Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London


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Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing

Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing, ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess’, Nigella Lawson

Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing, ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess’, Nigella Lawson

Another recipe from Nigella’s ‘How to be A Domestic Goddess’ and another winner! I am a big fan of traditional gingerbread (ie the cake version, not the biscuit version) and this recipe somehow reminded me of the Northern gingerbread I grew up loving! It’s made me think of digging out a recipe for Parkin that I used to eat on Bonfire Night each year! The addition of the lemon icing really works well here by freshening up the cake, which has quite a deep/earthy flavour on its own. This was a simple recipe to follow, and would be really nice for a bake sale or similar!

KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 8.5/10

Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing (makes 20 squares)

Ingredients:

For the gingerbread

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 200g black treacle
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
  • 300g plain flour
  • Roasting tin, approx 30 x 20 x 5cm, greased and lined with Bake-O-Glide, foil or parchment

For the icing

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 175g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tbsp warm water

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3.

In a saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugar, golden syrup, treacle, ginger and cinnamon. Off the heat, add the milk, eggs and bicarbonate of soda in its water.

Measure the flour out into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed (it will be a very liquid batter). Pour it into the tin and bake for ¾ – 1hr until risen and firm. Be careful not to overcook it, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway will carry on cooking as it cools.

When it is cool, get on with icing. Whisk the lemon juice into the icing sugar first, then gradually add the water. You want a good, thick icing, so go cautiously and be prepared not to add all the water. Spread over the cooled gingerbread with a palette knife and leave to set before cutting.

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Salted Caramel Shortbread

Salted Caramel Shortbread, Olive Magazine February 2014

Salted Caramel Shortbread, Olive Magazine February 2014

It’s been a while since my last post, and I actually have a very good reason. Reidbury Kitchen has officially relocated! We have finally bought our first house and have spent the last few months preparing to move, actually moving and then trying to make it a home (this place needs work)! But I know that it’s definitely home now as, yesterday, I decided to bake! I’ve popped the new Reidbury Kitchen’s cherry, so to speak. This kitchen is small (the master plan is to eventually convert the garage into a shiny, new kitchen), so I thought it might be a challenge. However it is soooo much bigger than the kitchen I’ve left, and it even has a door. A DOOR! It’s not part of the lounge! Meaning that I can enjoy listening to my own music, and Paul doesn’t have to turn the TV up every time I boil the kettle or use the food processor. Perfection!

Anyway, onto the recipe. I’ve decided to laugh in the face of the January health kick. Sod detoxing – I’m retoxing. And as soon as I saw this recipe for Salted Caramel Shortbread in the latest edition of Olive Magazine I knew we had a strong contender. I’ve never made shortbread so I was interested to see how it would play out, but I reckon this has to be one of the easiest things I’ve ever made and definitely the tastiest! The salted caramel that runs through the centre of these shortbreads really cuts through the sweetness, so don’t shy away from a good sprinkling of sea salt at the caramel-making stage. It will balance out nicely.

Finally, tracking down rice flour might be a challenge. Having checked all probable aisles in Waitrose (ooh, fancy), I still couldn’t find it. Turned out it is kept in the gluten free section – thought I’d share the knowledge.

You owe it to yourself to give these a try. They really are delightful!

KB rating 10/10. PR rating 9.5/10

Salted Caramel Shortbread (makes 20)

Ingredients:

  • 300g butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g rice flour
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Salt flakes, for decoration

For the caramel:

  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • Salt flakes

Method:

To make the caramel, heat the sugar in an even layer in a frying pan until it melts and then starts to bubble golden brown. Swirl the pan if you need to keep the melting and browning even (it’s worth taking this off the heat earlier than you think as it can go from golden to dark brown very quickly. And dark brown is pretty much burnt). Add a good sized pinch of salt flakes and tip the caramel onto an oiled baking sheet set on a wooden board. Cool and then break into chips with a rolling pin.

Whizz the butter and sugar in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. Add all the flours and a pinch of salt and whizz to form a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, pat out gently and sprinkle with the caramel chips. Fold in half and then transfer to a 20cm x 30cm (or similar) tin and push into an even layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Bake the shortbread for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, mark into fingers with a knife (you should get about 20 decent sized pieces) and then cool completely. Cut along the marked lines into pieces.

Heat the chocolate in a bowl set over (but not touching) a pan of water or microwave until it starts to melt, stir until smooth and take it off the heat. Lay the shortbreads next to each other with a tiny gap between them on a cooling rack and spoon over the chocolate in strips. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with some salt flakes and then leave to set.


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Apple and Cinnamon Cake

Apple and Cinnamon Cake, Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes

Apple and Cinnamon Cake, Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes

I’ve had a bit of a baking flurry recently – something about the season turning from summer to autumn I think that means it’s time to have a spot of tea and cake! And I’ve been inspired by the Master – Mary Berry. Her book Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes (available here), has so many things I want to try. But one that appealed more than most was her Apple and Cinnamon Cake – I think those flavours are classic, but I was also intrigued as the cake has an apple layer running through the middle.

This cake was pretty easy to do, and the results were good. I think I’d turn the oven a bit lower next time and cook for slightly longer, as the outside was a bit too well done for my liking. But the soft apple inside keeps this cake lovely and moist. And Mary’s suggestion of serving this warm with clotted cream was spot on – God, this was good!

KB rating 8/10. PR rating 7/10.

Apple and Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g chopped walnutes
  • 100g sultanas
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 400g cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon

To finish (I didn’t actually bother with this)

  • Light muscovado sugar, for sprinkling
  • Extra chopped walnuts, for sprinkling
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.

Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, chopped walnuts, sultanas, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat for about 2 minutes until thoroughly blended.

Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin then spread the grated apple and ground cinnamon in an even layer on top. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over the top, level the surface and then sprinkle generously with light muscovado sugar and walnuts.

Bake for 1.25 – 1.5 hours or until the cake is well risen and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve.