Friday, 11 July 2014

Hey Pesto

Pesto is one of my favourite things ever - I usually have jars of both red and green in the fridge at all times, plus spares in the cupboard. And for some reason that I don't quite know, I'd never made my own until this week. Our basil plant was growing out of control, and there was only one thing to do...

- 50g pine nuts
- 50g fresh basil
- 25g fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 150ml olive oil
- 50g veggie parmesan
- 2tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper

1. Fry the pine nuts (without any oil) until lightly toasted and golden brown.
2. Tip everything into a food processor and blitz! Season to taste, and enjoy.

If you have a bit more time on your hands, you could always roast the garlic first - or even try using wild garlic if it's in season. Pesto is super versatile - use it as a dip, stir it through some pasta or add it to a pizza. It'll also keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

MORE CAKE - Lemon & Elderflower Swiss Roll

So I'm still revelling in having the time to bake, and also loving all the fruit, vegetables and flowers that come with Summer. This recipe is inspired by that - specifically, the tiny, fragile elderflowers whose fragrance hits you every time you walk past a bush at the moment. They're only in season for a short time each year, so make the most of them while you can!

For the Sponge                                                       For the Filling and Decoration
- 3 medium eggs                                                     - 2tbsp lemon curd
- 75g caster sugar                                                   - 100ml double cream
- zest of 1 unwaxed lemon                                     - 1tbsp elderflower cordial
- 75g plain flour                                                       - 1tbsp icing sugar
                                                                               - ½tsp lemon juice
You'll also need a 20x30cm baking tin, greased and lined.

1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 220°C. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick (this will take at least 5 minutes with an electric whisk).
2. Tip in the lemon zest, and gently sieve in the flour, a little at a time, using a large metal spoon to fold them in.
3. Evenly pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for 9-10 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.
4. Grab a sheet of greaseproof paper a little bigger than the cake tin and sprinkle with caster sugar. As soon as the sponge is out the oven, transfer it to the paper and peel off the lining paper from the tin. Make a small cut 2cm in from one of the short sides, then gently roll up the cake from the end with the cut. Allow to cool completely.
5. When the sponge is cool, unroll it and spread on the lemon curd. Whip the cream with the elderflower cordial and spoon it on top, then re-roll the cake as carefully as you can.

6. Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice, then use a teaspoon to drizzle it over the cake. For an extra bit of pretty, you can grate over some extra lemon zest and use the icing to stick on fresh elderflowers.