Lemon Mascarpone Cake

Well, its been a while hasn’t it 🙂

Ive still been meal planning, still been baking, and starting tomorrow i’ll be back to blogging.

I posted a picture of this cake on FaceBook last week and a friend of mine asked for the recipe. I have to admit….i tweaked a Mary Berry *shock horror gasp* 😉



For The Cake

  • 2 small lemons
  • 275g softened butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 275g self raising flour
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs

For The Filling And Icing

  • 1 bag icing sugar
  • 1 large tub mascarpone

To Decorate

  • 1 large lemon
  • 50g caster sugar
  1. Grease and line 2 round cake tins. Using a potato peeler remove the zest from the large lemon and cut into thin strips. Place the strips in a small saucepan with 25g of the caster sugar and a little boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking parchment on a oven tray. Scatter with the remaining 25g caster sugar and place in a low oven set at 110 for an hour to dry out. Juice the lemon and set aside for later use.
  2. Quarter the 2 whole lemons and place in a pan. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid and remove any pips.
  3. Place the lemon pieces in a food processor and blitz to a smoothish pulp. Transfer to a small bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth. Lift out the blade and stir in half of the lemon pulp.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 tins and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown (or it passes the skewer test). Leave to rest for 5 minutes in the tin then turn out and remove baking parchment. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the mascarpone filling. In a bowl cream the mascarpone with icing sugar and the reserved liquid from the boiled lemons until you have the desired level of sweetness. Personal choice here people. Then add the reserved lemon pulp.
  6. Cut the cakes in half (for 4 layers) or just use the mascrapone to sandwich the 2 cakes together (as i did).
  7. Use the remaining lemon juice added to icing sugar to make a runny icing and pour onto the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle with the crispy pieces of lemon zest.


I gotta tell you…this was scrummy! 😉


Stem-Ginger Gingerbread

I made this yesterday, but I’ve not been able to get on WordPress. Finally Googled my problem this morning (i just thought it was them and not me) and now i know how to clear my cache & cookies from my Mac lol…it seems to have done the trick 🙂

Ok, so yesterday i made Nigella’s Stem-Ginger Gingerbread…..mmmmmmmm! Im not sure if its better than Nigel’s one that i did a few weeks ago, i’d need to make both on the same day lol.

Heres the recipe which Nigella got from The Baking Book by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake

Stem-Ginger Gingerbread

  • 230g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 110g butter; chilled and diced
  • 110g  black treacle or molasses
  • 110g golden syrup
  • 110g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 280ml full fat milk; plus 2 tablespoons
  • 45g drained stem ginger; grated
  • 1  egg; beaten
  1. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and all the spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingers  until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (I use my free-standing mixer, with the flat beater in place).
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the treacle with the syrup, then leave to cool to blood heat. Meanwhile, in another pan, dissolve the sugar in the milk over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the grated stem ginger – it’s easier to use a drum grater – to the flour mixture. Then whisk or beat the milk mixture into the flour mixture and next whisk in the treacle mixture, followed by the egg. When thoroughly blended, the mixture should be a thin batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1- 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Start checking after 45 minutes. But be warned: the mixture goes very runny before it is ready. Don’t panic. The gingerbread will rise during baking and then fall and shrink slightly as it cools. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out and wrap first in greaseproof paper and then in foil. Keep for a day before slicing thickly, then eat hungrily.

Keep for a day before eating? You must be joking lol…i had my first piece hot from the oven 😉


But the highlight of my day yesterday was picking up my most recent addition to my kitchen family…

photo-4 copy

Im so excited! I’ll be using it on Thursday for another Nigella dish!

Meal Planning 10th March

Last weeks meal plan went really well (which makes a change). I managed to cook everything on the list plus be treated to my sons White Chocolate Cheesecake…



and dineer cooked for me on Sunday by The Hubster 🙂



I spent yesterday afternoon sitting in the sun reading Nigella…looking for inspiration for this weeks meal plan which i hope goes down well…



  • Monday – Omelettes/Frittata’s (i can never really decide which they are lol) & Homemade bread
  • Tuesday – Pizza’s & Nigellas Stem Ginger Bread
  • Wednesday – Im up London all day so The Hubster is in charge
  • Thursday – Nigella’s Ham & Veal Pasta
  • Friday – Nigella’s Chicken Soup, Homemade Bread & Victoria Sponge
  • Saturday – Deli Meats & Homemade bread
  • Sunday – TGI’s (my sons Birthday on Saturday)

Im looking forward to doing some baking and i have a new piece of kit on order which i need to pick up on Tuesday…excited! 🙂

Please pop over to Mrs M’s to see what everyone else is planning for the week. Theres also a FaceBook page. Im off now to have a butchers 😉

What are you cooking this week?

Meal Planning – 3rd March

Last weeks meal plan was a bit hit and miss…but sometimes real life gets in the way. But this week, not only did it get in the way of the meal plan, but it got in the way of the diet 😦 I just don’t seem to be able to get back into the whole fasting thing.

So next week I’m not going to stress about it. Im going to try to eat healthily (well, ok, apart from one day of cake lol) and just cut back on all the rubbish lol


  • Monday – Beef Stew & Dumplings (Inspired by The English Kitchen)
  • Tuesday – Pancakes, Pancakes & more Pancakes!
  • Wednesday – Chicken Paella & Coffee Walnut Cake
  • Thursday – Anita’s Moroccan Sandwiches (with sausages…my lot don’t do veggie)
  • Friday – Takeaway
  • Saturday – Cheesy Stuffed Beef & Chipotle Burrito’s
  • Sunday – The Hubster is in charge.

I’ve taken inspiration from a couple of blogs and all those Waitrose Recipe cards i keep picking up lol. Please pop over to Mrs M’s to see what everyone else will be cooking this week. I always find other peoples lists trigger my own ideas when I’m thinking about meals  for The Fam 🙂

So what are you cooking this week?

Four Seasons Food February Challenge

Yesterday i “baked” something I’ve eaten plenty of, but never made myself…

Food blogger Anneli Faiers over at Delicieux is hosting the Four Season Food Challenge in association with Louisa at Eat Your Veg.

The theme for this challenge is “Food From The Heart” which, although appropriate during February, Anneli says “This is food you make for those you love, not just for the occasion of Valentines Day, but also, food to comfort, food to make people you love happy.”


Hmmmmm…ok, this took some thinking about…i wanted to come up with something “special” 🙂

So i decided to go out on a limb and attempt to make something that made me happy as a child…

I was brought up by my grandmother, who didn’t bake that often. She’d lived through rationing during WWII and i think thats why in her later years she became a very frugal cook. Leftovers were always used up the following day and just added to. I didn’t realise as a small child that the sweet tasting delight of Bread Pudding was more about using up stale bread (and any other ingredients she could throw in!) than it was about giving us a hearty, warming “dessert”. I use the word “dessert” loosely because traditional English Bread Pudding is more of a cake than a dessert 😉

Still, it was baked with love and there was always a smile on my face if i came home from school to a house smelling of Mixed Spice.

Unfortunately, i never got the recipe from my Nan before she died, and with 3 small children i never got around to making my own. It was always something i wanted to try, something i felt i really should be making, part of my heritage. But you know what times like…it runs away with you, and now, my children are adults, and if theres one thing i do have, its time 😉

So I decided to make a Bread Pudding (and I’ve even got one of my Nans mixing bowls to make it in!) 🙂 It was something that always made me happy, and now I’m hoping it will do the same for my own kids 😉

Bread Pudding (from BBC Good Food)

  • 500g white bread
  • 500g mixed dried fruit
  • 85g mixed peel
  • 1.5 tbsp Mixed Spice
  • 600ml Milk
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 140g light Muscovado sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 100g butter melted
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
  1. Tear the bread into a large mixing bowl and add the fruit, peel and spice. Pour in the milk, then stir or scrunch through your fingers to mix everything well and completely break up the bread. Add eggs, muscovado and lemon zest if using. Stir well, then set aside for 15 mins to soak.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 20cm non-stick square cake tin (not one with a loose base). Stir the melted butter into the pudding mixture, tip into the tin, then scatter with demerara. Bake for 1½ hrs until firm and golden, covering with foil if it starts to brown too much. Turn out of the tin and strip off the paper. Cut into squares and serve warm.

This could quite possibly turn into a project…a quest…to find the ultimate Bread Pudding recipe. There are hundreds when you Google it lol. I decided to add chopped cherries to mine, in homage to my Nan and her throw-anything-in method (i remember once she used up the last of the peanut butter…that was a good version!)

Anyway, here is the finished pudding 😉



Well, i feel all warm and fuzzy now….just gotta persuade the kids to try it lol 😉

Is there a particular dish/meal that makes you all warm and fuzzy?

Meal Planning – 24th February


Last weeks meal planning went well, but Fasting was a complete nightmare lol. Ok, i know diets aren’t supposed to be pleasant, but, bloody hell, it was pure torture! I hope this week will be better. Im sure that was one of the reasons i felt so rough last week 😦

Anyway, this week, I’ve been inspired by several sources. The first one was Food & Drink, when i saw chef Gennaro Contaldo cook Lasagne, and then by having breakfast on Saturday morning in Leon 🙂

So heres how this week is shaping up…

  • Monday (today) – Lasagne & Garlic Bread (i have never made my own Lasagne lol)
  • Tuesday – Fasting/Pizza for the kids
  • Wednesday – Leon’s Sesame Chicken with Spring Greens and then Rice Pudding
  • Thursday – Fasting/something for the kids (to be chosen as I’m walking around the supermarket lol)
  • Friday – Takeaway
  • Saturday – Jacket Potatoes with a selection of fillings & home made bread
  • Sunday – Fasting/The Hubster’s in charge of the kids meal

I’ll also be taking part in another baking challenge 😉

Please pop over to Mrs M”s for more meal planning inspiration.

What will you be serving up this week?

The Lurpak Bake Club – Banana Bread

I found out about this through The Pink Whisk (the blog and website of Great British Bake Off contestant Ruth Clemens) and as i always use Lurpak butter to bake with, i guess i am forced (snigger) to take part 🙂

The whole idea of The Bake Club is to bake…then upload a photo…and you could possibly win a prize. I don’t really fancy my chances, but, what do they say? If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

So i’ve been pulling me hair out, trying to think how i can meet the brief this month which is “a daring loaf of bread”… (can’t believe how many people have uploaded pics that have nothing to do with a loaf of bread…cupcakes? Seriously? Don’t people read the details? lol) and i think this will count.

Recently, my lovely friend Sabrina over in the US has given me her recipe for her Banana Bread 🙂 Now, the reason this loaf would be daring, is because don’t like Bananas lol. But I’m putting my faith in Sabrina that this loaf will change my views ( i bet she’s gulped as she read that lol).

Sabrina’s Banana Bread

Ive had to alter the recipe slightly (US to UK). Hope you don’t mind Sabrina 🙂

  • 1/2 Cup melted butter (Lurpak of course!)
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1 Cup plain flour
  • 1 Cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
  1. Grease a loaf tin and set the oven to 180 degree’s.
  2. Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl with the sugar.  Add the eggs and mashed up bananas.  Mix well and add the bicarbonate, baking powder and salt.  Blend well then add the flour, milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix ingredients well and pour into the greased loaf tin.
  4. Bake for 1 hour.  Test to see if it is done by poking the middle with a metal skewer.  If  not cooked place back in the oven until the skewer comes out clean.


Well….. *grins* what can i say? Its gorgeous! Especially hot from the oven with butter on it 😉


Thank you so much Sabrina. I can now eat Bananas! 😉 I might try this recipe with other fruits…Blueberry? And next time i might try using just white flour rather than the mixture.

So ive entered this in this months Lurpak Comp…Wish me luck!