Lemon Tart

21 June 2017


Pressure is for tyres my Mom will always say. There's no need to put yourself under pressure. But I don't heed her words and put myself under pressure is exactly what I did this month. I had read the recipe for Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart, some time ago when I say it in Roger Pizey's book, World Class Cakes. I knew the minute it came up for choice with the Cake Slice Bakers, it would be what I picked. Having spotted it on June's list. I gave it no more thought.. until I came to bake it.

I picked the hottest day of the year ever to make this tart. Irish people don't get really great weather. We get pockets of sunshine here and there, but global warming stepped up a notch this week and we got temperatures hotter than the Mediterranean. I am not complaining about the weather (Irish people also do a lot of that!!) but merely stating that the heat put me under pressure...

Not great when you are trying to keep pastry cold!

Anyway... this tart was a pure delight! It has this light, lemon flavour that tasted so much better the following day. I did have some trouble with this tart from the start, but the spoils at the end were delicious.

During the baking process I dropped my bowl of zest into the filling bowl, resulting in this crazy splash spillage of sticky lemon filling. No process photos as a result but I do plan this again so will pop them in as soon as! The recipe also called for way more filling than was actually needed, I had a lot left over, even after the spillage so I have adjusted this for you in the recipe below. I also substituted my own Short Crust Recipe in for Marco's because I didn't like how the pastry sounded in the book and didn't have the 24 hours to rest it either!!

Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart- 
adapted from page 246 World Class Cakes

Short Crust Pastry

240g plain flour
50g icing sugar
150g diced cold butter (+ a little extra for greasing)
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4.
Put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until looks like breadcrumbs.
Crack in the egg and bring together until a soft ball forms.
Wrap in clingfilm, pat down and leave in fridge until needed.

Lemon Filling

225ml double whipping cream
6 large eggs
240g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 large lemons

In the bowl whisk the cream and mix until it forms a ribbon.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth.
Add the lemon juice to the egg and sugar batter and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture through a strainer onto the cream.
Whisk everything together and then add the lemon zest.
Let the bowl of filling stand in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator, grease up a 10 inch, loose bottom, round pie dish with some butter.
Roll out a larger circle than your pie dish and place it into your dish pressing the sides gently as you go. Cut off any excess. Chill for the remaining time on the filling.

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F or gas Mark 3.
Remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and line with parchment paper, fill with baking beads and bake blind for about 20 minutes, or until the inside of the tart becomes golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then carefully remove the beads and the parchment paper.
Turn the oven down to 120C/250F or Gas Mark 2.

Remove your chilled lemon filling from the refrigerator and whisk again. Pour the lemon filling into the warm pastry shell and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. There should be a slight wobble in the centre when it is cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the tart is fully cooled remove it from the baking dish and douse in icing sugar.

*yours will not turn out as brown as mine on the top.. My oven was too hot for the tart when I put it in. Ensure you have sufficiently cooled your oven to avoid this. 

So what do you think? Another Cake Slice Bakers success month from World Class Cakes? I think so.. despite the pitfalls and stops and starts I encountered. There wasn't much left by the time I got to photographing it.. that's a good sign I reckon!

Please scroll down to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebook Page. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send an email to Felice at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and she will send you all the information you need! We are a great bunch of bakers, happy to make new friends!

Lemon, Berry and Mascarpone Layer Cake

17 June 2017

Did you know that from July and for a period of time all of the berries available in ALDI will be grown in Ireland? How cool is that.. Local produce, from local growers making my dessert table very happy!

I wanted to show you how to take those colorful summer berries and turn them in dessert a BBQ party would be proud of. Think of this as a dessert to serve at a dinner party or summer lunch, on the porch with prosecco pouring. 

Ok.. ooohhh kaaayyy... I know it's Ireland. So you might have to scatter indoors and stay out of the rain but the sentiment for sunshine is still there and that can never be a bad thing.

The cake starts off with a basic soft set jam filling. No fiddling about with thermometers and jam sugars here, just heat it up, nice and thick and let it cool! BINGO! You’ve got a jam. 

Smoosh that jam in between layers of luscious lemon cake and sandwich them together with a whipped cream, mascarpone frosting. All the taste of a sweet buttercream but much, much lighter. Lads, I am not joking you this is such an easy bake. 

This really delicious dessert is so easy to set up. Honestly. Follow the steps that follow and not only will you be in possession of a super cake to wow your friends… you’ll have a super cake you could keep to yourself!

Though I do recommend sharing it, it’s nice to be nice right?

Berry Jam Filling

240g strawberries, blueberries and raspberries (80g of each) +extra for decoration
45ml water
125g regular sugar
3 tbsp cornflour (45g)
Add the berries and water to a food processor, or use a hand blender and puree until smooth. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Stir in the berry puree. Mix it all smooth.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring consistently until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes. Allow to boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Cake

325g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
250g soft butter
1 tsp baking powder
225ml milk
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
2 large free range eggs

Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350F 180C or Gas Mark 4. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This cake can have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I strongly recommend the parchment paper on the bottom.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, not adding the next until the yolk of the first has disappeared.

Combine the flour and baking powder together, sift through and set to one side.
Add half the flour and milk, mix until just combined. Add the rest, followed by the lemon juice and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes on a middle shelf until golden on top, or until a cake tester comes out clear.

Remove the cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 

Mascarpone Frosting

500ml double cream, cold
125g icing sugar
250g mascarpone cheese, chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract


Add the double cream and icing sugar to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Set whipped frosting in the refrigerator until needed.


When the cakes are cold place the first layer upside down on a serving plate, or cardboard cake round. (If your cake has a slight dome in it, use a serrated knife to level it off as best you can before you start layering).
Using a disposable piping bag, fill it with some frosting and pipe a little wall of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.
Spread some of the cold berry jam filling evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the frosting wall.  

Add more of the frosting to the top of the berry filling and spread into an even layer to cover over the berry filling.

Add the second layer of cake in the same way.
Add the final layer of cake on top, smoothing out the frosting on the sides. Use some left-over frosting to cover and fill, then smooth out the frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
Finish off the cake with swirls of frosting and extra fresh berries.

Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

***Disclaimer: Sponsored Post*** 
Aldi very kindly, provided me with the ingredients to bring this post together.
All comments and views however, are completely my own.

Genoise and Raspberries and Cream... Oh my!!

20 May 2017

There was no way I was going to pass up a Genoise Sponge when I saw it on The Cake Slice Bakers list this month. 

It is one of my favourite sponges, light and airy and perfect with fresh fruit and cream. I was excited to see how Roger Pizey of World Class Cakes made his and followed the instructions in earnest. 

But alas, it was pretty much the same as every other Genoise recipe I have tried. Not that that was a bad thing, but there was nothing a teeny bit special about it. I did not however, use a the sugar syrup mentioned in the recipe. I really dislike, with all my baking heart sugar syrups used on cake layers to keep them moist. My understanding is, if you have to pour sugar water onto your dried out old sponge, then your recipe is wrong. Maybe that's the novice in me and someone can enlighten... I would love to stand corrected. 

Syrups as glazes and flavours, you can proceed, but sugar water.. YUCK!!! 

What the recipe did make for though, was an exceptionally light sponge, that melted in your mouth. There was no need for the sugar syrup in my opinion. The Chantilly Cream, a basic in most kitchens was a lovely accompaniment to the raspberries, not as sweet at this time of year and which happened to be on sale in my local store this week. And good thing too as there are a lot needed for this recipe.

The recipe it self called for one 8' round. Now. looking at the pictures in the book, I did not think the cake displayed was as small as an 8 inch. But I trusted the book.. I should have went with my gut. I opted to split the batter into two 6' pans, which actually resulted in me using three 6 inch pans and then ended up with double height cakes. You will see in the pictures below, they are very deep layers. Again, not a complaint.. the cake was ate up in no time, just something that I felt coming and ignored. 

Genoise Sponge with Raspberries and Cream

6 eggs
200g caster sugar
160g plain flour
25g plain flour
30g butter, melted
500ml Chantilly cream (recipe below)
625g fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325F or gas mark 3. Line two 8 inch round cake pan or three 6 inch with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until white and foamy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture has trebled in size.
Sift the flour and plain flour together and fold it, using a large metal spoon into the egg mixture, carefully.
Once incorporated, fold in the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake in a preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middles comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

While the cake is cooling make the Chantilly Cream.

Chantilly Cream
500ml double cream
125g icing sugar

Whip the cream to soft peaks, sift in the icing sugar and continue to whip the cream until thick, stable ribbons form. Store in the fridge until needed. 

Putting it all Together

Once the cakes are cooled, spread a layer of the Chantilly cream on the bottom layer before arranging the fresh raspberries in circles on top.
Cover the raspberries with another layer of cream and then place the top layer of cake on the raspberries.

Spread a layer of cream on the very top (and sides if you wish) and place more raspberries. 

So what do you think? It's worth a shot for sure.. I know it will be a hit because who doesn't love cake and cream and fruit when the summer is fast approaching!!

Have a great weekend folks!

Chocolate Chip Banana Blondies

14 May 2017

Oh wow May you are sneaking away! You guys, are you still there?!! I can't believe it's been so long since I actually baked for this blog... but I promise- it was something I could not help.

What a whirlwind time March and April have been. To be honest I have no idea where that time even went. I have been baking and baking and eeerr... baking some more and anyone following my Instagram will know that but no I am back here now ... like it's no big thang and I'm just gonna scooch back on up in here like I have never been away!!

But you know, as well as I know, that, that wouldn't be ok if I didn't come bearing some sort of  "hey-guys-remember-me?" cake! So I baked for you fine folks. My first in fun time baking, in a long, long while and I baked it with all of you in mind!

It's one of those early summer time treats that is so good at any time of the day. It has the muffin feel to the crumb, soft and moist, perfect for breakfast. Because ya'll know how much I like cake for breakfast. Lets just say it's a great tray bake cake, very pleasant on the palate and you can eat it whenever you feel you want to! There'll be no judgement round these parts!

I am so glad to be back baking for my little blog. While this time at school is crazy and my own Dolly is heading down the State Exams road, it's going to get busier before it levels off. And I cannot wait until it levels off.

Here's to the resumption of normal!

Chocolate Chip Banana Blondies 

125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
275g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas mashed
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat your oven 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4.
Line a 9 inch square pan with some parchment.
Mash the bananas in a bowl.
Add the sugar and butter into bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and mix. Whisk the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda together and add to the wet mix. Fold through.

Add the milk and the mashed bananas and mix until fully incorporated. Transfer to your pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden and crusted or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear.

Allow to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool fully before slicing.

Fully Loaded Brownies

23 April 2017

If you like your brownies cut like cake, tasting and acting like cake... then unfortunately these brownies are not for you. If you are counting calories, syns or points, again sadly, these are not for you. But, if you are partial to paddling in the pool of pure profligacy, using up your leftover Easter Chocolate in one foul swoop.. then these guys are for you! Huzzah!!

I shared this post a few months back over on The Taste but feel like they could help those of you staring down the endless bag of Easter Eggs, praying they'll just disappear. 

Starting with a rich, dark chocolate fudge brownie base and topping it with melted marshmallow, crunchy pretzels and salted peanuts, these are the ultimate in junk food. To finish off, the toppings are drizzled in a soft-set caramel sauce. These brownies are not for the faint hearted. They contain pretty much no nutritional value, but honestly I don't even think that matters. 

They won’t take you long to make and an even shorter time to eat! The brownies alone are pretty special but combined with garnishes they exude versatility, allowing you to change up the toppings to suit your own junk food style.

The Brownie Batter

75g good coco powder
120g self-raising flour
¼ tsp of salt
½ tsp baking powder
150g butter
175g good quality chocolate
2 eggs
400g caster sugar
125ml boiling water

200g mini marshmallow
125g broken pretzels
65g salted peanuts

The Caramel Sauce
125g butter
180g light brown sugar
200ml double cream

Preheat your oven to 350F, 180C (160C fan) or Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 9x13’ pan with some parchment/greaseproof paper.

Sift the coco, flour, salt and baking powder together.
In a separate bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together. You can do this in the microwave or over a pot of boiling water on the stove. Add the sugar and the eggs to the melted butter chocolate combination and mix until combined. Add the vanilla, mix.

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and pour in the boiling water. Mix until fully combined. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven.
Make the Caramel Sauce while the batter is baking. Add the butter and sugar to a pot and allow them to melt and come together over a medium heat, stirring often so the mix does not burn. Remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring vigorously until all incorporated. Put the pot back on the heat, allow the sauce to come to the boil and then transfer the sauce to a heat proof bowl to cool.
About 5 minutes before you think your brownies will be done, take them out of the oven. Cover the top completely in the mini marshmallows and pop the pan back in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the marshmallow has melted.

Remove the pan from oven, stand on a wire cooling rack and sprinkle the crushed pretzels and peanuts over the melty marshmallow. Squash them down a little, being careful not to burn your fingers.

Finally drizzle the cooled caramel sauce all over the toppings and allow the whole thing to stand in the baking pan, on the wire rack for at least 30 minutes (ideally longer, if you can wait!)

So what do you think? Worth rounding up the eggs and melting them down right... The kids will love you for it!

Lime and Pistachio Loaf

20 April 2017

At the start of this year I decided to be more environmental, that meant,  for me, consuming less and making do with more. More of what I had in the pantry, finishing tubes and potions off to the end before replacing, bringing my travel coffee cup with me everywhere I go so I am not buying a new cup on the go. So far, with a few minor slip ups on the coffee cup front, I have been doing good.

I have helped myself notice how little I need to live with, what little 'stuff' I genuinely need. How content I am with being part of the everyday ebb and flow, taking life as it comes. That's not to say I am some kind of superwoman, converted to this new lifestyle but I feel a lot less anchored to 'stuff' these days. I am definitely learning to live without.

Soooo.. and I'm not going to lie to you, I didn't read the recipe properly on this one.. or did read it ages ago, decided  I was making it and totally flaked on the fact the original recipe calls for lemons too.

My bad.

Going to chalk that down to good old age, brain fuzz and maybe the million other things life throws at you at any given time. But I was going to make it regardless because I had everything else that I needed in the pantry and was content with doing without the lemons.

Lime and Pistachio Loaf- 
adapted from World Class cakes pg 75

3 large eggs
180g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
125ml vegetable oil (or 125g soft salted butter)
175g crushed pistachio nuts
zest and juice of two limes

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4. Line or grease and flour a 2 lb loaf pan, or two 1 lb loaf pan. Ideally the 2 lb is better as the mixture doesn't quite make two high sliced 1 lb loaf. I divided it, but retrospectively should have just made one loaf.

Start by beating the eggs until they have doubled in volume and are thick and mousy looking.
Add the sugar, a bit at a time and continue to beat the eggs.

**If  using the butter, cream the butter and suagr together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time scraping down the bowl as you go.**

Add the flour and baking powder, followed by the oil (not required if using butter) and fold through, until one homogeneous mess.
Remove from the mixer and fold through 3/4 of the nuts, all the zest and juice.
Pour into your prepared pans and sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes on a low shelf, until the center has cracked and a skewer inserted in the middles comes out clear. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, before removing to cool fully on a wire rack.

This tastes so much better the next day... if it lasts that long!

This cake was the perfect breakfast loaf. All my guys here loved it.. I am sure the lemon added another zesty flavour to the loaf but the mixture of salty and sweet was just divine! I will definitely make this one again as I was very happy with the results.

A soft fluffy cake, with a fresh zesty, salty bite! Ticks off everything in my books!

Banana Bread and Cream Cheese Frosting

20 March 2017

For all of you who are new here, let me just introduce to you what happens round this time every month (and also do a little happy dance and extend the warmest of wishes and hellos that you are even here in the first place!). The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of bake loving maestros who choose a book and bake cakes from said book.  

This month is no exception... March has just flown by and in a frenzy of wedding cakes and birthday cakes and all other bakes, the choice for this month had to be simple! World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey is just  a wonderful book to bake from with different skill levels catered for on every page. While I thoroughly enjoy the idea of challenging myself, March was not the month for that. 

Thus the humble, yet spectacular Banana Bread was baked. I made two minor adjustments to the recipe, one because I didn't have the ingredients to hand and two because I seriously love the Cream Cheese Frosting from the book and thought it'd make a fab pairing with this recipe. Even with my adjustments the bake was a huge success. One taster remarking it was 'the best thing ever' and 'are you going to finish your piece, or will I?' (after his third piece)!!!

Needless to say, there is no excuse for not using up your ripe bananas in what is the easiest bake ever and then enjoying said bake with a big vat of tea, throwing your feet up on the sofa and regaling in your baking prowess.  

Banana Bread- 
adapted from World Class Cakes pg 65

125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
225g self raising flour
50g ground almond
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
125ml butter milk
2 ripe bananas mashed

Preheat your oven 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4.
Line a 9 inch square pan with some parchment.
Mash the bananas in a bowl.
Add the sugar and butter into bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and mix. Whisk the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda together and add to the wet mix. Fold through.

Add the milk and the mashed bananas and mix until fully incorporated. Transfer to your pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden and crusted or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear.

Allow to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool fully before slicing.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
260g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
40g cream cheese

Beat together the butter and cream cheese. On a low speed add in the icing sugar, a small bit at a time. 

Mix on medium speed until it comes together. (You could add a little milk if you’ve reached a too stiff consistency.) Keep on mixing until soft and fluffy.

Once the banana bread has cooled, cut them up and swirl on the cream cheese frosting in a zig-zag pattern over each bar.  

I used an 8 inch tin when I made my banana bread bars.. and had enough for four cupcakes also.

I baked up the cupcakes as you normally would, rough chopped 5-6 stalks of rhubarb and stewed it for a few minutes until soft and gooey in 4 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Once the cupcakes had baked and cooled, the rhubarb had cooled and I had opened a carton of store bought custard.. I layered the different components together in recycled yogurt jars. I had enough cupcake crumbs from one cupcake to use in one jar. Seriously easy way of using in season ingredients and making something so much more entertaining!

Need more baking inspo?? Seriously.. you couldn't get any better than the guys and dolls of The Cake Slice Bakers!

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