Author Archives for Lickthespoon

About Lickthespoon

Passionate about food and eating well I have been cooking all my life. I like to know where my food comes from and try to source responsibly. I grow as much as I can and eat seasonally. Food to me is about sharing and showing that you care.

Raspberry and Almond Cake

This is one of those cakes that you don’t want to be without.   It’s delicious, can be put together quickly using whatever soft fruit you have to hand, is easily made gluten free, works well as a Traybake should you prefer and is as happy as a pudding as it is with a cuppa.  Quite frankly it’s a complete and utter Winner.

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Rose Petal Syrup

For some reason rose petal syrup seems to have gone out of fashion – but there is nothing like it to enhance the flavour of strawberries.  It makes them taste like you remember them from your childhood –  luscious, sweet and mouth-wateringly.  I can’t begin to tell you the difference it makes.  The syrup itself smells of the best of summer and brings out the sun in everything you put it on.   Fold a couple of tablespoons into softly whipped cream to transform a Victoria Sponge or meringues.   Pour over vanilla Ice-cream to lift it to a whole other level.

It’s best to pick the roses when they are blowsy and maybe only a day away from starting to drop their petals.  The colour of the rose you choose will effect the colour of the syrup just as the intensity of the roses fragrance will effect the taste of it.   I mostly use the pink roses from my rugosa hedge with 2-3 dark scented red roses thrown in to deepen the colour.  120g is about two colanders worth of petals   Totally worth it though!

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Gooseberry & Elderflower Gin (or vodka)

Before the gooseberries and elder flowers are over use them to make this quickly infused gin/vodka that really does bring out the flavour of summer

 

 

 

 


Ingredients

  • 360g gooseberries
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 large elderflower heads
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 75cl  gin or vodka

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Almond and Orange Polenta Cake

I thought it might be fun to try putting this recipe for the easiest cake I know into a visual format. I’d be interested to know what you think about it. Is it easier to use or do you just find it annoying?

This cake comes from an online course I did a few weeks ago with Ursula Ferrigno. I’ve changed it a bit by cutting down the sugar and upping the citrus but it’s a winner of a recipe and YES! The cake does go into a cold oven. If you are using an Aga then please put it in under a cool shelf and reduce the cooking time to about 20 mins.  This cake is gluten and dairy free

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Little Almond Biscuits

I do love a biscuit and these tick all the boxes for me.  If you made the Blackcurrant Fro-Yo they are a perfect accompaniment to that or any other ice-cream for that matter, great with a raspberries or strawberries, stewed plums or damsons, or just with a cuppa. You can’t go wrong.

How would I describe these biscuits?  Buttery and crisp, crumbly and almond-y.  They are just perfect and keep well in the tin if they get a chance!   As easy to make as they are to eat!!
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Blackcurrant Fro-Yo

So you’ve got blackcurrants in the freezer, you’ve made blackcurrant jam (yum) and you have started to make cassis,  but there are still blackcurrants on the bushes in the garden only now they are beginning to fall off because it’s late in the season and there has been loads of rain!  HELP!

Well that’s my story anyway and that’s why I made this fro-yo inspired pud  You need an icecream maker and a blender or food processor but the payoff if it’s a ONE (everything blitzed in blender) TWO (chuck in icecream maker to churn) THREE (transfer to freezer) type of recipe.  I was going to say “easy pleased, lemon squeezy” but no lemons are involved.

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Quick Homemade Lemonade

As the temperatures rise you really can’t beat a jug of cold, homemade lemonade in the garden.  As children one of our greatest treats on hot summer days was to be allowed to sit on the swing seat with its shady canopy, and drink this cold lemonade.  Nowadays I always picture southern belles (???) in elegant long white summer dresses on a veranda offering their guests a glass of this from a jug that is frosted cold and has slices of lemon and ice cubes in it.   I can almost hear the ice chinking as it is being poured.   Delicious.  Refreshing.
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Rose Geranium Leaf Panna Cotta

The secret of a good panna cotta is to use as little gelatine as possible so that it has that lovely, voluptuous wobble and is lovely and silky to eat.   I’ve flavoured panna cotta with many things over the years from vanilla to fig leaf.  I’ve used lemon balm, lemon verbena, black currant leaves and actually tarragon or fennel are surprisingly good too.  Not that keen on lavender in a creamy dessert but it goes very well in shortbread if you want to serve that alongside – though make sure you don’t add too much if you want to avoid a soapy taste. For the shortbread recipe go to Traybake Shortbread and Variations for further details. Continue reading

Asparagus, Pea and Herb Risotto

Risotto is a really adaptable dish that you can make with whatever you have to hand.   In my case this meant asparagus, a few frozen peas  and left over chicken from this weeks roast.  What really makes a risotto though is the stock you use to flavour the rice and the herbs at the end to bring out the flavours.  You can, of course, use butter and parmesan at the end to add richness, but I chose not to wanting this risotto to be clean tasting and for the parsley and tarragon that I added at the end to shine and enhance the asparagus.  In fact this whole dish is layered through with herbs and that is what I wanted to highlight.  I like the texture of my risotto to be soup-y but if you prefer a more solid texture then just add less liquid. Continue reading

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