Speculaas Cookies

Christmas is coming in two weeks. So time to get ready and start baking. I love baking different things and experimenting each year. I try and stick to the Christmas theme. Mostly aiming at the traditional dishes which we haven’t ventured into yet. This one is Speculaas Cookies. Speculaas originated from Germany which are spiced shortbread biscuits. I don’t think I need to say anything more. Spiced and shortbread says it all. They are extremely delicious. Sometimes I feel they will replace Gingerbread cookie in the Best Christmas Cookie category. The major difference between these cookies and Gingerbread is that we add pepper to Speculaas. It creates a perfect blend of spicy, fragrant and sweet.

They are rolled cookies so you can cut them in any shape you want. My partner luckily got me small Christmas tree cutters, which I used to imprint the shape on the round cookie. Please bake these cookies because a) they are not available in Mumbai (as far as I know) and b) they are so – so – so good!

Makes about 40 – 1 inch cookies

Ingredients –

  • 100 grams butter
  • 65 grams caster sugar
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 235 grams flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Directions –

  • In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda and all the spices.
  • In a separate bowl cream sugar and butter until light and creamy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mix to the butter mixture in 3 parts and mix until everything is combined.
  • Divide the dough and form a ball. Wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. Sandwich the dough between two parchment papers and roll it till 1/2 or 1/3 cm thick.
  • Take cookie cutters and cut into desired shapes. If you have small cookie/fondant cutters, you can use them to imprint the cookies. Lightly press into the cookie halfway in. So the shape is very clear but not cut fully through. Reuse and reshape the scraps.
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or till brown.

Notes –

  • Originally they use a springerle pin which imprints the design on the cookie. The availability of springerle pin is very scarce in Mumbai hence we make do with smaller cookie cutters or cookie stamps.
  • You can adjust the spices according to your liking.
  • You can freeze the dough for up to a month.
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Christmas Pop Tarts

Remember when we were young, living in India, watching English TV shows, watching kids put fancy rectangle shaped sweet tarts frosted with icing & sprinkles and think where can I get this? I used to fantasize about Pop Tarts and Twizzlers (yeah fat kid problem), when I used to spot their ads in Archie’s Comics. After about a decade of drooling, I finally found them in Mumbai at an exorbitant price. Now that I look at Pop Tarts and see how easy it is to make them, I contemplate whether it is a good thing I started baking late or not (fat kid can turn obese anytime).

Hence better late than never, I present to you Christmas Pop Tarts. The idea of Christmas Pop Tarts came because I bought these Christmas Sprinkles and I had to use them before Christmas or else what was the point. Then once again I came across Pop Tarts ad, and told myself, it is a tart filled with jam or chocolate. I can totally do this! So I decided I had to make them. The best part about Pop Tarts is you can customize it any way you like. I stuck to my Christmas-y theme and created a festive version of it. To see how you can customize it check the notes section in the end.

Ingredients –

Tart –

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 75 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup cold water

Filling –

  • 200 grams dark chocolate
  • 100 grams cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup cranberries

Toppings –

  • Christmas theme sprinkles

Directions –

  • In a food processor, add flour, cocoa, cinnamon and pulse.
  • Add the cold butter and pulse till the mixture reaches a sandy consistency.
  • Remove in a separate bowl and add ice cold water one tablespoon at a time and knead to form a dough. Once the dough is formed, wrap it with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the cream till its scalding – not boiling and add to the chocolate. Mix till all the chocolate is melted. If the chocolate is not melting after a few minutes. Melt it in with a microwave by giving it 10 seconds bursts.
  • Once the ganache mixture is formed. Refrigerate till it sets.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Roll the tart dough and cut into 3 x 4 inches rectangles. This recipe is for 6 pop tarts. So you should have 12 rectangle sheets.
  • Take a sheet, spread some ganache. You can microwave the ganache for 10 seconds if it is too stiff. Sprinkle almonds and cranberries and cover with another sheet.
  • Take a fork, press down all four sides and punch in some holes on the top sheet with the fork.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Let them cool completely.
  • Frost the top with the remainder of the ganache and sprinkle the Christmas themed sprinkles.
  • Store in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Heat it in the microwave before serving, so the ganache melts and it is soft in the center.

Notes –

  • You can add whatever you want for the filling. Any type of jam, more chocolate, or even chocolate chips in the center.
  • You can vary in the dry fruits department by adding walnuts, cashew, raisins, whichever you fruit you like.
  • You can make ahead the tart dough and keep. I would suggest make a bigger batch store it in the freezer and enjoy the Pop Tarts whenever you want. You can also store the ganache in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. The dough can stay for 1 month.

 

Gingerbread Scones

Okay too many things are happening. Firstly, as usual I have been MIA since a couple of months. If you are curious and you want to know what I was up to – well I can’t believe I am saying this because I have my own Kitchen! I have a professional kitchen all to myself… well almost all to myself. Me and my very talented partner decided to take the plunge and start The Omakase Kitchen, which is a Japanese and Korean delivery and take away joint. So its been three months, it’s been mad, it’s been hectic but I am enjoying every minute of it. Secondly, it’s that time of the year where I go crazy. Christmas is coming! And as you guys know that it is my favorite time of the year. Thirdly it is my blog’s anniversary. Yes I just completed four years of blogging. Happy Blog Birthday to me!

Coming back to the recipe – every year I do my take on the ever popular and delicious Gingerbread. This year, I have made Gingerbread Scones. This British delicacy is perfect as your tea time snack. 

Gingerbread Scones

Makes about 10 scones

Ingredients – 

  • 225 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 25 grams Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon mix spice 
  • 37 grams softened butter
  • 112 grams milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions – 

  • Preheat oven to 220 C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, ginger powder, cinnamon, mix spice and sugar.
  • Add the butter and whisk till sandy consistency. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla and milk. 
  • Leaving 1 tablespoon of the milk and egg mixture to glaze the scones later. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix in two additions. 
  • Mix until combined. The dough should be sticky and a little wet. 
  • Dust flour on a table, take the dough and flatten it with your hand till about 1/2 cm in height. Taking a 1 inch round cookie cutter, cut circles and put them on the baking tray. Repeat the process by reusing the scraps.
  • Using a pastry brush glaze the scones with egg and milk mixture.
  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or till golden brown at 220 C. Let them cool completely before serving. 

Notes – 

  • You can add or delete the amount of spices according to your liking. I prefer the flavor of spices on the heavier side in my dishes. So I have modified it accordingly. 
  • You can also modify the size of the scones according to your liking. 

Tempering Chocolate – The Easy Way

Chocolate is one of the best things in the world. I don’t know anyone who hates chocolate or simply dislikes it. People love different types of chocolate or chocolate in different forms. Chocolate gives us happiness, gives us satisfaction, gives us a happy high. I can keep raving about chocolate but what I really want to tell today – that is on the World Chocolate Day that chocolate is something that helps us through thick and thin like literally when you are upset you eat chocolate, when you are happy you eat chocolate. At least that is with me because I am an emotional eater. Leaving my disorders aside and coming back to chocolate. Chocolate is great to eat but complicated to work with. It is such a versatile ingredient but Chocolate in its pure form is very moody. Or rather it easily gets affected by things like temperature, humidity, water and more. So even if this is a widely written topic, I would like to share my experience on it, because I will be writing on how to temper chocolate in hot and humid weather and most importantly at HOME.

Storage: Firstly depending on what part of India you are in, it is going be hot and worse it is going to be humid. Mumbai is both – hot and humid. So if you want to work with chocolate at home, it is a bit challenging. I will stress on the fact that you will need an air conditioner. You do, there is no option. Mainly because when you see international websites and videos, they mention “keep chocolate at room temperature” their room temperature is 22 C and our room temperature is 30 C. So hence the complication begins. But I would strongly advise not to keep the chocolate in the refrigerator. NO. The reason simply being temperature change especially massive temperature change is not good for chocolate. And condensation after removing the chocolate from the fridge is going to make things worse. My suggestion: After opening the packet of the chocolate, wrap it with plastic wrap and store it in a cool place at (our) room temperature.

Types of Chocolate: There are two types of Chocolate – Couverture and Compound. Couverture is high quality chocolate which contains cocoa butter as its fat content. This is the chocolate to use if making chocolates, truffles or rather anything. I absolutely recommend couverture because of the quality, taste and finish. The result tempered couverture chocolate gives is this shiny chocolate with the perfect crack in it. Compound is a cheaper quality of chocolate, the fat used in the chocolate is vegetable oil and not cocoa butter. It is definitely easier to work with. But lacks the quality, taste and finish. If you are buying your chocolate for a cheap price it is probably because it is compound. I really want to stress on the fact that if you are making chocolates or using chocolate for baked goods, please buy good quality chocolate. You will realize the difference in taste, texture and quality once you start using a good quality chocolate. The brand I prefer and probably the best pastry chefs in the world swear by and which is available in India is Callebaut. I will say that the price is probably a little on the higher side but if like me and many others you prefer quality over quantity then you know Callebaut is the right choice. Always check the ingredients list on back of the packet to see what type of chocolate you are buying. If the fat content says cocoa butter it is couverture and if it says vegetable oil or any other type of fat it is compound.

Tempering:  If you see Wikipedia on tempering chocolate, ” Chocolate tempering, a method of increasing the shine and durability of chocolate couverture” Tempering chocolate is one of the vitally important things to do if you are making chocolates, truffles, bonbon, chocolate decorations or more. It is also one of the complicated techniques to do. Chocolate when made, it is made in the ideal temperature. Every type of molecule is perfectly aligned and chocolate is in its perfect form. But then comes the transporting, the storing, the buying and the getting it home part. All these changes, changes the look of the chocolate. So to get back the perfect form we need to temper it. Tempering is melting the fat crystals in the chocolate, and then rearranging it back by adding stabilized fat crystals into it. Hence stabilizing it altogether, which gets us the chocolate back in its perfect form.

Basic idea is – melt your chocolate hence melting the fat crystals, lower the temperature, add stabilized fat crystals and set it – and it is done. Now there are various ways to do it – machine, seeding, tabling, adding cocoa butter and probably more. Machine does the traditional way of melting the chocolate max at 45 C, lowering the temperature till 22 C and then increasing it till 31 C by doing so it forms the stabilized fat crystals. Machine is obviously not the choice here, nor is  seeding and tabling. Seeding and tabling is when you melt chocolate and then add already tempered chocolate which can either be from your packet or if you have a tempered chocolate because it will contain the stabilized fat crystals which will stabilize the remaining one. But as I mentioned before because of the different temperature changes that chocolate goes through from various stages from packaging and buying, even though its tempered it doesn’t remain the same. Especially in India where temperature varies from region to region. So the fool proof method of tempering is adding cocoa butter.

I use Callebaut Mycyro Butter. It is simple, it is easy and it WORKS!

Adding Cocoa Butter: Melt your chocolate by not exceeding more than 45 C for dark and 42 C for milk and white. I use the microwave by giving it 10 seconds bursts. After every ten seconds I keep giving it a good stir. Please don’t go beyond 45 C or else you will burn your chocolate. After your chocolate is melted, go to your room where air conditioner is switched on at 21 C. Keep slowly stirring the chocolate till it reaches 31 C. Do not over stir or you will crystallize the chocolate. Once the chocolate hits 31 C. Add 1% of cocoa butter of your total chocolate weight. For example if you are melting 1 kg of chocolate use 10 grams of Mycryo. Stir till it melts and is incorporated.

Do the test: Take a parchment paper or back of a spoon and dip it in the chocolate. If it sets in 5 minutes with a sheen on it. You have done it! The chocolate is tempered. Now use the chocolate as desired.

Remember always set your chocolates in an air conditioned room between 21 – 22 C. Do not set it in the refrigerator as it when stored in (our) room temperature it will soften and form condensation. When set in an air conditioned room it will stay normal when stored in (our) room temperature.

If you want to see a video tutorial: http://www.callebaut.com/en-US/chocolate-video/technique/tempering

If it works for you, then join the club. If not, don’t loose hope. Keep trying, till you get it right. I have tried all the techniques numerous times till I finally found the right one. I suggest you do the same.

Peaches & Plums Tart

I love fruits. I can literally stuff my face with fruits all day. I like to call them desserts from heaven. Taking these small tokens of deliciousness and using them to make different types of desserts is so satisfying. I love to work with seasonal fruits. Monsoon brings the arrival of Peaches, Plums, Cherries and more. So using Peaches and Plums I have made an extremely simple rustic yet soul satisfying dessert – Peaches and Plums Tart. This style of making a tart is rustic and easy. We wont be making it in a tart shell but rather with puff pastry.

Puff pastry which was this difficult thing to procure in Mumbai, is now readily available in all supermarkets at a decent cost. I always keep a pack in my freezer. If used and stored right this can last you a while. I would suggest buying a packet and keeping it in the freezer because this helps you churn out crowd pleasers in a matter of minutes. You just need a good savory or sweet filling and you are sorted.

You can also make puff pastry and store it in the freezer. The process though long and tedious is not the issue, but the issue is the weather. If you are in a hot and humid city like Mumbai. You need to make in a room with AC. Or else it will be very difficult to attain the desired results. Coming back to the tart: the best thing about this tart is that it needs no measurements, it is almost like cooking, you taste the filling, you add more ingredients accordingly. I have given an approximation of the quantity of ingredients but you can use less or more as desired.

Peaches & Plums Tart

Ingredients:

  • 3 Peaches
  • 3 – 4 Plums
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
  • Puff Pastry, thawed

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Cut the peaches and plums in to thin slices. Drizzle honey on it and mix. Start with one tablespoon of honey and keep checking for sweetness. Stop when you reach the desired sweetness.
  • Cut a portion of thawed puff pastry and roll it into 4 inches by 10/12 inches thin rectangle.
  • Poke holes using a fork into the pastry sheet. Then using a pastry brush, brush the egg on to the sheet.
  • Imagine a 1.5 cm border around the sheet. Leaving that much space, start placing the fruits one by one. If you have juices from the fruit left in the bowl do not throw it away.
  • Close the border onto fruits and brush the border with egg.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or till risen and brown.
  • After the tart is done, taking a brush, brush the leftover juices on the fruit.
  • Serve warm.

Notes:

  • If you are using puff pastry for the first time, I would like to point out that puff pastry is not like a pie or cookie dough where you can re-roll and use the trimmings because it is made in such a way that it forms layers of dough and butter. Re-rolling will damage the layers thus making it not rise. So cut only a portion because you will be rolling it thin. The portion you will cut will double/triple up when rolled so cut accordingly.
  • Store the remaining puff pastry wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer. And whenever need be, you can remove, let it thaw and then use it.
  • I have used Peaches and Plum, you can use any other fruit you want. The concept is to keep it simple, rustic and tasty.
  • You can use sugar instead of honey.

Sourdough Country Bread

Valentine’s Day special series – Sourdough Country Bread.

I love breads, I love baking them, I love eating them. Since my run in with the process of making of a Sourdough, I am totally in love with it. I feel the earthy, old school feel to it, is pure pleasure. And don’t get me started on the flavor. The best bread you will ever taste. It has its own distinct flavor profile, which you will not get in any regular commercial yeast leaven breads made from just flour and water. That is the beauty of sourdough bread. It is made from just flour, water, salt and obviously the sourdough starter. But the result is just mind blowing.

But as the Sourdough Bread has its own beauty and flavor. It has also has its own mind and mood. It is a very technical bread. The method though seem to the point, is a bit complex in the beginning, but once you get a hang of it. You will get better. Don’t be upset or give up if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time, or the second or the third, you will have to be patient with this bread, with the starter, with the whole process. It is time consuming but the results are worth it.

Firstly to even begin planning the bread, you will need a sourdough starter, for which the recipe is here.

Secondly, I will be doing a Tartine Bakery inspired Country Loaf. The method is called a wet dough method where the hydration of the dough is 75%. This bread has a great depth of flavor and you use your leaven at a younger stage where it still on the milky smelling side and not reached the sour smelling stage.

Third – After going through the recipe, go on YouTube and search for Tartine Country Loaf and see as many videos as you can. There is no point of me posting pictures of the method, because the videos will make more sense. They help a lot. But don’t just see one, see as many as you can.

Fourth – you will need a dutch oven to get the perfect loaf, unless your oven has an option of infusing steam while baking. Dutch oven will create the perfect steam, which in turn will create the perfect crust. If you are really interested in baking bread regularly buy a banneton for the final proofing of the bread. It gives it the perfect shape, the rustic look and it is a good investment.

Now finally the recipe  –

img_20170125_203938_837

 

Ingredients –

  • 450 grams all purpose flour
  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 350 grams water
  • 100 grams leaven
  • 10 grams salt
  • 25 grams water

Method –

Start the leaven –

  • One day before the making the dough, discard 85% of the starter, the recipe says you need only one tablespoon for the leaven but mine is usually more than that. Feed your starter 70 grams all purpose flour, 30 grams whole wheat flour and 100 grams water. And set it aside for at least 7 – 10 hours. Ideally do it in the night, so the leaven will be ready to use in the morning. You also need to see take the weather in mind. If you are living in Mumbai, like me, where it is usually hot. During the summer it will only take about 4 to 5 hours for the leaven to be ready to use. Hot weather means faster yeast activity.
  • To check if its ready – It should have risen from its initial stage. It should smell milky and not sour and vinegar-y. If it smells sour feed it again and use it after 2 -3 hours.  For the final check, take a spoonful of starter and drop it in a bowl of water, if it floats its ready and if it drowns, then its not.

Dough – 

  • If all the things check out and your leaven is ready to use. You prep for the dough.
  • In a bowl weigh the 360 grams of water and add the leaven. The remaining leaven is your starter now, don’t discard it, continue feeding it.
  • Mix the leaven in the water till its partially dissolved.
  • Add the flours, and mix it with hand till there is no dry flour remaining. Cover it  with a kitchen towel and leave it for 30 minutes. This is called the autolyse period, basically good time to increase the gluten development.
  • After 30 minutes – add salt and 25 grams of water. Mix by pinching the dough between your fingers. Keep mixing and pinching till it forms a nice dough. Remember it will be wet and sticky as its a wet dough.
  • Now we do the SF – stretch and fold. Transfer the dough in a separate bowl, wet your hands, and pick the dough from one side and stretch it (softly) and fold it on the other side. So it should be a total of four SFs on all four sides. That will be one turn. Cover and let it rest.
  • Bulk Fermentation – For the next 4 hours, keep doing the SFs every 30 minutes one full turn each time. As the time will progress you will see the dough getting smoother, stretchy and tighter, showing the development of gluten and gas in the dough. If the dough is till loose, continue it for one more hour.
  • After 4 hours, transfer the dough on a clean surface/counter. Do not flour it before. After the dough is on the counter. Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough and with a dough scraper lift the dough and put the flour side down.
  • Sprinkle flour on top and around the dough. With the help of the dough scraper, shape the dough in to a tight round by taking the scraper and pulling the dough towards you from down. Same time twisting it and making it into a round with your hand. (Hence the video for reference).
  • Do it a few times and don’t over do it, or else the top of the dough will tear. You will have to the shaping all over again.
  • Bench Rest – Cover and rest for 30 minutes to give the gluten some rest.
  • After 30 minutes your dough should be thick like a pancake especially from the edges, then its ready to shape. If it is flat and tapered from the edges, re – shape it one more time and give it a 30 minute bench rest.
  • Generously dust flour in the banneton.
  • For the final proofing – sprinkle flour on top of the dough and invert flour side down. That will be the top of the bread. Now shape it according to your banneton, mine is oval, so flatten the dough a little in to a rectangle. Make sure you don’t flatten it a lot or all the air will escape.
  • Stretch the sides of the lower part of the dough which is towards you. Roll the top, pinching the side turned with every turn. After rolling it fully, pinch the seams together, and give it a gentle roll, shaping it into an oval.
  • For round shaped banneton – Make a rectangle, fold the bottom half way to the center. Fold the right side on the left and left on the right side, like an envelope. Finally cover seams with folding the top side. Pinch the seams and invert it and with the sides of your palm rotate the dough from down creating circles, thus shaping it into a round.
  • Generously sprinkle flour on the top side of the dough. Invert the smooth flour side on your hand and place it in the banneton, seam side should be facing upwards. Sprinkle some more flour on the top. Cover and let it proof for 4 hours or leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
  • If placed in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before baking.
  • 20 minutes before baking – preheat the oven to 230 C and put the dutch oven with the lid inside the oven to preheat.
  • After 20 minutes, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Gently invert the dough on a parchment paper, score the bread, and carefully without burning your hand, place it in the dutch oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, this creates the perfect the steam, which therefore creates the perfect crust. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 20 minutes more for the crust to turn a beautiful golden and auburn color.
  • When baked, remove from the oven, remove it from the dutch oven and then let it cool on a wire rack for an hour. I can only wait for 30 minutes before I start slicing the bread and eating it.
  • The exterior of the bread will have a nice crunchy crust. The interior should have these webs which is basically the air bubbles in the bread created during the process. The web should consist of big and small bubbles. It will be a little chewy compared to the commercial yeast leavened bread but that is how it supposed to be.

You can see the webs in the bread I made below, though it is not where I want it to be, but as I said the process is slow and it will take time to perfect this bread. So don’t give up.

img_20170125_211956_181

Lemon & Rosemary Loaf Cake

Valentine’s Day is upon us. This year I will be showcasing the desserts I love. I will either be posting tried and tested recipes, which I have baked time again and have never disappointed me or I will be giving a special twist to my favorite desserts.  People declare their love for their special someone. This year I will declare or showcase my love for my favorite recipes and my special someone is going to enjoy eating them.

I am starting this series with the light and refreshing Lemon and Rosemary Loaf Cake. I love tea cakes. Their flavor profile is so simple, yet they are so delicious. Simplicity takes the cake sometimes (literally taking the cake in this scenario). The cake is pretty much very simple to make. My family loves this cake so much its over in one sitting. So don’t expect any leftovers if your family also loves desserts like mine.

Lemon & Rosemary Loaf Cake

Lemon & Rosemary Loaf

 

Ingredients –

Cake –

  • 135 gms butter, melted
  •  215 gms castor sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Few Rosemary Sprigs, chopped
  • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla
  • 170 ml milk, room temperature
  • 235 gms all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Candied Lemon Slices –

  • 1 lemon
  • 100 gms sugar
  • 150 gms water

Lemon Syrup –

  • 100gms sugar
  • 150 gms water
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Method –

Cake –

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 7in x 3.5in loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
  • In a bowl sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Using a stand mixer – mix sugar, eggs, lemon zest, rosemary and vanilla until well combined.
  • Alternate adding the flour and milk, one third at a time to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix well.
  •  Add the melted butter in the end. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 40 – 50 minutes on 180 C.
  • Keep checking the cake after 40 minutes whether it is done by poking a toothpick inside and it should come out clean.
  • As the cake is baking get ready with the Candied Lemon Slices and Lemon syrup.

Candied Lemon Slices –

  • Cut thin slices of a lemon.
  • In a saucepan add sugar and water. Let it come to a boil.
  • Add the lemon slices and let is simmer for about 20 minutes or till the water is almost evaporated.
  • Remove the slices and let them dry on a plate for 5 – 10 minutes.

Lemon Syrup –

  • In a saucepan – add sugar, water, lemon juice and rosemary. Cook on medium heat till the mixture is thick for about 5 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook it as it will reach the soft ball stage and wont be a syrup consistency anymore.
  • Strain the syrup and keep it ready.
  • When the cake is baked. Remove from the pan and while its hot pour the warm syrup on it. Let it cool. Arrange the candied slices on top.
  • Cut into slices and serve warm with a cup of tea.