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Little Lemon Shortbread Biscuits with Blueberry Jam

Little Lemon Shortbread Biscuits with Blueberry Jam

Little Lemon Shortbread Biscuits with Blueberry Jam

These are simple little two-bite morsels – great with a cuppa or pop a few in a pretty bag or box to give as gifts when visiting friends. You can use whatever jam you like – raspberry is always a winner when paired with lemon. I always use a bit of cornflour in shortbread as it makes them tender and crumbly, but you can make these with just plain flour. You can also make them gluten-free by using any plain gluten-free flour you wish.

Little Lemon Shortbread Biscuits with Blueberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 190g butter, softened
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 70g cornflour
  • 1 lemon
  • half tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp blueberry jam

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flours, finely grated zest of the lemon and 2 teaspoons of the juice, and the vanilla extract. Stir until well combined. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put them on an un-greased baking tray then use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a little well in the biscuits. Loosely cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to chill for about an hour.

Heat the oven to 175C. Remove the tray of uncooked biscuits from the fridge. Arrange them so they’re about an inch apart – you’ll probably need two baking trays or to cook in two batches as you need to have the biscuits spaced out as they’ll spread a little on cooking; if you make two batches leave the second batch in the fridge until ready to cook. Use a teaspoon to fill the holes in the biscuits with jam; you may not need all of it so don’t be tempted to overfill them. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until pale golden. Take them out of the oven and allow them to firm up on the tray for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

I went to a baby shower this weekend and took along baked treats (if you’re friends with me it’s a reasonably fair bet I’ll bring baked goods to any event I’m invited to). I’ve been mostly baking fruity, summery stuff lately and this was a perfect opportunity for more of the same. This traybake was perfect to portion up into squares for a big party, and the light, zesty flavour was just the ticket sat out in the sun.

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

For the cake:

  • 125g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g sour cream
  • 2 lemons (zest of both, juice of one)
  • 300g self raising flour
  • half teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g blueberries

Heat your oven to 180C and grease and line a tin (approx 25x22cm) with greaseproof paper. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat again, then stir in the sour cream, lemon zest and juice until well combined. Stir in the flour and baking powder making sure thoroughly mixed, then stir through the blueberries and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes – it’s done when golden, a skewer comes out clean or it springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and set to one side to cool.

For the cream cheese topping:

  • 175g butter
  • 375g icing sugar
  • 125g full fat cream cheese
  • juice one lemon (left over from the cake)
  • 100g blueberries

Cream together the butter and (sifted) icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and lemon juice and beat again until well combined. Remove the cooled cake from the tin and peel away the greaseproof paper. Use a spatula to slather the lemony cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Scatter the blueberries evenly over the cake, cut into individual portions and serve.

Peach & Blueberry Swiss Roll

Swiss roll with homemade jam

Swiss roll with homemade jam and mascarpone cream

It seemed appropriate that my first post on this blog should be about my contribution to the first meeting of the Brighton Baking Bunch baking club I recently set up. I wanted to make something I’d never attempted before, originally planning on making a four-tier chocolate and hazelnut layer cake (something I’m sure I’ll still try soon), but then I was inspired by a lovely recipe for peach donuts by one of my favourite baking bloggers, The Ginger Bread Lad. As donuts are best eaten within a few hours of being made and being a little nervous of deep frying, I decided to have a go at making a Swiss roll. The addition of homemade peach and blueberry jam is what really elevates this recipe, but you could always use a good shop-bought jam if you wanted to cut corners.

Swiss Roll with homemade Peach & Blueberry Jam and Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

For the jam:

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 100g blueberries
  • 125g sugar

Prepare your peaches by scoring a cross in the skin at the top or bottom of the peach. Blanch in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds, then take them out; the skin should peel away very easily, but don’t worry if there are a few flecks left on the flesh. Remove the stones, then squish the flesh through your fingers into a medium sized saucepan, along with the blueberries and sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly to make sure your jam isn’t sticking to the pan. Boil vigorously for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it all the time. You can hear when it starts to turn from fruit sauce to jam as the bubbles get thicker (you’ll understand what I mean when you try for yourself!). Check if it’s done by putting a teaspoon sized amount on a cool plate, leaving it for a minute and then running your finger through it – when it has become jam it should ‘wrinkle’ and it won’t run down the plate when tilted. Place in a clean bowl to cool, transferring to the fridge until needed. This makes just enough for the recipe, but if you make more then store it in sterilised jam jars.

For the sponge:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 80g caster sugar (plus about a tablespoon for finishing)
  • Seeds of half a vanilla pod
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 80g plain flour

Heat your oven to 190C and grease and line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin or high sided baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla until really fluffy and pale in colour. Stir in the water, then sift in the flour and fold in lightly – you want to keep as much of the air in without leaving pockets of unmixed flour. Pour in to the prepared tin and smooth it out with the back of a spatula so it’s even and reaches the corner of the tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes – it’s done when it’s golden and feels springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a second sheet of baking parchment that’s been dusted with the extra caster sugar. Leave it for 10 minutes and then carefully peel back the lining paper and leave it to cool completely.

For the vanilla mascarpone cream:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • Seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons sifted icing sugar

Cream all the ingredients together in a bowl; begin with 3 tablespoons icing sugar and check to see if you think it’s sweet enough, adding the remaining sugar to taste.

When your sponge is cool, smooth over the mascarpone cream, leaving a border of about 1cm all the way round. Then cover with the jam, also leaving a little border as this will ooze on rolling. With the shortest side of the sponge facing you, fold the edge away from you, trying to tuck this first fold in as much as possible to keep the roll tight. You may find it helpful to use the baking parchment to pull the roll together. Once it’s fully rolled place it on your serving plate (spatulas or fish slices are helpful if you’re not confident enough to do it with your hands) with the join underneath to prevent in from unrolling. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

I neglected to get a decent photo, mainly out of greed (must get better at taking photos before tucking in!), but here’s a snap of a slice just before it was devoured.