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)


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


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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Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce, Olive Magazine February 2014

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce, Olive Magazine February 2014

As mentioned in my last post, I am currently in the process of familiarising myself with the new Reidbury Kitchen. I had unpacked all my kitchen stuff on the first day, but remembering where I’ve put everything is quite a different matter! But I have to say, it’s all starting to feel like more normal now and, as my boyfriend stated the other day, the newly located Reidbury Kitchen is knocking out a few classics! That comment came off the back of this recipe I tried from the latest Olive Magazine (subscribe here – it really is worth it)!. It’s another of those recipes that doesn’t sound that interesting, but it is somehow far greater than the sum of its parts. I find skinless chicken breasts can be quite bland and boring as far as meat goes, but the marinating time really improves the texture and flavour of the chicken. But I’d say it’s the sauce that really pulls this whole meal together – zingy, fresh and works really well with the panko-crusted chicken.

The recipe below doesn’t really talk about a carby serving suggestion, just the chicken with some baby gem lettuce and a dollop of mayo. Erm, no. That’s not how I roll. So I added some buttered new potatoes and I’m glad I did! Given how nice this dish was, and that it was pretty simple to make, I reckon this might be one that becomes part of my permanent repertoire.

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8.5/10

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce (serves 2)


  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 peeled and bruised and 1 finely chopped
  • 80g panko breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • Small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • 20g salted butter, chilled and cubed
  • Baby gem lettuce, to serve
  • Mayonnaise, to serve
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


Put the chicken breasts between two pieces of baking parchment or cling film and, using a rolling pin, batter the crap out of them so they’re flattened to approx 1cm in thickness. Put in a ziplock bag and add the rosemary, buttermilk, 2 tbsp lemon juice and the bruised garlic cloves. Season well, make sure the chicken is coated in the buttermilk mixture and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess before coating in the breadcrumbs.

Heat 0.5cm oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the chicken for 6-8 minutes until golden and cooked through, turning once. Remove and put on kitchen towel, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm. Clean out the pan and then add another tablespoon of oil.

Add the shallot and chopped garlic to the pan and fry until golden. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half. Stir through the remaining lemon juice with the zest, parsley and capers.

Finish the sauce by adding the butter and swirl in. Season and serve the chicken with the piccata sauce, gem lettuce leaves and a dollop of mayo. Oh, and the potatoes if you’re following my advice!