Monthly Archives: February 2015

Valentine sandwich cake with lemon cream and blueberries

Sponge cake with lemon butter cream and fresh berries

Sponge cake with lemon butter cream and fresh berries

For Valentine’s day, I propose to you a very British classic : two layers of sponge cake with a butter cream filling with fruit. Nothing could be more traditional but if you are not used to sandwich cakes, it is a very nice way to celebrate a very anglo-saxon day! Do not forget a nice and corny card – or a very rude and inappropriate one!- and you are set for the tackiest day in the calendar!

Joke apart, I actually quite like Valentine’s days because it is attached to fond memories and because a day celebrating Cupid is never a wasted day in my books. Tonight you should open a bottle and curl up on the sofa to watch a nice soppy rom-com like “Love Actually” or “About Time”. Something romantic and cute that will make you think that really “Love is all around”! Because it is – that bit is true! Nothing else really matters, does it?!

Anyway, back to baking:

Ingredient list for the cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • Butter
  • Caster sugar
  • self-raising flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking powder, 1 ½ tsp

Weight the eggs and then weight a similar amount of sugar, butter and flour. Reserve.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the beaten eggs and the flour in alternance.

Mix the vanilla extract in. Beat the mix in with a whisk until light and fluffy.

Divide in two shallow tins and bake at 180° for 25 minutes.

Remove and let it cool.

Ingredients for the butter cream:

  • Butter, 100g
  • Icing sugar, 150g
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix in a blender or with a whisk. Reserve.

Spread the cream on one cake, lay blueberries on top, sandwich with the other cake and dust icing sugar to decorate – I used a paper heart as a stencil.

Crack open that bottle and curl up with your lover to enjoy this in front of that good British comedy! This is the one night of the year when I would not recommend going out unless you are truly desperate for food, or company, or both: restaurants are foul on Valentines’s day and you do not want to be compromised in such bad settings…IMG_8774 IMG_8778 IMG_8782

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Spicy pumpkin cookies

Cookies that melt in the mouth...

Cookies that melt in the mouth…

This lovely cookie I found on allrecipes.com. I was looking for a nice way to use my Libby jar of pumpkin purée and I really enjoyed the melting fudge-like texture of the dough  and the mixed spices.

Ingredients list:

  • Fine flour, 180g
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp
  • Baking soda, 1tsp
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg, ½ tsp
  • Ground cloves, ½ tsp
  • Salt, ½ tsp
  • Butter, 125g
  • Icing sugar, 90g
  • Pumpkin purée, canned, 100g
  • Egg, 1
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.

Cream the butter and icing sugar. Add the flour and spices mix.

Drop ball shaped portions of the dough on greaseproof paper and reserve in the fridge for 30 min if possible – it will help them retain their shape.

Bake for 15 to 20 min then let them cool and drizzle some icing over them (icing sugar mixed with a few drops of lemon) or just dust in icing sugar.

If you do not have pumpkin puree, you can replace with unsweetened chestnut puree. The nice spicy edge of this cookie is made even nicer by the fact is is not over sweet.  The icing sugar does also improve the texture and makes the dough very fudgy and melting.

Enjoy those cookies with a nice cup of tea. That is my favourite British expression: not just any cup of tea but a “nice cup of tea”! Cures all ills – might even work on my nasty cold…

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