Lemon, Rosemary and Citrus Olive Oil Cake

This recipe was developed from my original adaptation of the Olive oil, Rosemary & Lemon cake that I found on the Olive Oil Times website which was contributed by Mooney Farms.
I made this version using using Soralina’s Italian Citrus Olive Oil which is a wonderful cold pressed combination of Italian fresh olives, Sicilian lemons, mandarins, oranges and pink grapefruits which are crushed together, releasing the amazing citrus oils directly in to the oil, imparting their amazing flavour and fragrance, without the need for artificial additions.  Soralina were awarded the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner on 25th May 2014. When I met them personally at the BBC Good Food Show in May, this is clearly something that the family owned business are incredibly proud of. Mo and Sylvia were kind enough to let me have a sample of their oil to take home and try.

 

I know I’ve made this cake and published the recipe before using a fabulous Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil which turned out beautifully, but I was curious to see how the Citrus oil would enhance the flavours of the lemons used in the cake.  Time was of the essence in getting this made and into the oven, so this time, I made it using the ‘all in one’ method.
385g Self raising flour
1½tbs Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2tsp Baking powder
½tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½tsp Salt
370g Granulated sugar
125ml Soralina Citrus extra virgin olive oil
125ml Milk
2 Lemons, zested
60ml Lemon juice
1tsp Vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
Icing
150g Icing sugar
15ml Lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C.
2. Line a 22cm/9″ springform tin with a cake case (I buy mine from Lakeland).
3. In a large bowl, place all of the cake ingredients.
4. Whisk together using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly.
6. Remove from the oven, but leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the cake from the tin, leaving it in the parchment cake case, and place on a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.
8. For the icing, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until you get a smooth, soft paste.
9. Spread over the top of the cooled cake. If the icing is a little too stiff, you can heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds which will make it easier to spread.
10. Decorate with a small sprig of fresh rosemary.
11. Serve and enjoy in thin slices.
As a thank you to Mo and Sylvia, I made another of these cakes for them, which I took down to the Taste of London festival in Regents Park on Sunday 22nd June.  They shared a few slices with customers who were interested in this oil, but Mo decided very early on that he was going to enjoy this gift and share it with his family.  I hope he did share it too!!!

 

The oil was generously supplied to me by Soralina.  I adapted my original posting of the recipe, initially as a family cake for myself prior to making one for Mo & Sylvia. I was under no obligation to blog this recipe or to give a favourable review of their product.  The views are my own and are a genuine reflection of how I found their oil.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2014

I spent a wonderful Thursday on 12th June at the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham as part of the BBC Good Food Show Blogging community.  It’s a show that I thoroughly enjoy going to each year; walking around, taking in the sights and smells of some of the amazing food on display, and sampling the delectable delights of producers who put their heart and souls into their products in which they truly believe.

One day simply wasn’t enough as sessions of meeting the Bursary Stand Award winners was arranged, as well as a visit to the Super Theatre, which this year was hosted by chef Marcus Bean, proprietor of the amazing Brompton Cookery School in Shropshire, which saw us watching Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry ‘Do Lunch’.  Later we were treated to meet and interview Paul Hollywood.  Did you know that Paul’s favourite ‘dirty food’ is a hot dog with fried onions in a floury bap?! Marcus also very kindly arranged for the lovely Mary Berry to come and say hello and have her photo taken with us (thanks Marcus!)

Each of the Bursary Award Winners are young companies with small turnovers, but who have a fabulous product to bring to the market. It’s a tough competition as they are given a complimentary stand at the show to help grown their businesses.  I’m sure it’s such a difficult decision for the judges to choose their worthy winners.

 
Firstly, we were introduced to The Preservation Society, which was set up by Angharad Underwood during her maternity leave from work.  She produces an array of preserves, syrops and chutneys, many of which we were able to taste and enjoy.  I later went back to Angharad’s stall and treated myself to three bottles of her delightful syrops to enjoy later with some added sparkling water.

 

Next we were introduced to The Cornish Charcuterie Company, which is run by a husband and wife team, Richard and Fionagh, both former city bakers, who moved themselves and their family to a 350 acre farm in Bude, Cornwall to follow their food passion and dreams in an all together, slower and more organic way of life.  They produce a range of pâté, salami, chorizo and rillets using pork and beef that they rear on their farm.  Other products used in manufacture are sourced as locally as possible too.  I love the story behind the creation of their logo. The thumbprints used as the body of their animals is in recognition of their hands on approach to their animals, their farm and their business.  I’d already bought myself a jar of the chicken liver pâté to bring home and enjoy prior to being introduced to Richard.  I can thoroughly recommend this to pâté lovers everywhere; it’s delicious!

 

Next we were inspired by 19 year old Founder and Managing Director Ben Nichols who set up So Smoothies from his parent’s Nottingham kitchen at the age of 17. Initially created to quench his own thirst, Ben (after tidying up the mess he made in the kitchen before his mum got home) approached local shops with his samples and now sells to 45 outlets locally and UK wide.  The smoothies are non pasteurised and preservation free so provide a healthy, fresh tasting drink. We sampled each of Ben’s current varieties, all of which were really lovely.  Soon to be launched, as the first in the UK, is a 30% reduced sugar smoothie which uses Stevia to replace the sugar, making it a healthier alternative.  I wish Ben a huge amount of success with this launch.

 

Our final Bursary Award Winner was Nik Sinclair from Sinclair Condiments in Milton Keynes who brought us a curious Hot Banana Ketchup to taste. After the initial banana taste, you’re greeted with the heat of the chilli which provided the most bizarre combination, but one that really does work!  Along with a Roasted Red Pepper sauce, they also produce a range of 10 sauces to include Sweet Chilli (hot!) and Tomato Ketchup along with a Scotch Bonnet sauce to really fire up your taste buds!  I was given a bottle of their Tomato Ketchup to bring home and try.  My daughter loved the taste as it has a much higher tomato content and less sugar than the leading market brand.  This is still produced in small batches from his home.
 

 

A few other treats were purchased to accompany me home from the show, namely: 
 
Belgian biscuits and biscuit butter.
 
 
Some amazing Italian citrus olive oil from Soralina, winners of Theo Paphitis Small Business Award.  More on this in another post where I’ll share with you a recipe for their citrus olive oil, lemon and rosemary cake which I’ve developed.
 

 

 
Three bottles of Ketchup and sauces from the Great British Sauce Company, including a sweet curry sauce which went brilliantly with some chip shop chips at the weekend.
 
 
My new, incredibly sharp and delectably gorgeous I.O.Shen knife which is not just beautiful to look at, but an absolute dream to use. So much so, that I don’t think I’ve actually used another knife to prepare food with since this arrived home with me. A worthy investment indeed!
 


As a member of the BBC Good Food Show Blogging community I was given a free admission pass to the Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham. Samples were received from some of the exhibitors where stated above.  Other products were purchased personally.


Rhubarb, Apple & Ginger Crumble

My rhubarb is a little pathetic this year; yielding a measly 4 sticks, which is not really enough to make a crumble for a family of 4. Not to be deterred, I grabbed a couple of dessert apples from the fruit bowl and a jar of crystallised ginger from the cupboard and whipped up a pudding in less than an hour (and that included washing up!) I think that rhubarb and ginger are a perfect combination, and judging by the empty bowls all round, my family think so too.  Some of the ingredients I didn’t measure out personally, but to help you, I’ve given you the approximate quantities that I used for the fruit base.

4 sticks Rhubarb
2 dessert Apples
3 balls crystallised ginger
2tbs (rounded) Soft dark brown sugar
Crumble
200g Self raising flour
100g Unsalted butter
100g Soft dark brown sugar
2tsp Ground ginger

1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
2. Peel and slice the rhubarb into 1.5cm slices.
3. Dice the apples into 1cm cubes.
4. Chop the crystallised ginger quite finely.
5. Place the rhubarb, apples, ginger and sugar into a saucepan with 30ml cold water.
6. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the fruit has started to soften and release their juices.
7. In a food processor, blitz the flour, cold butter, sugar and ground ginger until it resembles breadcrumbs.
8. Pour the fruit into a heatproof dish and top with the crumble mix.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.


Serve with cream, custard, clotted cream or ice cream. I love the fruity ‘jam’ that mixes with the edges of the crumble mix as it bubbles though.  Enjoy!

PG Tips Fruit Infusions – They’re refreshingly good!

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When this hamper arrived on my doorstep full of PG Tips herbal infusions and green teas, I really was spoiled for choice on which one to enjoy first! A lover of fruit teas and herbal infusions, it was a difficult decision to make.  So, how do you make such a decision?  Well, like this of course!

Now, just to clarify, Monkey didn’t bring the teas to me personally and hasn’t come to visit, but when he does, I will be grabbing him firmly by his toe!

I chose the Juicy Red Berries, while my husband went for his favourite of a smooth Green Tea, but with a hint of mandarin orange.

I always leave my bag in my cup; not just for a few minutes but for the whole duration of my drink, whilst he dunks the bag in and takes it out again before it gets too strong.

Long before the water hit my teabag, as soon as I opened the box, I was hit with the most amazing fruity smell that had my taste buds bursting into life in anticipation of what was to come.  I wasn’t disappointed either!  The warm, richly coloured, red berry infusion really did taste as good as it smelled.

In contrast the cool, muted colour of the mandarin orange green tea was delicate in both fragrance and colour.

We’ve now gone through every box of the teas (with the exception of the Camomile, because I really don’t like Camomile tea one tiny bit, sorry Monkey, but not even yours!)

The Spices & Mint tea is delicious as a drink but I wanted to give it a try in a fruited tea loaf to see what it would be like.

What a fabulous taste too!  So different but subtle with the slight heat of the spices and the cool of the mint. A winner in my family’s eyes.
Onto another favourite – Peppermint.  Everyone loves peppermint tea, yes? Good! Then you’ll like this one too then because it’s fresh, minty & delicious.  Enough said!

Thanks to PG Tips’ PR company for sending me a free hamper of fruit infusions and green teas to sample. Only a couple of random bags and the box of camomile ones left, so they must have been good, mustn’t they?