join again.

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Place the pastry into your prepared pie dish and peel off the grease proof. Pinch in the sides of the pastry into the pie dish fitting the pattern of your dish. Roll your rolling pin over the top of the dish to get rid of the excess pastry. Prick the surface of the pastry all over to allow the steam to escape. Place your grease proof paper back into the pastry case and fill with ceramic beads ready for a blind bake (yes, I used ceramic tiles. I ran out of beads. Don’t judge, it worked!) Pop it into the oven for 20 minutes. When it’s done, take it out of the oven, remove the grease proof and allow to cool whilst you make the curd. Decrease the oven temperature to gas mark 3/160°C/325ºF.

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To make the filling, combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of your water. In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice, the water and the cornstarch paste. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Allow to cool. Separate all of your eggs and in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks together with 7 tablespoons of the weighed out sugar. Combine the egg yolk and the lemon/cornstarch mixture together and beat until lusciously smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any cornstarch lumps and the zest in the curd.

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Beat your eggs whites in a clean, metallic bowl until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar until you’re left with a ribbon like meringue mixture. Pour in your curd into the blind-baked pastry case and then top with the meringue. Swirl your meringue fancily until you obtain your desired swirly appearance.

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Bake for 45 minutes until the top of the meringue is a toasted brown colour. Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours before chilling it in the fridge for a further 2 hours. Pop it out of you tin et voila!!

I know what you’re thinking “Fabienne, the process is far too long!” but c’mon… wasn’t worth it?

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