When life throws you a lemon……..

There aren’t that many fruits that are so versatile that they are pretty to look at, great to cook with, fabulous garnishes, and even excellent for cleaning. The lemon is one of those wholesome food items and I went to town with them this weekend.

I follow two amazing food blogs; Eat litle bird and The Patterned Plate, the women behind these blogs are nothing short of amazing and they are a source of inspiration for me and my food lab escapades. I was trawling their blogs (I am actually a permanent resident on both blogs but let’s keep that to ourselves shall we?) last week when I found some amazing recipes for lemon based cakes and treats.

In the last week, I have churned out 4 blueberry and lemon cakes, a batch of lemon drizzle friands, a batch of candied lemons and an amazing jar of fragrant lemon syrup.

Lemon cake and friands trio

These recipes are surprisingly easy to make and deliver such a wonderful eating experience that they are definitely worth making!

Without further a do, the recipe for Blueberry and Lemon Cake!

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, melted
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 140ml creme fraiche (I used butter milk)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 125g fresh blueberries

“The How To”
Pre-heat oven to 160°C.  Butter and lightly flour an 8 inch round cake pan or 9×5 inch loaf tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Add creme fraiche, lemon zest and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.

Gently fold through plain flour and baking powder. Then carefully fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the mixture into your preferred cake tin and bake for about an hour or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with some icing sugar and enjoy!

Blueberry and Lemon Cake cutBlueberry and lemon cake slice preferredThe lemon friands are also fuss free once you have all the ingredients. I couldn’t find ground almonds anywhere so I made mine by blitzing chopped almonds in my food processor.

lemon friands

Recipe

  • 160g unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus extra to brush
  • 2/3 cup (100g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 2/3 cups (250g) icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • 1 cup (125g) ground almonds
  • 6 egg whites
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus extra to serve (optional)

Lemon drizzle icing

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon

 “The How To”

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 12-hole friand pan or muffin pan with a little melted butter, then dust with a little flour, shaking out excess.

Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl, then stir in the almond meal.

Place egg whites in a small bowl and lightly froth with a fork, then add to the flour mixture with the melted butter and lemon zest, stirring to combine.

Divide batter among friand/muffin holes, filling to two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, for the lemon icing, place the icing sugar and zest in a bowl, then stir in enough juice to make a soft runny icing.

Drizzle lemon icing over the cooled cakes and allow to set, top with candied lemon slices and garnish with extra lemon zest.

Lemon drizzled friands bittenAfter zesting all those lemons I couldn’t bear to let them go to waste so I made candied lemons to top the friands. I also ended up with the most fragrant lemon syrup.

Recipe for candied lemons

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water

“The How To”

Cut lemons into 1/8-inch-thick rounds using a mandolin or sharp knife; discard seeds. Stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; about 4 minutes.

Add lemon slices, and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, 30 – 40 minutes or until slightly translucent and rinds are softened.

20131125-120201.jpg

Remove from heat. Place slices in a single layer on a wax paper lined tray, using tongs. Cool completely (about 1 hour).

Lemon drizzled friands on cake stand2The responses that I have received from these recipes have been wonderful. The lemon friands were a major hit with hubby and even the boys got in on the action (I had to hold back so they wouldn’t bounce off the walls with the sugar topping and all).

Baking these treats left my home smelling fresh and fragrant; it was truly a beautiful experience.

So next time life throws you a lemon, make lemon drizzle friands, blueberry lemon cake, candied lemons and lemon syrup!

TIP OF THE DAY:

You can use lemons to deordorise your fridge. Cut a lemon in half, put some salt on it and put it at the back of your fridge. It will absorb all those odd odours that fridges tend to harbour! Don’t you just love this fruit?

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4 thoughts on “When life throws you a lemon……..

    • Butter milk is a derivative from processing butter. It Is rare to find in the shops in Lagos and quite expensive. You can make a substitute by adding 1 tsp of white vinegar to a cup of full fat milk. Let it sat and for 15 minutes the. Use it

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