Cherry Lamingtons

 For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant

Jam lamingtons - squares of vanilla sponge cake filled with cherry jam, coated in chocolate and coconut - Domestic GothessThis was the first time I had ever tried a lamington, I had heard of them of course, but never thought to try making them. Which is one reason why I enjoy being part of the Daring Bakers – it encourages me to try things that I wouldn’t think to (or have heard of) on my own, most of which I end up loving. For those of you who haven’t heard of lamingtons, they are a very popular Australian treat consisting of squares of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut, sometimes with a jam filling. (more…)

Passion Fruit, White Chocolate & Coconut Layer Cake

Passion fruit, white chocolate and coconut layer cake It seems I have a bit of a thing for three layer cakes; if you use 15cm/6in pans they turn out perfectly proportioned, tall enough to look impressive, but not so huge that they are impossible to eat. In fact I use my 15cm tins far more often than any others I own (and I own quite a few…), as they are such a convenient size if you don’t have loads of people to feed; I also want to get some really diddy 10cm ones to make tiny towering cakes with! (more…)

Camomile Tea & Lemon Shortbread

Camomile tea and lemon shortbread biscuits - Domestic Gothess I have been meaning for quite some time to try baking with tea, I mean I love to drink it, so why not eat it too? Admittedly I mostly just drink standard black tea (English Breakfast, with milk, no sugar, about four cups a day; in case you were interested.), and although I have a cupboard full of herbal teas I rarely stray away from my usual; although I am partial to the occasional cup of Earl Grey or chai. I tried to like green tea because I know it’s good for me, but I just couldn’t do it; even the flavoured ones had to be forced down… I do try and refrain from drinking caffeine after about 5pm though, so if I fancy a hot drink in the evening I go for camomile tea (or hot chocolate or hot spiced milk). (more…)

Strawberry, Elderflower & Almond Layer Cake

Strawberry, elderflower and almond layer cakeI think this may be one of the prettiest cakes i have ever made…it is certainly a good deal more attractive than my last post! It is the perfect cake for spring, delicately flavoured with fragrant elderflower and sweet strawberries. I love elderflower, I remember when I was little helping my parents pick elderflowers to make wine; we had an elderflower tree in our garden and the scent was glorious; unfortunately now, living in inner Birmingham, elderflower trees are rather more difficult to find, and despite much searching while out dog walking I haven’t come across any. (more…)

Red Wine Poached Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tarts

Spiced red wine poached pear & chocolate frangipane tarts with chocolate pastryI debated for a while as to whether I should actually publish this post or not…I just wasn’t entirely happy with the appearance of the tarts, I couldn’t help but feel that the pears turned out looking somewhat slug-like…In the end though taste won out. What they lack in looks they make up for in flavour. Sweet pears poached in a spiced red wine syrup are baked with rich chocolate frangipane in a crisp chocolate pastry crust. When topped with a dollop of ice cream and an extra drizzle of spiced red wine syrup they are heavenly. (more…)

Sea Salt & Rosemary Focaccia

For the month of April Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch

sea salt and rosemary focacciaThis months Daring Bakers challenge was an easy one for me – focaccia, which is one of my favourite breads and one I have made many times. Focaccia is a traditional Italian flatbread made with olive oil; it should be tender and chewy with a crisp crust and an open crumb – lots of little holes inside. It is infinitely customiseable, you can top it with pretty much whatever you want – olives, cheese, tomatoes, onions, nuts, herbs, grapes, roasted peppers etc. but I prefer it with a simple topping of herbs and sea salt. I like to serve it with a selection of dips and antipasti, it also makes fantastic sandwiches, mozzarella and avocado being my favourite. (more…)

Tahini Biscuits

tahini biscuitsI’ve had a couple of jars of tahini sitting in the back of my cupboard for at least a year now; beyond making houmous I’m not too sure what to do with it as I don’t really like it by itself, if anyone has any suggestions as to what can be done with it please let me know! I figured that I could use it in the same way as peanut butter, so used some up making this sesame take on the classic peanut butter biscuit. I think i may like the result even more than the original! They are perfectly crisp and melt in the mouth with a delicate sesame flavour. (more…)

Lime Ice Cream

lime ice creamI had a load of limes left over from making mini lime yoghurt loaf cakes – I had needed lots of the zest but not the juice; so seeing as the weather has been quite warm and sunny recently I decided to put them to good use in some ice cream. I’ve also been given a new (secondhand, slightly battered…) ice cream maker – one of the ones where you don’t need to pre-freeze the bowl, so now I can have ice cream on a whim, without having to remember to put the bowl in the freezer the day beforehand! (more…)

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