Strawberry and Champagne Financiers

Strawberries and champagne scream early British summer to me. Wimbledon, the early sun, 99’s, the softest grass you ever did lay your head upon and bright, long days filled with the scent of ripe strawberries are constantly in my dreams; not that I like Wimbledon. Things just always seemed a tad more civilised whilst it was on. The grunting annoys me. Continue reading

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Blood Orange and Almond Upside Down Cake

My favourite thing to do in the warmer months is eat breakfast outside, and I know right now you are thinking “Why are you telling me this?” or “How did I get here?”, but it makes a difference!
It makes eating an event, and less of a rush to getting out of the door. Hanging with the birds and rays of sun on the back of my neck is what blue skies are all about. Plus you get all of the scents of summer; hazy breezes, floral scents and my fruit is always somewhat amplified by the warmth.Eating with your nose is important, it aids with the getting-full-feeling, makes you more aware of what you are eating and it makes you happy. Some of my best memories are those of eating fruits in summer (If I could marry fruit I really would, for real). Holidays in Cyprus eating the best fresh cherries, seeing how far we could spit the pits, fresh strawberries from my grandparents back-garden (my love of strawberries is well documented on my recipes page) and my gorgeous friend Abby’s blood orange tree at her parents house (with the cutest dog ever; love you Snowy!). That last memory holds so true in my head whenever I eat Blood oranges (pretty much constantly for the three or four weeks they in season). This cake is warmth, remnants of winter and spring all in one.

Blood Orange and Almond Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes one 9 inch cake
For the Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 blood oranges thinly sliced
For the Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
130gr Plain Flour
30gr Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
2/3 cup plain yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven.  Tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.  Once sides are coated, sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter and lay the oranges flat in the still warm pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg, vanilla extract and ginger.  Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the yoghurt.  Beat until the batter just comes together.  Batter will be pretty thick.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Spoon batter over the oranges and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.

Lavender and Lemon Cookie Pop

Spring holds so much hope and anticipation; growing up in the UK it always felt like the start of the year, and that feeling has transferred here, despite the fact that it is September. It holds anticipation for ice-cream eating, long walks with my puppy and road trips to Middleton, my favourite beach spot in SA.

South Australia has really brought it for the first few days a spring, if it was a football team people would be saying “This is our year”. Except Spring can’t really fail at being Spring so, yeah.

This cookie is anticipation in a cookie, the Lemon and Lavender are the perfect spring flavour combination. Refreshing like lemonade, and the lavender is in no way overwhelming, but the key is to only use a small amount otherwise things get soapy. And from experience I can tell you that soap is both a taste that is overwhelming, and exceedingly hard to remove from your mouth.The lemon cheese drizzle makes the cookie taste like delicious cheesecake. Its optional but do it, it’s amazing.

Lemon and Lavender Cookie

Ingredients
230gr plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda
85g caster sugar
45gr dark brown sugar
125gr melted butter
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla paste
1 egg
Rind of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lavender

Method
Sift flour, soda and sugars into a large bowl; dark brown sugar generally has big pieces in it, sift well then add the larger pieces in too. Stir in the butter, vanilla and egg, the lemon and lavender.On a sheet of baking paper, roll the dough into a log shape. Tie the ends and if necessary wrap in glad wrap. Freeze the dough for at least 2 hours. At this point the mixture will last months.

Slice the frozen mixture and insert lollipop sticks. Bake at 200C for ten minutes.

Lemon Cheese Drizzle – adapted from Rah Cha Chow

Ingredients
70gr cream cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
184 gr powdered sugar

Method
Combine ingredients in bowl. Spoon a small tablespoon of mixture on to the cooled cookies and spread evenly over the top. Allow to dry.