Unless you’re lucky enough to be somewhere you can pick plums straight off a tree, I usually find that shop bought ones aren’t that ripe and are better cooked. I had some beautiful looking plums in my Delicado48 box, but I’m guessing they must have been in cold storage as it’s hardly plum season now. Roasting, I reckoned was the way to go and as it was a Sunday, we had a roast, the only difference being ours was a plum parfait.
Lemon curd is one of those products where I’m unable to eat the commercial stuff, but adore a good homemade version. Sharp, tangy and sweet all at the same time, it’s fabulous spread on hot buttered toast, as an alternative to jam on scones and as a cake filling or topping. It even works beautifully baked into cakes.
So enamoured was I with the chocolate, lemon curd and strawberry combination after I made these chocolate waffles, that I knew immediately that was what I would use for my birthday cake last week. What I didn’t then know was that I would add pomegranate to the mix.
When I was sent some pomegranate juice drink from The Simply Great Drinks Co, I thought it would make a fabulous addition to my cake. And so it proved to be. Neither CT nor I are particularly keen on sweet drinks and this did taste very sweet. However, we found that a dilution of one third juice to two thirds water suited us very well; it tasted good and was particularly refreshing during hot days. It made for a rather tasty cocktail too – recipe to follow. In fact I only just managed to nab some for my cake before it ran out. The pomegranate flavour was to the fore and the colour was deep and jewel-like. With pomegranates trending as the latest superfood, consuming some has to be a good thing. However, it must be said that PomeGreat, as this drink is called, contains only 30% pomegranate juice. The rest is made up of water and other fruit juices from conentrate.
As some of you may remember, I carried out a cocoa powder tasting trial some time ago. It was Food Thoughts organic and fair-trade cocoa that came out best. Food Thoughts is available in Sainsbury’s, but is not stocked by the Co-op or anywhere else in Liskeard, so I don’t get to use it very often. Luckily, Food Thoughts kindly sent me a couple of pots recently, so it was this cocoa I used in my birthday cake.
On the day, friends hosted an afternoon tea party for me that ended up lasting long into the evening. It was a jolly affair and it even stopped raining long enough to have a walk around their beautiful garden and to spend half an hour sitting out on their newly created terrace. I did much of the baking for the occasion including the gooseberry mini cakes that have already featured. Surprisingly, the most popular bake of the day turned out to be some little muffins made from the gleanings of a weeding session down at the plot. They were modelled on this recipe for carrot and beetroot muffins, only I used tender leafy greens instead of the carrots and beetroot and omitted the cocoa powder. Greens, walnuts and goat’s cheese is a winning combination I found. I also made brownies, peanut butter cookies and madeleines. My friend made sandwiches, quiches and scones, so we had a veritable feast.
The cake went down a storm. No surprise, with its tangy fruity creamy combination it encapsulated summer. The chocolate cake itself was succulent with a light but substantial sponge that was infused with a hint of pomegranate.
A couple of days after my birthday when this cake had long since disappeared, my mother turned up with another birthday cake. Lucky me. I don’t get cakes made for me very often, so I was quite delighted. It was a well textured light fruit cake with a layer of marzipan beneath the icing and although very different, it was equally delicious.
I am sending this off to Emily over at A Mummy Too for her Recipe of the Week.
It also goes to Cook Blog Share with Lucy over at SuperGolden Bakes.
Tasty Tuesdays gets a look in too with Vicki at Honest Mum.
This also goes off to Jenny over at Mummy Bakes Cakes for July’s Celebration Cakes and Bakes.
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g dark brown sugar
- 1 heaped tbsp golden syrup
- 4 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 225g flour (half wholemeal, half white)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g cocoa powder (I used Food Thoughts)
- 60g ground almonds
- 150ml pomegranate juice
- 200ml double cream
- 4 heaped tbsp lemon curd
- 300g strawberries – hulled and quartered
- 20g dark chocolate – shaved
Yield: 12 servings
When I was browsing through Chocolat by Eric Lanlard in order to write the review I posted recently, I was caught by his recipe for chocolate waffles. I knew I would have to make them in the not too distant future. When I came back from a preserving course at River Cottage, laden with lemon curd (amongst other things), I knew the time had come. Chocolate waffles with a big dollop of lemon curd had my name written all over it.
It’s time for that most exciting of blog challenges Random Recipes again. This month, Dom over at Belleau Kitchen has taken us back to the beginning with his simple, but not necessarily easy, formula of picking a book randomly and then picking a random page number. With a hundred and one things to do, I was somewhat trepidacious as to what I might be landed with. As usual, CT did the honours and came up with Cox Cookies & Cake by Eric Lanlard. I used my new method of including all of my baking books as well as my chocolate ones: if I don’t get a chocolate recipe right away I just keep turning the pages until I come to the first one that includes chocolate. Well CT picked page 78 – fat-free jasmine & violet cupcakes. Hmmm, no chocolate there. Nothing on the next page either or the next one, nothing in fact until page 91 which was for chocolate icing. Well, much as I enjoy a good icing, I didn’t fancy just eating a bowl of that on its own. Hmmm, ah, light bulb moment!
|Let’s start from the very beginning|
|Although I baked the biscuits for the Tiffin, this is not required as any bought biscuits can easily be substituted.|
Whilst reviewing Honeybuns gluten free baking recently and pondering on what exactly I was going to make first, I spotted a new challenge. Sarah Maison Cupcake’s new Zero Baking Required made the decision for me: chocolate orange tiffin. Actually, it would be chocolate lemon tiffin as I had some lemon curd that I’d made a while ago and it needed using up. So to get Dom’s random recipe into the mix, it was a simple substitution of the Honeybun’s chocolate topping for Eric Lanlard’s one, or ahem, one based on Eric’s. His used single cream which I didn’t have, but I did have some double cream. I decided to make only half the quantity of tiffen stated in the book as it did seem rather generous and similarly half the quantity of icing. But first I had to make some custard creams.
This is how I made Gluten Free Chocolate Lemon Tiffin:
- Melted 50g unsalted butter in a pan with 2.5 tbsp of golden syrup and half 1 scant tbsp of cocoa.
- Crushed 31 of the heart shaped custard biscuits I’d just made so lovingly with the end of a rolling pin.
- Poured in the melted butter mixture and stirred until all incorporated. At this point I was rather concerned that the mixture was way too dry and wouldn’t hold together. But I decided to trust the recipe and stick with it.
- Pressed this into the base of a 21 cm (8″) sq tin lined with baking paper.
- Placed in the fridge for 1/2 an hour to set.
- Creamed 25g unsalted butter with 100g icing sugar until incorporated.
- Beat in 2 heaped tbsp of home made lemon curd.
- Spread this over the biscuit base.
- Placed back in the fridge whilst getting on with the next stage.
- Heated 100ml double cream in a pan until just about boiling.
- Poured this over 125g chopped dark chocolate (25g G&B Maya Gold & 100g G&B 72%).
- Stirred in 25g unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp of orange flower water.
- Poured this over the lemon cream layer.
- Placed back in the fridge to set.
- Slid out of the tin and cut into 16 squares.
I was very glad I trusted the recipe, as the tiffin held together really well and cut beautifully. Even using half the amount, I still got 16 decent sized squares. Using double cream for the chocolate icing worked well, as it set more solidly than I suspect it would have done using single cream. These not only looked appealing, but were delicious too. They were not overly sweet, tasted of chocolate covered lemon sherbet and had a great contrast of textures and flavours – although the orange was rather lost to the lemon. The smooth chocolate, creamy zingy lemon and a really nice crunch from the biscuits worked very well. CT thought these looked very similar to millionaire’s shortbread but were far superior. The sweet cloying quality he associated with them was absent and he found them much more refreshing.
As this was the first time I’ve ever made my own biscuits for a refrigerator cake, I am also submitting these to Javelin Warrior’s Made With Love Mondays where everything must be made from scratch – even the lemon curd was my own.