Sunday, 11 September 2011

Recipes for Round Mini Lemon Drizzle Loaves

Here they are, the two recipes I used to make my R.B.O.K. Round Mini Lemon Drizzle Loaves.
I used a pre-made syrup from Vanessa Kimbell's Prepped! and the Nigella Lawson recipe Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges.

Lavender Lemonade
Makes 1 litre
Prep time 25 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
20 lavender flowers (in bud)
500g caster sugar
500ml water
Zest and juice of 7 lemons
1. Put the lavender, sugar and water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Ass the lemon juice.
2. Strain and allow to cool before transferring to a clean bottle. This should store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. Dilute to taste for Lavender Lemonade, or use as Lavender & Lemon Syrup.

Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges
125g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lime
175g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk 
8-bun mini-loaf tin, buttered very well. (I used a 12 cupcake tin)
Preheat the oven to 180oC/gas mark 4.

Cream together the butter and sugar, and add the eggs and lime zest, beating them well. Add the flour and salt, folding in gently, and then the milk. SPoon into the mini-loaf pan, and cook for 25 minutes.
While the cakes are cooking, prepare the syrup by putting the lime juice and suagar into a small saucepan and heating gently so that the sugar dissolves.
As soon as the mini-sponges are ready, take them out of the oven and prick them witha  cake-tester all over. Pour over the syrup evenly. Try to let the middle absorb the liquid as well as the sides, then leave it to soak up the rest. Don’t try to take the cakes out of the pan until they have cooled slightly and the syrup looks like it has been absorbed, but be aware that if you leave these to cool completely they might be very difficult to get out of the pan.
So, after an hour or two, turn them out onto a rack and grate some lime zest over them before serving (or selling).
Makes 8.


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Random Bake of Kindness

Random acts of kindness are brilliant aren't they. I've heard so many wonderful recounts of people's experiences with showing kindness to often strangers. One being, giving the car park attendant, on the dry summer's day, a cool can of coca cola. Or paying the car behind you at the motorway toll.
I know that when I've given a random act or received - it's made my day. So I thought it was great when Vanessa suggested we join in with the Random Bake of Kindness. It seemed to me to be the next level in showing gratitude. You need to decide who you're going to bake for and why, and to tell them why you're doing it. I feel that we don't express enough just how much we appreciate things sometimes. So this is brilliant, and I know of at least two more people for whom I want to do it already!
So for my R.B.O.K. I decided to bake little round lemon drizzle cakes.
I used two recipes for this creation. Firstly I had a bottle of Lavender Lemon Syrup which I'd made from Vanessa Kimbell's 'Prepped'. Again a brilliant flavour which can be used for several other recipes and for making lemonade. I made mine when the lavender was in bud, and it does give a delicious flavour, it isn't essential however so can be made as just a lemon syrup.
The second recipe is from Nigella's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'. Its based on the Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges and made a useful reference for quantities as I wanted to bake them in the tray as she had done with a mini-loaf tin.
This was such an easy recipe, and although I was over generous with the syrup - they were very, very moist - having the syrup ready made it a very quick bake. I will post about these two recipes in a day or so as I don't want to take away from the R.B.O.K. focus right now.
It wasn't difficult for me to choose who I would give my first R.B.O.K. to. And I know already that I won't do justice to how much gratitude that I and others I know feel for Anne's loving and caring nature.
As it happened I knew of Anne before I met her. Iain (my Hubby) and I did an internship at a church in Solihull in 2009, knowing that he would next be studying at a Ministry college in London. To where it just so happened the previous minister of the said Solihull church was now lecturing. In Solihull we realised how appreciative the people had been of Peter, the previous minister, and just how much they missed Anne his wife, so I was keen to meet Anne and felt confident that I wouldn't be disappointed.
It seems funny looking back, not knowing Anne, because I know Anne so well now. Not only do I join Anne with the other partners of those working or studying at the college for fellowship and shared times, but I go to the same church and we work at the same school. Infact, we always have so much to talk about and it doesn't matter if we've seen each other every day, there's still more to share!
Now it's not that Anne is only good at chatting as she is excellent at listening and remembering. So often I see Anne with people and she remembers so much about what is going on in their life and asks after them. Anne would probably be the first person to say she's not perfect, but it is so refreshing and encouraging when she shares something that has maybe not gone the way she hoped, and she reflects on why that might be. It's so healthy, she doesn't bury it away but shares it and is considerate of it in the future.
Here is a Truly Good Woman and she is inspirational in her friendships, marriage, family, work and church. I know I am blessed in having her friendship, while Iain is at college, and I very much look forward to years of shared times and catching-up when we have moved to a church of our own.

Anne I thank you for your friendship, for your constant encouragement and advice, for Oswestry and for your example.

I pray that you feel encouraged by this post and that your friendships are always blessed.

Much love, xxx

Little Round Lemon Drizzle Cakes

IMAG0481 by Liz Pope
IMAG0481, a photo by Liz Pope on Flickr.

I'm being lazy and uploading photos via phone to flickr - not SMART- but lazy :)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Random Bake of Kindness

Anne & rachel by Liz Pope
Anne & rachel, a photo by Liz Pope on Flickr.

Anne and Rachel receiving my Random Bake of Kindness.
More to follow later today...must actually go prepare my classroom now, putting it off long enough!