I have missed baking this week. When you enjoy doing something so much it does become like a person in your life, to miss when they are gone.
So I was very happy when it was not only my wonderful mum’s birthday yesterday, but I also got a chance to provide dessert for our dinner party.
My mum doesn’t eat meat so we had to either go fully vegetarian or fish. We decided on the fish route so we could do different fish pates for a starter. So Smoked Haddock was on the menu and I was employed to do dessert.
Generally something light and fresh goes well with fish, so I decided on Lemon Possets. To be honest, I have never done these before but they are really simple and taste delicious.
Serves 4 people.
600ml Double Cream
150g Caster Sugar
Juice and zest of 2 large lemons
Place the double cream and caster sugar in a large pan (this helps to heat quickly but evenly), and on a low heat bring to the boil slowly. Should take around ten minutes but depends on your cooker and heat. Boil for three minutes and set aside to cool.
When the mixture is only just warm, pour in the lemon juice and add the zest and whisk well making sure it is well mixed.
Pour the mixture into four small glass bowls and refrigerate for three hours or more.
When it comes to serving, make sure you take the Possets out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving so they are soft for eating.
Just to mention I did all of these in two hours, and even now, taking into account my natural ability for procrastination I’m pretty pleased with it all. So next up Ginger shortbread, this is Mary Berry’s recipe…
Scottish Ginger shortbread
175g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
175g Butter, at room temperature
1tsp Ground Ginger
4 pieces of preserved stem ginger, cut into pieces the size of raisins
1 tbsp of Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 160C – Grease a 20cm sandwich tin.
Sieve flour into a bowl and add the butter, rub the butter into the flour until no large chunks of butter are visible. Add the semolina and caster sugar and work the mixture together to form a ball.
Press half of the mixture into the tin, smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the ginger pieces evenly over mixture and press the remaining mixture over the top and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle the top with Demerara sugar and bake for 30-40 minutes until the shortbread is a pale and golden colour.
Allow the shortbread to cool before using a round cutter or a glass to cut into rounds.
Last but not least for our dinner party I needed to make a Raspberry coulis and it could not be more simple.
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Icing Sugar (possibly more for taste)
Place raspberries and lemon juice in a small pan on a medium heat
Mash the raspberries as much as possible with a fork and add the icing sugar. Allow the sugar to dissolve and simmer for a few minutes. Taste it to see if it is sweet enough and add more sugar if necessary.
Put the mixture into a sieve and press through into a bowl. Coulis done!
My brother did an amazing job of turning out the smoked haddock dinner (I’m not too good at staying calm with cooking). Here’s a few pictures from the evening, starting with what helped me through being a sous chef for my brother 🙂
Smoked Mackerel, Tuna and Smoked Salmon pates for starter.
Smoked Haddock, Wilted greens, Asparagus and Jersey Royals with bechamel sauce
and finally Lemon Posset with Ginger Shortbread and Raspberry Coulis.