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Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake, fragrant with the zest of citrus

This week was the final of Great British Bake Off. I bloody love that programme (not exactly alone in that, eh?) and often watch with another addicted friend. We watched this last episode together so I baked us something (it’s safer that way!) to keep us satisfied whilst watching all the spectacular goodies on-screen. I had been undecided as to what I should bake, but in the end, time constraints and an abundance of citrus fruit in my kitchen lead me to knock up a nifty little all-in-one tray bake – with the added bonus of getting to use my Kenwood Chef which is my favourite new toy!

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

For the cake:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • zest 2 lemons
  • zest 2 limes and juice of one
  • 2 tbsp whole milk

Heat the oven to 180C and line a tin (approx 25x20cm) with foil. If using a food processor or stand mixer, put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix, starting off slowly and increasing speed until well mixed. If making with an electric hand whisk or by hand, cream the butter and sugar, then beat in 2 of the eggs followed by half the dry ingredients, then the remaining eggs and dry ingredients, finishing with the zests, juice and milk. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch, springing back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before icing.

For the icing:

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice of half a lime

Mix together and then drizzle artfully (or not) over the cooled cake. Cut cake into portions. Eat.

Lemon & Lime Tray Bake

Artistic decoration optional!

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Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Fresh and cool Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Well the weather is doing what it’s supposed to, which means it’s barbeque season; I went to a pretty awesome one yesterday. Obviously at a barbeque the meat is king, but I still can’t help myself taking along something sweet for dessert. I decided it should be something with fresh, bright flavours that would wake up the taste-buds after the carnivorous overload (not that I’m complaining about eating ALL the meat!) so I settled on this zingy lime and ginger cheesecake. The sharp lime cuts through the richness of the cream and cream cheese, whilst the crunch of the ginger biscuit base compliments the cool, smooth topping.

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 250g ginger nut biscuits
  • 100g butter, melted

Line the base of a 9″ spring form pan with greaseproof paper. Crush the biscuits, either by whizzing them up in a food processor or (the fun way!) by putting them in a clean sandwich bag and bashing them to bits with a rolling pin or other heavy kitchen implement; you want a fine breadcrumb texture when you’re done. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter, mixing well. Tip in to the prepared pan and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon until you have an even layer, slightly higher at the edges than the centre. Place in the fridge to chill while you get on with the rest.

For the topping:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g full fat cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 limes

In a large bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks – I prefer to do this by hand as its very easy to over beat cream with an electric whisk and you almost end up with butter if you go too far. Add the cream cheese and mix into the cream with a spatula until well incorporated. Finely grate the zest from the limes and reserve about a teaspoon which you’ll use to scatter over the top of the finished cheesecake. Add the rest of the zest and the juice of the limes to the cream and cheese, add the icing sugar and mix it all in well.  You may need to use the whisk again just to bring back to soft peak stage.

Take the base out of the fridge and pour the topping into the tin, smoothing it down with a spatula or palatte knife. Scatter the remaining lime zest over the top and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve, and for at least 2 hours. When it’s time for dessert, release from the spring form tin, using a palatte knife to run round the edge if necessary. Carefully loosen from the base and transfer to a serving plate.

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake slice

Crunchy ginger biscuit base topped with creamy, citrusy lime cheesecake

Gluten-Free Lime & Coconut Cake

gluten-free lime and coconut cake

Gluten-Free Lime and Coconut Cake

Last week I went to #DrunkTaco night (basically an excuse to eat a ton of incredible meaty tacos and drink gin) with some lovely ladies, two of whom are intolerant to gluten. As if the evening wasn’t decadent enough I decided to up the ante and bring cake. I’ve made a few gluten-free cakes before – it really doesn’t make much odds with cakes in the way it does with bready products – and this was a good excuse to give something new a go. To be vaguely in keeping with the Mexican theme, I came up with a lime and coconut cake, adapted from my usual lemon drizzle cake. If you’re not bothered about keeping this gluten-free you could use normal plain flour, or self raising flour and leave out the baking powder and bicarb.

Lime & Coconut Cake made with Gluten-Free Flour

Ingredients:

  • 115g soft butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 170g plain gluten-free flour – I used rice flour
  • 5 limes
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tin coconut milk (you may not need the whole tin, but make sure it’s well mixed and not separated into solids and clear liquid)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g icing sugar

Grease and line the base of a 9″ spring form cake tin. No need to pre-heat your oven, this cake mix goes in to a cold oven. If you have a food processor that’s the easiest way to make this cake, otherwise a mixer or good old fashioned elbow grease will work just as well. Firstly, finely grate the rind of 4 of the limes into the food processor or a bowl. Then juice the limes into a separate bowl and add the desiccated coconut and 6 tablespoons of the coconut milk – mix well.

In the food processor or mixing bowl with the lime rind, add the butter, sugar and flour and mix well, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add the eggs, followed by the lime juice and coconut mixture and beat again. You want to achieve a soft dropping consistency, so if the mix is a bit thick, add the milk and beat again until incorporated. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and put into the oven at 175C for about an hour. Check it at 50 minutes – when it’s ready it’ll be coming away from the sides of the tin and spring back when lightly pressed; a skewer should come out clean. Leave it in the tin during cooling.

About 10 minutes before your cake is due to come out of the oven, heat together in a pan the icing sugar, juice and finely grated rind of the remaining lime and 1 tablespoon of coconut milk. You want this mix to be slightly thick and syrupy so you may need to boil it for a few minutes. When you take your cake out of the oven, and whilst cake and syrup are both still warm, prick your cake all over with a skewer or fork and spoon the syrup over so it seeps into the holes. Leave to cool and set before removing from the tin to serve.

Once again, I failed on the photo front, but luckily one of my lovely friends (thanks, Nicole) got a shot. I promise I’ll improve with the pictures!

If you’re interested in eating good gluten-free food, check out The Gluten-Free Dining Guide blog, or @gfdining on Twitter.