Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Traybake

The Bear and I made this amazing lemon drizzle traybake, a Mary Berry recipe a few weekends ago.  It was absolutely amazing, spongey, lemony and sweet.  Some tips – make sure your baking powder is fresh (for that spongey texture, and cake-rise) and for the glaze, gradually add sugar to water.  I didn’t (want to) use 175g sugar for the glaze (on top of the 225g already in the cake mix) and found a gradual approach to the glaze-mix was a sensible one for me.

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Strawberry meringue cake

I found a lovely recipe for pineapple meringue cake here a while ago, but didn’t feel too confident to try it as all my previous attempts at meringues have flopped. With hubby very hard at work in the garden, I mustered enough confidence to give this recipe a go. I did modify the recipe slightly to add strawberries instead of pineapple, and because my cake tin is a 9″ spring-form, I had to double the recipe. Credit to the lovely Shell for this lovely meringue cake.



  • 4 egg yolks (medium eggs)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking pwder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup semi-skimmed milk


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup castor sugar


  • 1 cup double cream, whipped until thick
  • a punnet of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (gasmark 5)
  2. Grease and line 2 9″ spring form tins (or do as I did and bake a cake at a time)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until creamy
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add 2 tbsp of the flour mix into the egg mix, followed by 1/4 cup of milk, and repeat again until all the flour and milk have been incorporated
  6. Split the cake mix into the 2 prepared spring-forms
  7. Whisk the egg whites, sugar and vanilla until a stiff mixture forms.  Pour half the meringue mix onto the 1st cake mix and the remainder on the 2nd. Use a rubber spatula to even out the surface
  8. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the ring and leave to cool for another 20 minutes
  10. Carefully peel off the grease-proof paper from the base of the cakes
  11. Place the first cake meringue side up on a cake stand or plate
  12. Mix the filling (cream, strawberries and icing sugar) and use to rubber spatula to spread on the meringue
  13. Place the second cake meringue side up on the filled cake
  14. Arrange some strawberries on the top meringue and dust with icing sugar

Here is a close up of a slice of the meringue-cake:

 The cake turned out light (and fluffy as per hubby) and the strawberry-cream filling is perfect for the summer. All we need now is some tea and dainty sandwiches and we’ve got ourselves an afternoon tea.

Peach and mixed berry tart with mascarpone cream

I haven’t baked (nor exercised!) since I went on holidays at the end of April, so I was starting to feel out of practice. I found a lovely peach tart recipe on the following website, and modified the recipe to create a peach and mixed berry tart served with mascarpone cream as called for by the original recipe.


A) Pastry

  • 180g plain flour
  • 120g chilled butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 40g icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt

B) Fruit mix

  • 6 ripe peach tarts, stoned, and sliced into thin pieces
  • a handful of frozen mixed berries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar (only if the fruit is tart)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp limoncello
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 25g chilled butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • more icing sugar for dusting

C) Mascarpone cream

  • 150 ml double cream, whipped until thick and combine with 100 ml mascarpone cheese and 1 tbsp icing sugar. Chill before serving


  1. For the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until the pastry mixture resembles crumbs
  2. Tip the crumbs into a big bowl, pour in part of the ice water and quickly knead until it forms a dough.  (Add the remainder of the water if the dough requires it)
  3. Place the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so (or 15 minutes in the freezer)
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge/freezer and place on a floured surface. Roll into a circle to fit over a 9 inch loose-base tart tin. Place the rolled pastry onto the tart tin and trim excess dough
  5. Grease some foil (large enough to cover the tart tin) and place it grease side down onto the pastry. Place some dried beans on top of the foil (covering the crater of the tart)
  6. Blind bake in the oven at gasmark 5 (180 degrees) for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the pastry with a fork and bake for a further 10 minutes
  7. Once the pastry is cooked, leave to cool while the fruit mix is being prepared
  8. Macerate the peach in the icing sugar (optional) and limoncello for 30 minutes
  9. Mix the caster sugar with lemon zest and flour and blend to combine
  10. Toss the peaches with the flour mix
  11. Pour the peaches into the tart casing. Drizzle the honey over the peaches
  12. Scatter the frozen berries over the peaches. Place the diced butter on the centre and around the fruits
  13. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees (gasmark 6) for 35 minutes
  14. Remove from the oven and leave on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the tart from the tin and cool on the rack for 20 minutes
  15. Scatter with icing sugar, and serve with mascarpone cream

 The tart turned out well, and it was very tasty and perfect for a summer sweet treat. My only complaint is that I didn’t cool the pastry casing enough before baking it with the fruit as it tasted slightly dough-y. I might refrigerate it next  time as per the original recipe.

Flourless chocolate cake

Hubby finds it highly amusing that I’ve never really gone past the book cover of Curtis Stone’s ‘Cooking with Curtis’ which he and A gave me for Christmas, oh I don’t know, 5 years ago? Can you blame me? Have you seen cover?

Anyway, Curtis Stone appeared on 2 Masterchef Australia episodes which was shown here in the UK for the last 3 months or so. I figured it was time I flicked through the book to see what the recipes were like. I thought I’d try his flourless chocolate cake recipe. I’ve never baked a flourless cake before and so I wasn’t too sure whether the cake turned out right as it had the texture of mousse.  I baked it for 40 minutes as per the recipe, but I didn’t like the mousse texture so baked it for a further 20 minutes. The texture was better, albeit still mousse-like.

The taste was fantastic though, and I served the cake warm with vanilla ice cream.


Pear Tarte Tatin

We had friends J&J over for dinner last night and I made chicken satay pies (post to follow), seafood paella and a pear tarte tatin, which was a variation of the apple tarte tatin from last week

I used the same recipe for the pear tarte tatin as I did for the apples, except I poured all of the caramel into the pie dish. When I flipped the tart over, there was just too much liquid, so I popped it into the oven and let the caramel reduce.  I served the tart warm with vanilla ice cream.

Blackberries and almond tart

I wanted to make cherry and almond tart for sweet treats over the weekend, but as I couldn’t find cherries (not in season), I bought a pack of frozen blackberries instead.  The recipe is courtesy of, with slight modification.


A) Pastry

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almond
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 tbsp butter, chilled and diced

B) Tart

  • 400g frozen blackberries
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 cup ground almond
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 125g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


A) Pastry

  1. Mix the flour, ground almond and sugar in a food processor, pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.
  2. Add in the water and quickly work the mix into a dough with your hands
  3. Place in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  4. Grease a 9 inch loose based tart tin
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (gasmark 6)
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 9 inch (and a bit) circle (thickness of 1cm)
  7. Place the rolled-out pastry into the tart tin, pressing the pastry into the sides of the tin
  8. Place a greased kitchen foil (grease-side down) onto the pastry and weigh the foil down with dried beans until all the foil is covered
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and prick the pastry surface with a fork
  10. Bake again for a further 10 minutes and remove from the oven

B) Tart mix

  1. Reduce the heat of the oven to 160 degrees (gasmark 4)
  2. Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until the mixture turns pale
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at intervals
  4. Mix in the ground almond, beat for 15 seconds and stir in the flour
  5. Spread the mix into the pastry case
  6. Place the blackberries on the almond mixture
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until the tart is golden and firm
  8. Dust with icing sugar before serving
  9. Serve warm with single cream 


Julia Child’s Apple tarte tatin

I wanted try make an apple tarte tatin ever since Hubby and I shared a slice in Brasserie Gerard a few months ago. I googled Julia Child’s recipe for apple tarte tatin, which I found on Here is the recipe for ease of reference, modified slightly.


A) Pastry

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp chilled butter, diced
  • 1/4 cold water

B) Tarte tatin

  • 6 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (say 1 cm in width)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6 tbsp butter


A) Pastry

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs
  2. Add the cold water and quickly work the crumbs into a dough. Shape it into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

B) Tarte tatin

  1. Mix the apple slices with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice and leave for 20 minutes. Drain the apples
  2. Heat the butter in a pan. Once melted, add the remaining sugar and cook until it bubbles and  turns to caramel
  3. Add the apples and cook for 25 minutes, basting the apples in the caramel 5 minutes or so
  4. Remove the pan from the heat
  5. Use a 9 inch glass Pyrex dish and carefully arrange the apples into a fan shape, starting from the outside of the bowl. Please be careful and take your time as the apples are very hot at this stage
  6. Pour the caramel onto the apples, ensuring an even coating
  7. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface into a 10inch circle in diameter (i.e. slighly bigger than the pyrex dish)
  8. Place the pastry on top of the apples, tucking the excess pastry into the sides of the dish (i.e. between the sides of the dish and the apples)
  9. Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (gasmark 5)
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream