If I get asked for one recipe (other than Madeira cake) over and over again it’s lemon cake. You guys seem to really love it. I haven’t made a ton of lemon cakes so I needed to find an opportunity to make one just so I could share it with you. Now, my ever expanding hips don’t want me to just make a cake and have it sitting looking at me every time I walk into the kitchen so I needed to have an opportunity to take it out of our house. I can’t for the life of me remember where I took this Lemon Victoria Sponge cake. I know there were kids involved and I know I had to apologize for having cut a slice to take photos and I then put it back again to take it with us. I don’t think any of my friends mind that one little bit!
The opportunity to make this Lemon Victoria Sponge Cake was also well timed as I needing to find a recipe that I could use the brand spanking new baking tools from JosephJoseph on – you know the ones I was talking about last week in the lemon curd recipe? Well the two newest products are the Fin bowl scraper and the Glaze – fillable pastry brush. That is why this regular lemon Victoria Sponge cake became a whopper of a beast. Cake +lemon curd + creme fraiche + lemon syrup glaze!
The Fin is very easy to hold and manoeuvre around the inside of a bowl. As you can see from the photos above it leaves next to no cake mix once it’s been scraped around. This is one of those really handy bits of baking kit and in true JosephJoseph style it’s ergonomic and has a wide base so it will stand up on it’s own and not leave smears of cake mix all over your kitchen. The Glaze is going to be a very handy piece of kit for me. I add sugar syrup to all my Madeira cakes so this will make it a much cleaner and easier job. Glaze comes with two lids – one with lots of holes which is perfect for adding glazes and the other with one central hole which will make light work of egg washing pastry. The pastry brush simply fits over whichever lid you choose. The bottle is soft silicone so you can squeeze it to allow the contents to flow out to your desired speed. The bottle is really tactile as it’s so soft. You just want to squidge it.
As you can see from the shots above I used it to glaze the top of the cake and then not content with the amount of sugar already in this cake I proceeded to dribble even more lemon glaze over the sides! To say this was a sweet and tangy cake would be an understatement.
I’ve been using this fab tool to glaze my cakes and I simply pour the warm glaze into the bottle and then leave it to cool down before adding the lid and brush. It’s so much easier than using a pastry brush and bowl as you don’t get those sticky, sugary drips all over the place. The last point to make about the Fin is that the whole unit is dishwasher safe. No brainer really.
Every now and again I get asked by companies if I’d like to review their products. Sometimes they’re a bit abstract, sometimes they are nothing to do with baking (life insurance anyone?) and sometimes they are spot on. As I am sure you can guess if JosephJoseph contact you with a new baking product you’re pretty much going to jump at the chance. Once I knew what the products were I had to come up with a recipe. Lemon curd has been on my mind since I talked to a friend about it a few weeks ago. We both agreed that you never really finish a whole jar. It’s great for a while but then we tend to go straight back to the strawberry jam. So I decided to make a small batch – enough for a tiddly jam jar plus to fill one 8″ cake.
These are just some of the JosephJoseph baking products I selected to bake with for this post. The new all singing, all dancing product is the Fin scraper which works a treat – tune in next week for the lemon Victoria Sponge cake post where I really put it to the test! The other item is the Glaze. Now as you probably know I am all about sugar syrup – especially when it comes to keeping Madeira cakes moist. This is the perfect product for that as you can store your syrup in the bottle till you’re ready to ‘glaze’ your cake. I love a silicone bristle don’t you? Especially when your dealing with very sticky sugar syrup that can be cleaned up in a jiffy!
Anyway, I digress! To make the lemon curd I used JospehJoseph’s amazing lemon zester. I recently broke my old zester. Plastic gadgets are not normally EmmaMT friendly! So I was really pleased to get my hands on this beauty. Now, I do know that it’s just a zester and I’m not normally a one trick pony – kitchen gadget kinda girl but I really love this zester. The thing about JosephJoseph gadgets is that they are designed by product designers who understand ergonomics and answer a basic troublesome need. I have a degree in Product design – bet you didn’t know that? So I REALLY appreciate well designed products and this is one of them.
What’s so good about this zester then?
Well, the handle makes it easy to hold – to start with. It’s got a really fine stainless steel blade so your zest is fine and super zesty – rather than chewy and most of all – and this is the bit that wowed me the most, it has this really nifty integrated blade wiper which you sweep across the blade and it scoops up all that hard to release zest and forces it up to the top of the zester where there’s a hole for it to drop through. Genius! The blades are so sharp that it comes with a handy protective sheath. Want to know what I do? I put the sheath on while zesting so it catches all the citrus then I use the wiper. You get so much more zest that way.
How to make Lemon Curd
Makes enough to fill two small jars or one small jar and to fill an 8″ cake or one regular jar
40g unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
1 medium egg
1 egg yolk
Juice of 2 lemons (around 6 tbsp)
1 tbsp lemon zest
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat.
Cook for 10-12 minutes at a slight simmer. Stir often to prevent the bottom becoming burnt.
To sterilise your jam jars heat your oven to 160C-180ºC. Wash your jam jars in hot soapy water, rinse then place the wet jars and lids in the oven for 15 minutes.
Once the curd has cooled down place into the jam jar and pop a piece of silicon paper over the top and add the lid.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks if it lasts that long!
One last thing!
I just have to share with you all this beautiful Arena draining board. I’ve been looking at it since we re-did our kitchen four years ago. Fab isn’t it? I can’t tell you how hard it is to find a good looking draining board that will do the job too. This JosephJoseph Arena one has rubbery sections to fit practically anything. The spout for excess water reaches over the sink for easy disposal and it comes in a gorgeous grey which matches my kitchen perfectly and meets my grey obsession and at the moment the white and green is on offer.
To make easy work of cleaning up the mixing bowl The Flume folding draining board is a must. It’s the perfect place for oversized mixing bowls and sieves. Once finished with you simply pick it us and fold the edges together then aim the water towards the sink. I’ve used my one every day since I got it – but I do bake a lot and use every pot and pan I can when cooking!
So, check out next week’s post for the Lemon Victoria Sponge cake where you’ll get to see the scraper and glaze in action.
Happy baking and have a zesty week
Disclaimer: Thank you to JospehJoseph for providing me with the baking products in this post. They make baking even more fun and twice as easy. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.
How cool is this? I got sent the press release for this fab washing up bowl yesterday and I had to share it with you all right away. Now, I know I shouldn’t get excited about a washing up bowl, but as it’s a JosephJoseph one it means it’s a “why didn’t someone think of this before ? moment.
Why do I want this so much?
Well, to start with it’s green. Green is so good for my charcoal grey kitchen. It’s square… like my very deep sink and it’s so modern. If you have to use a washing up bowl (which apparently is quite a British thing by the way. My Australian friend thought I was mad when she came to stay with us all those years ago and I started to fill up our old washing up bowl. “What’s that for? What’s wrong with using the sink?” she asked. I mean Eeewwwwwyukkkkk. Gloop and buttercream water tide marks on my nice shiny sink? No,no, NO!) then it has to be a modern one.
The handles make it easy to carry and manoeuvre. It’s available in fab colours and most importantly it has a drain at the bottom that means you don’t have to lift the whole bowl up to empty it. The drain also traps any food bits and pieces that may escape down your plug hole. Totally brilliant! I can’t wait for them to hit the shops in the Spring!
Are you thinking about Christmas yet? I know its only October but it’s in the shops already and there seems to have been a bit of a shopping buzz in Bromley town centre for the last couple of weekends.
I am currently in the midst of Christmas BIG TIME – being the good little Jewish girl that I am! I am just about to start doing my fourth Christmas shoot (the (fake)snow is quite literally piled up in my hallway as I type!) and I’ve already completed two Christmas features, a Christmas gift guide, a Christmas product launch and a Christmas look book. And all that started in March!
Compiling a gift guide really get’s you thinking. Although my grown up job is all about interiors and I have been surrounded by press releases full of beautiful cushions, candles, tea light holders and anything antler related since June, I am finding myself getting more and more into my baking gifts, so I thought I would share my round up of the best baking gifts around, or in other words, what to by a foodie.
What makes a good baker’s gift
Every year my mother-in-law always asks us what we want for Christmas. Thirteen years ago I said I would really like some Mermaid baking tins. Now, this was way before my blog, before kids and only just after Tim and I were married.
I don’t think that was the answer she was expecting. I think perfume/jewelry/clothing was the normal response. But that year I had just had a visit from the PR for Mermaid bakeware and I was hooked! Being told that the tins had outlasted many marriages (as they apparently used to be big on wedding lists back in the day) I had to have some. They were one of the best presents I have ever been given and they are still going strong to this day. It just goes to show. Practicality and quality wins the race.
So, what would be on my list now? Well, let’s just say that I can think of a load of things and nearly all of them baking related, but I thought I’d keep it to just 10 for now! I always think that a great gift is practical, pretty or something that you don’t really want to buy for yourself, but you know you’ll use it loads. So here is my bakers gift guide -with a few stocking fillers for good measure.
The Bakers gift list
1. A gorgeous cake stand– Dotcomgiftshop
I could never do a gift list without some sort of cake stand could I? When I first saw this at the Dotcomgiftshop Spring Summer launch I knew it had to be mine. Perfect for a Victoria sponge to take centre stage at any afternoon tea. It’s soooo pretty!
2. Everlasting Baking tins – Amazon
I know what you’re thinking. If you already have them, why do you need more? Well it’s not for me! It’s for you!! And there are so many available that I will never have every single design. Mermaid’s baking sheets are second to none. I’ve got my eye on the pudding sleeve now!
3. Beautiful Jelly moulds
Tala have this way of making beautiful, 50’s inspired baking accessories and kits that are almost too good to use. These fluted Jelly moulds would sit perfectly on my kitchen window sill until it was time to make a fruit layered jelly for the girls or a divine chocolate mouse for me and Tim. If I put my grown up Interior Stylist’s head on I’d be using them as a vase too! I have a thing for pressed glass!
4. The must have Pie dishes
Everyone should have these two pie dishes. The Le Creuset pie dish is really beautiful and makes any tart, pie or flan perfect for an oven to table dinner party – christmas or not. It’s also available in lots of beautiful colours. I have the Cassis and can think of so many people I would buy this for.
Jamie Oliver’s Big boy bowl is one of those safe for fridge/freezer/oven/microwave dishes. Tim and I were given one for Christmas by his brother about 7-8 years ago. It’s an ideal couples gift. I used it so many times, for so many dishes. I nearly always made my apple pie in it as it was the perfect depth. It really was one of my faves. That was until I dropped it recently! Have I mentioned that I am a really clumsy person? Usually, I’m an ‘easy come, easy go’ sort of a girl. You know- I use our best stuff for everyday as I don’t want it sitting in the cupboard only to be brought out for special occasions. If things get broken at least I had enjoyed using them. But with this dish I was gutted! Don’t let the photo below fool you either. It’s big – 28cm in diameter.
5. Bountiful Baking books- Amazon
Any baking or cookery book is going to be a winner with a foodie – Especially if it’s a new one but I’d really love a book on the Science of baking. I don’t really understand all the ins and outs of what gluten does to a cake, what difference it makes if the eggs aren’t at room temperature and all that jazz. If I knew more of the in-depth stuff I think I’d be an even better baker.
The Great British Bake off books (any of them. They’re all winners!)
Recently when I’m looking for inspiration or for something new to bake I go straight to ‘The Great British Bake Off’ books. They have tons and tons of recipes- some classic, some new and they always seem to turn out great, like anything you cook from a Jamie Oliver cook book. Simple to make, impressive to look at, delicious to eat! The ‘How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers’ is my latest fav. I find myself scouring the pages every Friday night, choosing what I want to make for the first time that weekend.
6. Off the scale TriScales by Joseph Joseph- Amazon
Once I started using digital scales I never went back. They make life so easy. You simply have to add ingredients to your bowl. Re-set the scales to zero. Add more ingredients then re-set it again. It really does take the hassle out of measuring and using a ton of bowls. This new design by JosephJoseph is really clever as it folds up really neat and small and won’t fall out of your baking cupboard taking the flour and hundreds of those silver ball cake toppers with it every time you try and squeeze it back in the cupboard in between the plain flour and the bags of icing sugar. Or is it just me that that happens to?
7.In a bind with Sticky Tape – Dotcomgiftshop
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sticky tape! A gift? And what’s that got to do with baking anyway? Well, bare with me. How many times have you gone to finish off a cake board with ribbon only to find that you have run out of glue or have forgotten to buy the ribbon in the first place? Well a box of these pretty sticky tapes is the answer to all those problems. Self sticking, easy to position, a choice of colours and designs as well as a great store cupboard item. Stocking filler anyone?
8. Mixing it up -Kenwood Hand Held mixer- Amazon
I may have nearly every baking gadget under the sun but since my hand held mixer went kaput a few years ago I have missed that super speedy tool. I know that they are notorious for not being up to the job – especially when you bake as often as we do, but I have my eye on this Kenwood kMix HM791 Metal Hand Mixer in a beautiful Raspberry Red colour
9.Perfectly protected with Oven Gloves and Aprons
It’s funny the things you get attached to. I always bake in my ‘Woman and Home’ apron as it reminds me of my time as Home Editor on the magazine and how much I learnt from sitting next to the food team. It’s also a really hard wearing, yet soft cotton that just washes and washes. But, if I were to add to my collection it would definitely be with this poodles design by Hope and Greenwood. Completely adorable.
10.The ultimate in Cake toppers & Wraps- Talking Tables
Every time I walk into my local cake decorating shop the first thing I see are packs of Talking Table’s cup cake cases, cake wraps, cake toppers and cake stands hanging off the edge of the shelves. I love them all. Their Christmas ranges are so cute. The designs are great and would make a great addition to any bakers Christmas stocking. Then again, I styled some of their shoots so I am slightly, completely biased!
So, what have I left off?
What do you bakers want for Christmas?
Or do you just need to leave this post open for someone to ‘accidentally’ see?
I love JosephJoseph,and it’s not just because they have beautiful blue eyes! JosephJoseph are twins and I have met them a couple of times at press launches. They have such a passion for design that it’s infectious. Every one of their products is a “Why didn’t someone think of that before?” item. I’ve been a fan of their clever products for a good few years now – probably because I studied Product Design at Uni and think they are great!
This baking set is really cool. It was sent to me to test and I have to say I am impressed! It consists of an Adjustable rolling-pin, Elevate pastry brush, Elevate small spatula and a kitchen timer. The whole set is so usable whether for baking or cooking and I think it’s really great value at around £40 from Josephjoseph.com – considering what you get.
Adjustable rolling pin,
This rolling pin was brought out a few years ago and I thought it was brilliant then, but it had a JospehJoseph logo on the centre which was recessed and left its mark on whatever you were rolling out. Now if you’re making cookies then it doesn’t matter, but I wanted to use it for icing which needed to be perfectly flat so it was just frustrating. So I gave my green one to my mum. She loves it! The newer version is completely flat ( no indented logo) so I can now roll out sugarpaste, dough and marzipan to my heart’s content!
The main reason that this is such an amazing piece of baking kit is the way you can remove the discs at the ends to select the depth of thickness of what you are rolling out from 2mm, 6mm, 10mm. These sizes cover most of my needs! I also like having the measures on the pin so when you need to roll out icing to cover a cake or dough to fill a pie dish, you can see how much more you need to roll out.
You can pop the discs in the dishwasher but as with all wooden rolling pins you should just wipe them with a damp cloth. If you get it soaked the water gets in and can crack.
Elevate pastry brush,
I always use a silicone pastry brush when I am greasing a cake tin. They’re great for getting into every nook and cranny and are sooooo easy to clean. They also dry quicker than the old hairy bristle types.
This design has a really nifty handle which keeps the bristles lifted off the worktop surface when you put it down. It’s also larger than most brushes, which is great for glazing. It’s heat resistant up to 340°C, so you can even use it to baste a turkey. You can also pop it in the dishwasher.
Elevate small spatula
The spatula has the same type of handle as the pastry brush (as the name would suggest!) The spatula part is nice and soft so you can really scrape out all the cake mix from a bowl. I’m a big fan of silicone. It really is the easiest material to use and clean when baking.
It’s heat resistant to 340°C which means you can use it for cooking too. Once you’ve made scrambled or fried eggs with one of these you’ll never look back!
I never used to use kitchen timers that much, I just set the clock timer on the oven, but there have been a number of times when I have needed to set two timers to run at different times, say for different batches of cookies. Since receiving this kit I’ve used the timer non-stop. I don’t know how I lived without it before. I must say that I have also been giving my girls a “10 minute tidy timer” and as it’s pink (!!!!!) they actually love it!
So to sum up, I think each of the items in this set are great on their own, but as a set they are a brilliant bit of baking kit which I know I will be using for years to come!