food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘lemon

pistachio and lemon bundt cake

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This lovely moist cake is full of of flavour and good-looking to boot!

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF)  and generously grease a bundt pan. In a bowl combine 3 cups of flour with ½ a teaspoon of kosher salt. In a food processor pulse 2 cups of shelled and roasted pistachios until they are very fine and stick together when pinched. Now beat 290g (11oz) of butter with 1½ cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the pistachios, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract then add 4 large eggs, incorporating them one at a time. Finally, mix in the flour and salt alternately with ¼ of a cup of white rum until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and bake until the cake tests clean. This might take 60 minutes or more. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack. In a small saucepan combine ¾ of a cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved then add ½ a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Allow to cool a little before brushing onto the cooled cake. 

adapted from this recipe

 

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Written by michelle picker

March 20, 2019 at 12:23 am

Posted in cakes & desserts

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lemon and blueberry polenta cake

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A lovely lemony cake with pockets of moist blueberry and no wheat.

This recipe makes one small 15cm (6″) cake. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350ºF) and grease and line your cake tin with baking paper. Cream 100g of unsalted butter with 100g of caster sugar until soft and pale. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of ground almonds with each egg. Stir through 90g (3¼ oz) of instant polenta, the juice and zest of one lemon, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and another 4 tablespoons of ground almonds. When well combined stir in 100ml (3½ oz) of natural yogurt and 50g (1¾ oz) of fresh blueberries. Pour into the prepared tin and scatter another 50g (1¾ oz) of  fresh blueberries over the top, lightly pressing them into the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Written by michelle picker

December 19, 2018 at 12:37 am

Posted in cakes & desserts

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lamb shanks with rice and lemon

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These Greek-style Lamb shanks, one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot-wonders-recipes, are packed with flavour. If you can get the lamb shanks to stand up they look pretty amazing too.

Heat some olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat and fry 200g of peeled and halved shallots for three to four minutes until well browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Keep the pan on the heat. Season the shanks with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper then brown in the hot pan until coloured all over. Add 1 large carrot and 2 large celery sticks cut into 2cm (¾”) pieces, 5 bay leaves, 3 small cinnamon sticks, the peel of 1 lemon and 1 litre chicken stock – the liquid should almost cover the shanks. Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for an hour and 45 minutes, turning the shanks once or twice, until the meat is tender and starting to fall off the bone. Lift out the shanks and set them aside.. Strain the stock and set aside. Discard all the aromatics except the cinnamon. Heat the oven to 170ºC (335ºF). Wipe out the casserole and return it to a medium heat with some more oil. Fry 1 tablespoon of ground cumin for a couple of seconds, then add 1½ teaspoons of dried mint, 300g of basmati rice and ¾ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat the rice in oil, then pour on 670ml  (23½ fl oz) of the strained cooking liquid. Return the shanks to the pot (standing up if possible), add the reserved cinnamon sticks and fried shallots, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together 1 egg and the juice of one lemon. Heat 60ml (2 fl oz) of the remaining liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot liquid into the egg and lemon mix. Remove the lamb from the oven, pour the egg mixture evenly over the meat and rice and garnish with freh tarragon and serve from the pot.

Written by michelle picker

August 29, 2018 at 12:25 am

Posted in meat

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lemon and mixed berry cake

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This cake, baked with my sister Eve, made an impressive and festive Christmas dessert. From SWEET  by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, the light and fluffy lemon sponge and berry buttercream are assembled into a sort of swiss roll on it’s side.

Preheat your oven to 205ºC (400ºF) and line a shallow 30 x 40cm (12 x 15″) rimmed baking sheet with baking paper. For the cake separate 8 large eggs and place the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer along with 180g (5½ oz) of sugar and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice. With the whisk attachment beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes until pale and thick. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add ⅛ of a teaspoon of salt. Sift in 135g (4¾ oz) of all-purpose flour in two batches, folding through with a rubber spatula after each addition. Sprinkle ¾ of a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest on top and set aside. Now place the 8 egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add in 4½ teaspoons of sugar and continue to whisk until your have firm peaks. Fold one third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated then fold in the rest until combined. Transfer to the baking sheet and even out the surface with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before dusting the top lightly with powdered sugar. Place a clean kitchen towel on top of the cake and flip it over so that it is now lying on top of the kitchen towel. Carefully peel away the paper and straighten the very edges of the sponge. Starting at the shorter edge of the cake, carefully roll it up (along with the kitchen towel). This will train the cake to roll when assembling later. When cooled, unroll the cake and cut into 3 equal strips lengthwise (we opted for 2 to make a narrower, taller cake). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside. For the purée place 300g (10½ oz) of mixed berries and 80g (2.8 oz) of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm through for 4-5 minutes until the berries are soft and the sugar dissolved. Transfer to a food processor to purée and then strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. For the buttercream add ¼ of a cup of light corn syrup (I used glucose), 135g (4¾ oz) of sugar and the seeds scraped from ½ a vanilla bean into a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until all the sugar dissolves. While the syrup is cooking place 4 egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment in place and beat on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow in colour. Now stir the sugar syrup again and increase the heat to medium until bubbles begin to appear. Swirl the pan gently and continue to simmer until there are large bubbles all over the surface of the syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and with the mixer on low carefully pour the hot syrup in a slow, steady stream into the beating yolks. When all the syrup has been added increase the mixer speed to high and continue to beat for about 10 minutes until cool. Gradually add 255g (9 oz) of softened unsalted butter, one spoonful at a time, allowing it to be incorporated into the mixture before adding the next. When all the butter has been added scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute until very smooth and light. Add a scant ½ cup of the berry purée and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated. To assemble the cake spread each of the strips of sponge with about 85g (3 oz) of the buttercream. This should leave enough for the top and sides of the cake. Take one strip of sponge and roll it up. Position the exposed end at the beginning of the next strip and keep rolling. Add the last strip at the end of the second and roll again until you have a whole cake. Transfer to your serving plate standing the cake on a flat end. Smooth the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake with a spatula. Drizzle the remaining berry purée over the top of the cake and decorate with fresh berries (we chose blueberries). Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature (or in the fridge on a warm day) before serving.

Written by michelle picker

January 3, 2018 at 12:28 am

Posted in cakes & desserts

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greek lemon chicken and potatoes

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Looking for a simple meal that’s enticing and delicious? Here is a wonderful version of this Greek classic from Chef John at Food Wishes.

Preheat your oven to 220ºC (425ºF). Cut a chicken into 6-8 pieces (I left the breasts whole as they cook more quickly) and place them in a large bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and oregano, some cayenne pepper to taste, 6 cloves of minced garlic, and ½ a cup each of freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Peel and quarter 3 large potatoes and add them as well. Mix well to coat everything with the marinade then place the chicken pieces and potatoes into a lightly oiled roasting pan, reserving the marinade. Pour ⅔ of a cup of chicken stock around the chicken and potato pieces then spoon the marinade onto the top of each piece. Roast in the oven until the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, turning in the marinade now and then but leaving the skin side facing up. When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken pieces to a serving platter. Toss the potatoes in their marinade again. Turn the oven to high or transfer to a grill (broiler) and finish the potatoes until they are golden brown and the marinade is a little caramelised. Remove the potatoes to the platter and deglaze the roasting pan with a little more chicken stock to loosen it. Taste for seasoning and pour it over the chicken and potatoes (you can strain it if you prefer).  Serve with a salad of greens and feta with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing.

Written by michelle picker

October 18, 2017 at 12:18 am

Posted in poultry & game, salad

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poppy seed cake with lemon icing

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One of the latest additions to my groaning shelves of cookbooks is Honey & Co The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itmar Srulovich. Poppy seed cakes are one of my favourites and this is a good one. Moist and not too heavy with a lovely tart icing.

poppy-seed-cake-with-lemon-icing

Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). In a large bowl whisk 190ml (a little less than 6½ fl oz) of vegetable oil with 300g (10½ oz) of caster sugar until well combined. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, whisking well to form an emulsion each time. Once you have a smooth mixture add 180g (6⅓ oz) of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 200ml (6¾ fl oz) of milk, 150g (5¼ oz) of ground poppy seeds (I did this with an electric coffee grinder) and the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange. Whisk until well combined and pour this batter into your prepared cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or so until firm and springy to the touch. While the cake is baking, make a sugar syrup by heating equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and brush with 100ml ( 3⅓ fl oz) of sugar syrup). Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to continue cooling. To make the lemon icing, combine 250g (8¾ oz) of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of glucose syrup (this is optional but makes the icing shiny) and the juice of 1 lemon. Depending on the size of your lemon you may have to add more icing sugar. When the cake is completely cooled, spread the icing allowing it to drip over the sides.

poppy-seed-cake-cut

Written by michelle picker

February 10, 2017 at 5:56 am

Posted in cakes & desserts

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ricotta doughnuts

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Who doesn’t love a fresh hot doughnut? Here the taste of ricotta shines through and a drizzle of tangy lemon syrup is just perfect.

ricotta-doughnuts

Make the lemon syrup by heating ½ a cup each of lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup thickens a little. Depending on your lemons you may need to add more sugar to taste. For the doughnuts use a fresh full-milk ricotta cheese. To 1 cup of ricotta add a generous cup of flour, ¼ of a cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, the grated rind of a lemon and 2 large or 3 small eggs. Mix everything together with a fork until well combined. Choose an oil with a high smoke point like grape-seed, peanut, sunflower or canola oil. Heat a good amount of oil to 160ºC (320ºF) in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer. Drop small walnut-sized spoonfuls into the hot oil and cook, turning a few times, until they are golden brown and cooked through (you might have to test one and adjust the temperature accordingly). When cooked, remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Have a bowl of caster (superfine) sugar ready to coat the doughnuts while they’re still hot.

Written by michelle picker

June 21, 2016 at 5:59 am

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