Tag Archives: party recipes

Lemon Drizzle Squares

I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like lemon drizzle cake, and these Lemon Drizzle Squares are a perfect way to feed the masses. You know I’m a fan of always having some home baking in the tin when possible, and this one keeps fresh and moist for a few days.

Soft buttery cake, with a sharp lemon zing and a crisp sugar topping – it’s delicious and you don’t have to go to as much effort as you would with a layered, iced cake. Just put the batter into a traybake tray, bake, allow to cool a little and then mix the sugar and lemon juice together to make your glaze, drizzle it over and you’re done. No need to faff around with a palette knife or anything. The squares are also a lovely size for a bake sale, and it’s quick and easy to whip up a couple of batches.

I made these recently for family coming to visit, and they were so simple to whip together between finishing work and them turning up, with so few steps to get to get to the finished article. And what’s more, you only need two lemons, so chances are you’ll be  able to make them with what you have in your cupboards and fridge.

Lemon Drizzle Squares

Lemon Drizzle Squares

Ingredients

  • 225g soft, salted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 lemons, oersted and juiced separately
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp double cream (or milk if you don't have cream)
  • 175g granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Line a large traybake tin or deep baking tray with butter and greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 160c.
  2. Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer if you have one. If you don't a wooden spoon and then a whisk and some elbow grease will do the trick (although this recipe will become less easy very quickly!)
  3. Add the caster sugar and mix together for a few minutes until very light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and mix them in for a good few minutes, until the mixture is pale and mousse. This is a great opportunity to bring in the air that will make your cake light and fluffy.
  5. Add the zest of the two lemons, and mix together.
  6. Finally, add the flour and the double cream and mix until just combined, then stop.
  7. Scrape the mixture into the tray and level out a little, making sure it reaches all the edges.
  8. Slide into the middle of the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and springy to the touch.
  9. Leave to cool for a few minutes while you mix up the topping, by putting the granulated sugar into a smallish bowl and adding the juice from the two lemons. Mix together well and leave to stand for a moment.
  10. Prick the sponge all over with a cocktail stick or similar and then spoon the glaze over the sponge, making sure you cover the whole of the cake's surface. Leave to cool completely then cut into squares or fingers.
  11. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!
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If you like lemony puddings, why not try our Honey and Lemon Madeleines, Luscious Lemon Cake or Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes?

 

Caramelised Onion Cheese Straws

These caramelised onion cheese straws are a bit like something that featured in one of Charles’ earliest recipes, but with my parents coming to visit, I thought we ought to put on a bit of a party for them in the new house.  As they were going to be arriving late on Friday evening, I got a lasagne in the oven and set about making them something to nibble with a drink when they got here.  With homemade food being at the heart of our home, it’s hard for us to hold back with that sort of thing.  If you come for a cup of tea or coffee, expect homemade biscuits or a cake, but if you come for a drink, well, we’ll try to put on a bit of a spread.  I know my Mum is a fan of cheese straws, so I figured we could add a little bit of interest to the traditional script by adding a caramelised onion chutney.  These are so simple to make but are pretty impressive when you wheel them out, and although Charles ended up eating most of them, they are pretty tasty and moreish as well as filling enough to serve up with drinks.

Caramelised Onion Cheese Straws

Caramelised Onion Cheese Straws

Ingredients

  • 1 packet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Grate the cheese onto a plate or into a bowl.
  2. Roll out the ready-rolled puff pastry and flatten out any creases.
  3. Using a spoon, spoon and spread out the onion chutney all over the surface of the pastry.
  4. Add around half of the grated cheese onto one half of the pastry.
  5. Fold the uncheesed pastry half over the cheesed half and press down lightly, matching up the edges as well as you can muster.
  6. Cut the pastry in half and then cut each half into four sections. Then cut the whole thing in half widthways to give you 16 sticks of sandwiched pastry.
  7. Lightly beat the egg with a fork and use a pastry brush to brush egg over all of the sectioned pastry.
  8. Now comes the tricky part! Prepare two large baking sheets or trays by lining them with greaseproof paper. Now turn each pastry stick into a twist by picking up the top right corner and twisting and folding it over the left side, and repeating the process but in the opposite direction with the bottom of each straw. Press them down a little and then egg wash each straw and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pop them in the fridge for half an hour and preheat the oven to 180c.
  9. Once they're nice and chilled, pop the trays in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, risen and crispy on the edges. If the cheese or caramelised onion burns in place try not to worry as long as the pastry hasn't burned.
  10. Allow to cool before removing from the trays, being careful as the cheese can become quite sticky, so if you try to whip them off too quickly they could break.
  11. Pop them into a nice bowl and serve to your guests. And enjoy the party!
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If you are looking for something to serve up with a nice cuppa rather than a glass of something stronger, why not try whipping up one of our Victoria Sandwiches or Mocha Cakes?