LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE WITH HONEY BLACK TEA FROSTING AND MARIGOLD NEST
recipe from Twigg Studios
Photo by Aimee, Twigg Studios
Photo by Aimee, Twigg Studios
This week we're inspired to bake for Easter by the talented food photographer and blogger Aimee at Twigg Studios, here is the recipe for her delicious lemon poppy seed cake with a twist, as featured on her blog.
Recipe for the sponge
150g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
zest of one and a half lemons
juice of one lemon
3 to 4 tbsp poppy seeds
Grease and line two 15cm tins and preheat the oven to 160c
With a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip together the sugar and eggs for a few minutes until tripled in size and pale, add the lemon juice and continue mixing then using a spatula fold in the flour, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Pour evenly between the tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Mix together all the ingredients apart from the butter and stir over a low heat, stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of the spoon then pour through a sift and stir in the butter and leave to cool
To build the cake
Drizzle over the curd (I didn’t take it too thick as I wanted it to drizzle down the sides) feel free to just use shop bought curd, then spread on some for the frosting add the next layer. Then spread the frosting around the sides and the top to cover the cake, drizzle some for the curd over the sides and add the marigold nest.
For more recipes and beautiful food photography see Aimee's blog:
Order before midnight on Monday the 21st of December and receive your parcel by courier before Christmas Eve. Orders after the 22nd won't be sent out till the 5th of January.
The last Saturday before Christmas
Come down to our Bermondsey warehouse this Saturday for your last change to buy mead directly from us retail, as we only have a temporary retail licence, and to pick up gifts and candles. See the map of where we are here. Open 10am till 2pm.
Struffoli: Bea Vo's Italian donut recipe, from Steve's book.
Tis the season to entertain family and friends and feed them treats. Bea Vo, the owner of Bea's of Bloomsbury was kind enough to give us her recipe for struffoli as part of Steve's book, The Urban Beekeeper: A Year of Bees in the City. Bea's commercial bakery is in Bermondsey, which is how we know her - it's conveniently close for us to drop honey to and pick up some cakes. Struffoli is Bea's "favourite fried donut treat' , a traditional Italian sweet and works well with London Honey. It's a festive feeling recipe with citrus zest and boozy rum. The ingredients are listed below, straight off of p16 of the book.
How to make struffoli
Mix the flour, orange and lemon zest, paprika and salt. To do it the old traditional way, dump the flour on the counter and create a small well. Fill with eggs and 1 tablespoon rum. Incorporate with hands until you get a nice smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and place in refrigerator for one hour.
Separate the dough into quarters and roll each into a long rope about 1 inch thick. Cut into small 1/2-inch pieces like gnocchi.
Heat the oil in pan until it reaches 190 degrees C. Drop the balls in a few at a time until they turn nicely golden and puffy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a wide pot, add the honey, orange juice and a shot of rum, and heat over a medium heat until it's quite warm and the honey thin. Add the doughnut pieces to the honey mixture, and stir until well coated. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan, stirring constantly to keep the honey coating even.
Pour onto a nice plate and dust with icing sugar on top.
Honey and cheese is a winning combination of two beautiful foods which together are more than the sum of their parts. Some honeys work better with some cheeses than others. Here's our guide to choosing honey for your cheese course this Christmas.
Nutty cheeses go well with rich bitter sweet Ling heather honey. Try Parmigiano Reggiano, a good quality cheddar such as Keen's, alpine cheeses (think Comté, Gruyère) or Nic one of our beekeepers recommends Pecorino Sardo. The sweetness balances the saltiness well. Serve squares of cheese with honeycomb on top as a canapé.
Sweet and creamy fresh cheeses such as ricotta or goats curd go well with herby honeys such as Woodsage, which is currently only available in our Saturday warehouse shop .
Piquant blues suchas Gorgonzola or Roquefort work wonderfully well with a drizzle of honey but go for a subtle honey such as Borage so as not to clash with these strong charactered cheeses.
The wonderful La Fromagerie matched cheeses with our mead for our launch party. Check out their recommendations on our blog. You can buy our mead at our warehouse on Saturdays till Christmas or online from the Whisky Exchange and Fortnum and Mason or from other stockists.
You can now buy our mead online from the Whisky Exchange and Fortnum and Mason , as well as from our warehouse on Saturdays till Christmas. Perfect straight or in cocktails, try this festive cocktail with cloves as suggested in an article about our mead by BarLifeUK
The Monkey’s Banquet 30ml Monkey Shoulder or another whisky 2 cloves 20ml lemon juice 10ml borage honey or sugar syrup 10ml white wine Shaken and served over cubed ice in a highball Topped with mead
It’s important to stay healthy, avoid winter illnesses and not to get down in the dumps on dark days during winter. So it’s a good time to talk about honey and health. Luckily we’ve always got honey on hand for our ailments, but don’t sue us for claims about our products if your cold persists, it’s just what our granny always recommended.
Honey has been used as a healing substance since ancient times and modern analysis shows it contains naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a colourless liquid just slightly more viscous than water. The fact that every honey jar contains this liquid is good news, as many claim it has several health benefits which add qualities to our honey beyond taste. Our body produces hydrogen peroxide in our white blood cells to fight disease and defend against pathogens. However, in honey it is produced from glucose with the aid of a specialist enzyme from the bees. The hydrogen peroxide in honey can help to fight infections or heal wounds and the medical world is cottoning on to this and developing treatments using honey*. Although it does not help with pain relief as hydrogen peroxide is not a pain-killer, it can however act as an anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, which could help to make it effective at treating the pathogen that is causing the infection. We are not saying rub honey on your teeth when you have toothache, but honey is special stuff so maybe think beyond putting it on your toast next time?
Steve’s favourite ritual when he lived in Shropshire to celebrate the end to a good year of beekeeping was to drink hot toddies with the local landowners, farmers and the gamekeeper on the land where he still keeps the bees. David King, the gamekeeper who lives near Steve’s beloved Butler’s Cottage where he used to live up in Shropshire, is responsible for getting Steve into this simple drink. He has been a helping friend of Steve’s for may years and still to this day checks on the bees whilst we are busy back in London.
So if you are struck down with a cold this season we’ve got a comforting hot toddy recipe for you as a cough syrup alternative! We find it works well even if you don’t have a cold!!! But this is not the answer for your 8 year old no matter how much they are complaining. And if it doesn’t cure you of your symptoms it will most probably help send you to sleep forgetting that they exist! Enjoy!
Turn to page 267 in Steve’s book to see how this warming winter drink is made.
Another drink to help keep you in good health this winter, this creation belongs to Steve’s friend Lara, it was her grandfather’s recipe and we feel that it is a delicious restorative that everyone could do with every once in a while. Lara’s grandfather was a doctor in Chichester and swore by this recipe for a cure of all ills both for him and his patients. We hope it will help to restore your health, strength and well-being.
Dr Bernay’s Honey Gar recipe
A glassful to be drunk once a day to aid good health and longevity.
Mr Bernay’s doctors orders can be found on page 57 of Steve’s book ‘The Urban Beekeeper- a year of bees in the city.’
*Please consult your doctor for professional advice on using honey medicinally.