Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fresh Lemon Muffins

This is a recipe I have for years and years. It's written in my little green book which has always had the tried and true recipes in it...well some of them anyway. This makes a lovely muffin. Be warned these are not cupcakes but rather have that muffin texture. I often have trouble with making muffins and have yet to come across a good recipe for berry ones that I am happy with. Maybe I have too much of a heavy hand? Anyway this recipe is pretty foolproof so if I can do it then so can you. If anyone has a lovely berry or fruit muffin recipe that is delicious please let me know so I can give it a go.

Fresh Lemon Muffins

Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 c sugar
2 c flour
125g butter
1 c yoghurt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs

1/4 c lemon juice
2 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 190C and line muffin tins with liners.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time then beat in the lemon zest. Mix the soda into the yoghurt. Fold in the flour and yoghurt mixture into the 1/3 at a time.

Bake 18-20 mins. Combine the lemon juice and sugar and when the muffins are just out of the oven brush it over. Cool out of the tins on a rack.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Annabel Langbein's Strawberry Limoncello Tiramisu

I have a couple of things I made awhile ago but have not yet posted on and this is one of them. The problem with a trifle/tiramisu is that it really doesn't photograph well so the pictures you see above were really the best I could do with what I had. What the photos don't show you is just how lovely this was. It was rich but the lemon flavour added a lightness to it which made eating it not too difficult. I will say though, that I whipped up some cream and I liked how it cut through the rich flavour without dulling the lemon-ness of it. 

I made this for some lovely friends of ours before they went back home to England as our goodbye to them. The best thing about it was that I could make it in the morning and that was all I needed to do so for ease of work on the actual night it was well worth it...especially as I had just come off night shifts. As well as that I have quite a lot of limoncello floating around so this was a great opportunity to use some of it up.

Give it a go while strawberries are still in season (just), or else it would be lovely with any other berries or kiwifruit as well.

Strawberry Limoncello Tiramisu

2 punnets strawberries or 10 green or yellow kiwifruit
300-350g sponge cake (I actually used a packet of sponge finger biscuits)

Limoncello Mousse
3 tsp gelatine
3 Tbsp cold water
1/2 c boiling water
1 c caster sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 c limoncello or water
400g mascarpone
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Lemon Syrup
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c water
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 limoncello or water

To garnish
2 Tbsp chopped pistachios

Hull the strawberries or peel the kiwifruit. Slice thinly and set aside. Cut the sponge into 3cm chunks.

To make the mousse, mix gelatine with cold water to swell, then add boiling water and stir until fully dissolved. Place the mixture in the bowl of an electric beater with the sugar, lemon juice and limoncello. Beat with the whisk attachment until very fluffy and thick (about 15 seems like it will never happen and mine did not get too fluffy). Beat in the mascarpone and lemon zest until fully incorporated.

Us on Waiheke- Biddy, Julia, Dons and Me
To make the lemon syrup, heat the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and limoncello. Tip into a large bowl.

Quickly dunk a 1/3 of the sponge pieces into the lemon syrup to wet each side and arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of a 12 c capacity glass serving bowl. Pour over a 1/3 of the mousse. Cover with half of the fruit, then another layer of the dunked sponge pieces. Top with another 1/3 of the mousse, then the rest of the fruit and the last of the sponge pieces. Pour over any leftover lemon syrup and then top with the last 1/3 of the mousse. 

Cover and chill for at least an hour and up to 48 hours. Garnish with the pistachios and serve.
Biddy, Dons and Julia on NYE

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baking for Nightshift- Sticky Lemon Slice

One of my most favourite flavours ever, is Lemon. I'll gravitate towards it on any menu (along with vanilla, chocolate and caramel), at any time and if Lemon Tart is on offer then watch out!!! Because it's the school holidays here time is a pretty rare commodity with the boys needing more attention and with there being more to do. As well as that the weather has been diabolical and has given us one of the worst summers ever (well that I can remember), with more raining, dull, shocking weather than sun. So I needed to make something that was easy, took little time and maybe injected a bit of summer into our summerless days which lemon just does. 

I remembered this recipe I used to make by Julie Biuso which I used to make all the time called Sticky Lemon Slice. I find it quite hard to get past a recipe I love and the one I have for Emily's Lemon Shortcake is hard to get past when I'm thinking about making a lemon slice. However in the name of this blog and making something different I thought I would revisit this old favourite of mine. I was not disappointed. I had forgotten how delicious this slice is. The base is a buttery and shortbready and the topping lovely, creamy with a tart lemon bite to it which perfectly compliments the base. Now that I have remade this, I'm sure it will make a regular appearance on the baking menu...especially when you need something that makes a generous amount of food. Give this one a will wonder where this recipe has been all your life.

Sticky Lemon Slice (Julie Biuso)


225g butter, softened
70g icing sugar
275g plain flour


400g sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
grated zest of nice sized lemons
90 ml lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line the base of a non stick 32x21cm swiss roll tin with baking paper.

To make the base put the butter into the bowl of a food processor and process until whipped, then add the icing sugar and process until light in colour and creamed. Sprinkle the flour over and process until the mixture starts to form a ball.. Tip into the tin and press flat (you will need flour on your hands because it is quite sticky).

Bake about 15mins then remove from the oven. While it is cooling a bit make the topping.

Put the sugar into the clean bowl of a food processor and pour in the eggs. Process 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix with a big spoon (I actually used a whisk but not vigorously). Pour over the base (It will fill it). 

Bake about 30 mins until golden in colour and firmish to the touch but don't overbake or the topping will be more cooked than creamy. Cool in the tin, dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oneroa Beach...the Day After

Dons on Oneroa Beach


Biddy, Julia, Dons, Me

Coffee in the didn't last!

Just a quick post from the day after the party. The day started out beautiful...but after we got back to Auckland it again started to rain! It was so lovely to have a bit of sun though and as you can see the beach is stunning!

Jenny's 50th Birthday Party- Mudbrick Cafe

The only photo I could find online of Dead Famous People

As they are now minus the drummer (Dons, Wendy, Jenny and Biddy)

The other night we were lucky enough to attend an old bandmate of Dons' 50th birthday celebration at the Mudbrick Cafe on Waiheke. Unfortunately this has been the worst summer EVER here in NZ with almost constant rain and gloom and barely any sun. That night was no exception. However the Mudbrick Cafe is a beautiful place in itself and boosts spectacular views (when you can see them through the rain!). I had never met the birthday girl but she sure knows how to put on a bash! As she still lives in England there was a pretty decent contingent of people who had followed her over here to celebrate her birthday. I'll start with the food (which was amazing) then follow with photos of people.

I totally forgot to get photos of the dessert and the ones I got of the entree and mains were a bit shadowed BUT you should be able to get an idea of the calibre of the food and the night. We started with Pimms, Beer etc and had a lovely choice of Waiheke (I don't remember the name sorry) Pinot Noir or Savingnon Blanc to have with our meal.

Prawn starter

Pork Belly starter

Eye Fillet Main

Snapper Main
The view through the rain

Getting creative with my camera settings

More creativity
Julia, Andrea, Dons, Biddy

Dianne, Dons, Phillys

Andrea, Biddy, Me, Dons

Biddy and Julia

Jenny, Dons, Claire

Sue and Dianne

Dons and Anne

Dons and I

Me with Violet (aka Nikki) an old school friend of's a small world!

It was a lovely night with great food and fantastic people.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Baking For Nightshift- Spiced Yoghurt Cake

So even though I still have a few other 'event' posts to do, I thought I would post this before I go to work tonight. Even though I am feeling more than a little tired today due to a late night at a 50th last night, I thought I should take something to work tonight as I have been a bit slack in the last couple of weeks. This is mostly due to a little bit of cooking-fatigue purely because of all the cooking and baking I have done in the last month or so. As well as that it's school holidays here and having the boys around means there is less time to spend in the kitchen and even less time to spend blogging. 

Anyway I spotted this recipe on the Foodlovers site ages ago and it has been on my list to bake at some stage. The cake is baked and cooled after which the topping is grilled for a few minutes until it's all caramelly. I did slice a piece and try the top of it, purely for the blog of course, and I have to say it is well worth making and is one which I will make again. The only thing I didn't do was use the full 60ml (1/4c) of yoghurt for the topping instead using a spoonful. I think the full amount would have been too much but try it if you feel the need. 

You can find the recipe here.