Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lemon posset with fennel shortbread

ZIngy and creamy posset

ZIngy and creamy posset

A posset is really a cooked cream dessert very popular in gastropubs and the best alliance to the iconic shortbread. For me, this is a marriage made in British heaven and one of my favourite dessert.

I made this last sunday for my niece Antonia to go with the fennel seeds shortbread I had brought for Christmas and I knew she liked… I was thrilled to discover it is such a quick and easy pudding to make and it is definitively going into my favourites’ repertoire. This recipe is from the wonderful Tangerine Dream Cafe in The Chelsea Physic Gardens where they serve incredibly creative and quirky dishes using lots of the plants and flowers available all around the kitchen. I am a particular fan of their Lavender scones and ginger bread for tea…

Ingredients list: Serves 6

For the Posset:

  • Double cream, 500 ml
  • Caster sugar, 125g
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (I recommend Amalfi lemons still seasonal and so fragrant it’s untrue)IMG_5829 IMG_5824

For the Shortbread:

  • Butter, 250g
  • Golden or caster sugar, 110g Plus for sprinkling
  • Plain flour, 250g
  • Fine semolina, 110g
  • Crushed fennel seeds, 1 tsp

For the posset:

Place the cream and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes.

(5 minutes at 80 in the Thermomix works well too)

Stir in the lemon juice and zest and leave to cool.

Pour into sundae cups or martini glasses and decorate with edible flowers : pansies or nasturtiums are soon in season! I also use dry edible flowers bought on a stall in Borough Market.

For the shortbread:

Beat the butter in a mixer until creamy then add the sugar, followed by the flour, semolina and crushed fennel seeds.

Mix until it forms a smooth dough then roll out onto a floured surface and cut out shapes.

Place on a baking parchment or silpat sheet on a rack and bake for up to one hour at 150º. Watch so the edges do not colour too much. The cookies need to be still a bit soft on coming out as they will harden when they cool and you want a crumbly and slightly chewy texture. Sprinkle with a bit of caster sugar before they cool down.

This is a fresh and delicious pudding, perfect for a spring lunch al fresco!

For Tony

For Tony

Gluten free banana cake for recovery days

This light and moist banana loaf is adapted from a BBC recipe and it is the nicest banana recipe I have tried so far. It is also gluten-free which is sometimes useful – my guests these days seem to be more gluten intolerant than before, I have noticed.

I am eating quite a few bananas during training and especially post-runs for recovery so this is recipe makes a nice change from the habitual recovery smoothie. I suggest a cup of tea with it and a good long run before! I actually had a deliciously hot chocolate with it myself – as my pictures show…  But I had the excuse of recovering from my first EVER half-marathon…  Yeah!!! Legs felt as hard as concrete but it was real good when the rain and the run stopped… Great feeling of fear (and boredom) conquered! Anyway, that was last week and I had a few days worth of banana cake to recover so all good.

photo 3 copy

Getting to the finish line!

Getting to the finish line!

Ingredients list:

This quantity will fill a 1kg/2lb loaf tin, lined with parchment paper, or 24 small paper muffin cases

  • Last time I did this I use the self-raising gluten free flour mix from Doves Farm but you can also use 225g of plain flour.

    As for the bananas, nobody here likes them brownish so I freeze the overripe ones (peeled is better) to squash as smoothies and I used some of those for this recipe.

Put the flours and butter and sugar together in a food processor and mix until light and fluffy.

Add the beaten eggs  and mix. By hand, fold in the sultanas and citrus peel.

Pour the batter into a long cake tin. Decorate the top with mixed nuts if you wish – and if you don’t have allergies to cater for.

Put in the oven for 45min at 170°. Take out when raised and when the knife comes out clean but try not to over bake so it stays moist.

This reminds me of some moist caribbean cakes and I always love the banana and vanilla pairing- simple but so comforting! In fact, I felt I had not brought back enough recipes from my recent jaunt to La Martinique so this English cake actually nicely fills the gap. But as Spring starts everywhere, I promise myself there will be more exotic recipes finding their way into this page!

Banana cake with vanilla

Banana cake with hot choc’

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