I made this lemon meringue pie last night to take along to a friend’s baby shower. These days, I’d much rather arrive at a party with something home-made in hand, instead of a store bought version. It just lends a personal touch, and lets face it – the taste is incomparable. The ladies loved it, so I thought I’d post the recipe here should anyone wish to give it a go.
1 packet of Tennis biscuits (200g)
100 g melted butter
1 can of condensed milk
125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (equates to about 3 large lemons)
3 free range egg yolks
4 free range egg whites
150 ml castor sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
5 ml fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Place biscuits in a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin until fine. (Much quicker using a food processor). Mix with the melted butter, and press the biscuit mixture firmly into a round pie dish.
- Whisk the condensed milk while adding the lemon juice a little bit at a time.
- Whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl until pale yellow and frothy, then add to the condensed milk mixture. Mix well. Pour this mixture into the pie dish, and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- While the filling is baking, use a clean, dry bowl to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, and fold gently into the meringue mixture. Note: For perfectly puffy egg whites, make sure that you do not get any bits of yolk caught in the whites when separating. Also make sure that your whisk apparatus is clean and completely dry. A few drops of water will cause the whites not to stiffen, and basically be a disaster.)
- After the filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove the dish from oven. Turn down the heat to 150 degrees celcius.
- Immediately top the filling with the prepared meringue mixture. Create pretty swirls or peaks on top with a pallette knife.
- Return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, or until the meringue has turned golden brown.
Once the pie is done, allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge if only needed the next day. I covered the pie with a piece of loose foil so as not to crush the meringue peaks. It still looked lovely the next day.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for months now. Being on holiday I decided to get stuck in. It is my very first encounter with the award winning Marian Keyes, and I have to say – it’s been an absolute pleasure.
One of the reviews on the cover states, ‘you can’t stop reading’. True story. I literally spent the entire day, in bed, completely engrossed. The only time I emerged from my bedroom was to have a bath, and make a cup of tea and a cheese toastie. My dogs eventually thought I was ill, and checked in on me periodically. So I finished the rest of it on the couch, with a can of Coke Light and bag of Jumpin’ Jack lightly salted popcorn.
Keyes has the ability to paint each scenario as though you were watching it on a DVD. You’re able to formulate a mental picture of each character down to the very last detail. Although light-hearted, I found it deeply romantic and hilarious. I’m sure that every woman who picks up a copy of The Other Side of the Story, will be able to identify with either Jojo, Lily or Gemma. (FYI, Jojo was my favourite. Voluptuous, single, career mad, red hair, red lips, dangerous love life…but let me not give too much away!)
It is a tale about falling in and out of love, forgiveness, revenge, family loyalties and friendship. Even if you’re not an avid reader, I promise that this book will have you addicted. I’ve already purchased my second Marian Keyes…watch this space for further notes.
This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe is taken from Nigella’s latest book, Nigellissima. Olive oil in a cake? Sounds mad, I know. But believe me – it works. I made this on new years eve, and I’m still stealing pieces of it from the fridge!
The ingredients listed is for a single cake. I repeated the process, and piled one on top of the other. Just looks more generous and beautiful. The icing recipe is borrowed from another of Nigella’s recipes and tweaked it according to what I had in my fridge.
150ml olive oil
50g cocoa powder, sifted
125ml boiling water
2 tsp good vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
200g castor sugar
3 free range eggs (at room temperature)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease a 23cm round springform cake tin with some olive oil, and line the base with baking paper.
Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl / jug and whisk in the bowling water and vanilla extract until you have a smooth, chocolatey (still runny) paste. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
In yet another bowl, put the sugar, oil and eggs – beat together vigorously for 3 minutes until you have a pale primrose, aerated and thickened cream. Turn speed down a little and pour in cocoa mixture - beating as you go.
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix with spatula or electric mixer.
Pour dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre on top, still looks slightly damp.
Let cool in tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
(Repeat the process for the second cake).
Honey Chocolate Ganache
75g soft butter
175g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g icing sugar
1 tbs honey
125ml fresh cream
1tsp vanilla extract
Melt the butter and chocolate in good sized bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir lightly.
While the chocolate and butter mixture is cooling a little, sieve icing sugar into bowl.
Add the honey to cooled chocolate mixture, followed by cream and vanilla extract. Once all this is combined, whisk in the sieved icing sugar. (You may need to add a tsp or so more of icing sugar if it’s too runny).
* I’ve used some Nestlé Caramel Treat to sandwich the two cakes together (might as well go all the way!). You can spread some of the icing in the middle as well if you like.
Swirl icing along the sides and top until completely covered.
Deliciously moist and abundant, this is one chocolate marvel that is bound to impress. I recommend curling up on the couch with a big fat slice, a good book and a cup of proper coffee. Dreamy!
Here’s wishing you all a prosperous and happy new year. May you realize your dreams. Live each day in abundance, and be happy!