Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

I heard of vegan key lime pies a while ago and I have wanted to try them out for ages. I finally got around to it last week and I was so pleased with the results! I used pecans in the base because they make me think of American desserts, which the traditional key lime pie is. I added spinach and avocado to the filling to give it a green hue. And I wanted a creamy topping to compliment the zesty filling, so I used some whipped coconut milk. These mini key lime pies are 100% vegan and therefore dairy free, and they are also refined sugar free and gluten free.

To make the base I used my nutribullet to whizz up 150g almonds, 150g pecans and 160g dates.

I melted 90g coconut oil and mixed it into the nuts, then pressed the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. I then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

 

To make the filling I again used my nutribullet to whizz up 200g cashews (that had been soaked overnight), 1 avocado, 6 tbsp maple syrup, the juice of 7 limes, 70g melted coconut oil and a handful of spinach. I was perfectly smooth and creamy.

I poured the filling into the tart cases, then put it back in the fridge for 1 hour to set.

I again used my nutribullet to whizz up two tins of coconut milk (it had been in the fridge and I only used the solid white milk at the top of the tin) along with 2 tsp vanilla extract and 4 tbsp maple syrup. I piped it onto the mini pies in rosettes and sprinkled some lime zest in the middle.

These pies taste so good! The flavour is the perfect balance between zesty lime flavour and creamy sweetness. They would make a great dessert at a dinner party. I love eating vegan desserts as they always taste so sinful, but really they are full of goodness!

I’m linking these mini pies up with Treat Petite hosted by myself this month.

Also linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted this month by Recipes Made Easy, and Free From Fridays hosted by Free From Farmhouse.

5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies


Servings 8
Author thebakingexplorer

Ingredients

  • 150 g Almonds
  • 150 g Pecans
  • 160 g Dates
  • 160 g Coconut Oil melted
  • 200 g Cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 1 Avocado
  • 10 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 7 Limes zested and juiced
  • 1 Handful Fresh spinach
  • 2 tins tins of Coconut milk stored in the fridge overnight

Instructions

  1. To make the base use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the almonds, pecans and dates

  2. Mix in 90g of the melted coconut oil, then press the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to set
  3. To make the filling use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the cashews, avocado, 6 tbsp of the maple syrup, the juice of the limes, 70g of the melted coconut oil and the spinach until it was perfectly smooth and creamy
  4. Pour the filling into the tart cases, then put them back in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set
  5. Use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the solid white coconut milk from the top of the tins along with the vanilla extract and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup. Pipe or spread it onto the mini pies, then sprinkle some lime zest in the middle
  6. Store in the fridge until serving
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Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust

Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust
I found some coconut oreos on my trip to Hong Kong (as well as some  strawberry ones that are long gone!) back in September and I just had to grab some to bake with. I’ve had this recipe idea for a Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust in my head for ages but somehow haven’t got round to making it until now. Thankfully oreos have a long shelf life! I thought that a zesty lime filling would perfectly balance out the sweet coconut, plus the chocolate of an oreo biscuit.

These are the coconut delight oreos I purchased in Hong Kong. I think you can get these in other parts of Asia and probably the USA too, also check out Amazon as they do groceries.

In a food processor I whizzed up 180g of the coconut oreos with 20g  dessicated coconut. If you can’t get hold of coconut oreos, you can use regular oreos and add some extra dessicated coconut. Or add some coconut flavouring perhaps.

I melted 75g butter and mixed it with the oreo crumbs. I pressed it into a foil lined pie dish, covering the bottom and sides, making sure it is all compact. I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the lime filling I whisked together 3 egg yolks and the zest of 3 limes until the mixture
thickened.

I then added a 397g can of condensed milk, and
whisked again for 5 minutes.

Finally in went the juice of 5 limes, and I whisked until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy.

I poured the lime filling into the chilled oreo crust.

I baked the pie on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. I let it cool in the tin, then removed it and placed on a serving tray once fully cool.

For the decoration I whipped up a 250ml pot of double cream.

I piped the cream on the pie, and added some extra lime zest for garnish. I served any leftover cream on the side with slices of the pie, and stored the leftovers in the fridge.

The pie was so tasty! Whipped cream is the ideal accompaniment to the sweet base and zesty filling. I’m so pleased I combined these two delicious things.

    

I’m linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivations and to Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.

 
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Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust

Ingredients

  • 180 g Coconut Oreos
  • 20 g Desiccated coconut
  • 75 g Butter
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 5 Limes
  • 397 g Condensed milk
  • 250 ml Double cream

Instructions

  1. In a food processor whizz up the coconut oreos with the dessicated coconut
  2. Melt the butter and mix it with the oreo crumbs. Press it into a foil lined pie dish, covering the bottom and sides, making sure it is all compact. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. To make the lime filling whisk together the egg yolks and the zest of 3 of the limes until the mixture thickens
  4. Then add the can of condensed milk, and whisk again for 5 minutes
  5. Add the juice of all 5 limes, and whisk until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy
  6. Pour the lime filling into the chilled oreo crust. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Let it cool in the tin, then remove it and place on a serving tray once fully cool
  7. Whip up the double cream. Pipe the cream on the pie, and add some extra lime zest for garnish
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Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe: GBBO Week #7

Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe: GBBO Week #7
My week 7 review and bake is a bit late as I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past 2 weeks (more on my trip coming soon!) This week The Great British Bake Off changed up the theme again with a Victorian episode. They do love their history so I think this was a nice choice. The first challenge for the contestants was to make a raised game pie using hot water crust pastry. In the Victorian era, game pies were status symbols for the middle class. Mary expected to see an ornate pie with intricate decorations, and Paul wanted thin pastry all around.

Mat had a traditional pie tin from his friend’s mum which dated back to 1850, his pie was filled with venison and pigeon. The judges loved the look of the pie and thought the meat was tender. Baker Paul used wild boar in his pie, but the judges thought it wasn’t decorated well. To be honest I thought they were overly harsh on Baker Paul about the decoration element. Tamal did a middle eastern spice mix with rabbit, lamb and venison. The judges absolutely loved it and he even got a handshake from Paul! Nadiya went for an untraditional Chinese 5 spice mix with pheasant and duck. Paul loved the decoration on top, but both he and Mary thought the spices over powered the game.

Flora really emphasised her middle class background as she told us how she made a pheasant pie in school and won a competition with it. She went for lucky pheasant again along with pigeon and rabbit, but she had problems cooking the pie as she over filled it. Although it had caught a little, the judges liked both the pastry and filling. Ian revealed his roadkill eating passion, and his pie was filled with venison, partridge and guinea fowl. He also made a meat jelly to accompany it. Mary did not think his pie was decorated enough on the outside, but she loved the appearance of the layers of meat inside. He did well for flavours too.

This week’s technical challenge was a Tennis Cake. This is a rich fruit cake decorated with a royal icing tennis court. Mary noted that it was very important that the cake was baked as soon as possible to it had time to cool down. Paul noted that there were a lot of elements of the decoration that could easily go wrong!

They had to make all of the different types of icing – marzipan, royal icing and sugarpaste from scratch. Mat struggled with his sugarpaste and ended up with radioactive looking goop, he also baked his tennis court and net so they turned brown. Meanwhile, Nadiya couldn’t remember what a tennis court looked like, but she was the only one to have an upright tennis net! Nadiya won the challenge with Paul 2nd, Tamal 3rd, Flora 4th and Ian 5th. Mat came last.

This week’s showstopper challenge was a Charlotte Russe, which is a mousse called bavarois and a jelly layer surrounded by ladyfingers. A structural nightmare to say the least! Mary said the most difficult element was getting the bavarois and jelly to set in time. I do mention this a lot, but I really think they should give them extra time for things to set as it really isn’t under anyone’s full control. Everyone was making the ladyfingers from scratch of course, and everyone except Tamal were using the ladyfinger sponge mix for the base of the dessert. Tamal used jelly as his base which really impressed the judges. He also decorated the ladyfingers with a chocolate swirl pattern.

Ian and Paul certainly had the most elaborate and impressive decorations. Ian made a 3D crown which was just fantastic! Mary thought it looked spectacular and Paul said it was purely magical. And Paul carved fruit into swans, but unfortunately his jelly was not set. Nadiya mixed italian meringue into her bavarois which was a recipe she learnt in school. The judges absolutely loved it as it was so light and creamy.

Mat made a simply flavoured strawberry Charlotte Russe, but he had problems with the ladyfingers breaking and the jelly wasn’t set. Flora flavoured her Russe with pomegranate, champagne, raspberry and white chocolate. Paul really didn’t like the addition of pomegranate at all, but they liked the other flavours and the defined layers of the Russe.

Mat left us this week after coming last in the technical and delivering a disappointing Charlotte Russe. I was so sad to see him go! He’s really funny and a brilliant baker of course. I think we’ll definitely see more of him in the future. Tamal won star baker, and I was really pleased for him as I think he’s deserved it in the past and I was glad he finally got it! Next week it’s all about patisserie.

I decided to make the Charlotte Russe this week as the tennis cake looked incredibly fiddly and as we are a vegetarian household a game pie was not suitable. The Charlotte Russe is very similar to the Charlotte Royale which featured on the Bake Off in 2013. So I was a bit disappointed not be using any new techniques, but on the other hand I was really excited to make bavarois again as it’s so delicious!

I prepared the tin by using a long piece of baking paper and folding it in half, then using it as a collar inside the cake tin. I secured it with a paper clip.

Lining the tin was the most fiddly part. I used shop bought lady fingers as they would be more sturdy. I started by covering the bottom and slowly building the side as I filled the bottom. This made sure the ladyfingers along the side were wedged in as I went – otherwise they just fell over. I dipped each ladyfinger for a couple of second in a mixture of 100ml sugar syrup (I used Fruiss Pure Cane Sugar Syrup) and 100ml Chambord – which is a black raspberry liquor. I really wedged it all in and filled in all of the gaps with cut up bits of ladyfingers, I was determined not to have any leakages!

To make the lime bavarois I put 750ml whole milk, 250g granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, the seeds from 1 vanilla pod and the zest of 2 limes into a pan. I heated it up to a simmer and until all of the sugar dissolved.

In a separate bowl I mixed up the yolks of 10 eggs. I poured the milk into the egg yolks slowly, stirring constantly. I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it for about 5 minutes until it thickened up. I poured it through a sieve to remove the zest, then added 8 pre-soaked leaves of gelatin and the juice of 2 and a half limes. I stirred it until all the gelatin was dissolved, then popped it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Once the custard was cool I whipped up 460ml double cream with my Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer and mixed it into the custard.

I poured it into the ladyfinger case and put it in the fridge to set. I left it in there overnight, but it set within about 2 hours.

The next day I made some jelly using half a pack of Hartleys raspberry jelly. I added 2 tsp of Chambord to the mixture. I poured it on top, but I did have some problems with leakage. I decided not to fill it too much as it was leaking.

For the decoration I whipped up some cream, I didn’t measure it but it was about 300ml. And I piped it using a star nozzle around the inside edge of the Russe, and around the outside at the bottom (this handily hid the leakage evidence!)

I added raspberries and lime zest on top and it was done! I was really pleased with the final apperance and look of it. I thought it looked really pretty! I haven’t cut into it yet, but I tasted some of the bavarois while I was making it and it was so creamy and delicious. I can’t wait to have a slice!

I took it into work and entered it into the ‘other bakes’ category of our Bake Off in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and came first in the category! I was so pleased and I got some great compliments.

What did you think of this episode of The Great British Bake Off? Will you make any of the bakes? Let me know in the comments!

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Recipe adapted from Chowhound.

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Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe

Ingredients

  • 2 packs of Ladyfingers
  • 100 ml Sugar syrup
  • 100 ml + 2 tsp Chambord
  • 750 ml Whole milk
  • 250 g Granulated sugar
  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 10 Egg yolks
  • 8 Gelatine leaves pre-soaked
  • 760 ml Double cream
  • Half a pack of Raspberry jelly
  • 8-10 Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Prepare the tin by folding a long piece of baking paper in half, then placing it inside the cake tin as a collar. Secure it with a paper clip
  2. Line the tin with the lady fingers. As you do so, dip one side of each ladyfinger for a couple of seconds in the sugar syrup and Chambord mixed together. Start by covering the bottom of the tin, then slowly build the sides. Fill in any gaps with cut up bits of ladyfingers
  3. Make the lime bavarois by putting the whole milk, granulated sugar, salt, the seeds from the vanilla pod and the lime zest into a pan. Heat it up to a simmer and until all of the sugar dissolves
  4. In a bowl mix up the egg yolks. Pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks slowly, stirring constantly. Then pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it for about 5 minutes until it thickens up. Pour through a sieve to remove the zest, then add the gelatine and the lime juice. Stir it until all the gelatine is dissolved, then pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool
  5. Once the custard is cool, whip up 460ml of the double cream and mix it into the custard
  6. Pour it into the ladyfinger case and put it in the fridge to set. It should set in approximately 2 hours
  7. Make the jelly following the packet instructions, and add the 2 tsp of Chambord to the mixture. Pour it on top of the set custard
  8. For the decoration whip up 300ml of the double cream. Pipe it using a star nozzle around the inside edge of the Russe, and around the outside at the bottom
  9. Add raspberries and lime zest to decorate
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Mango & Lime Muffins

Mango & Lime Muffins
I recently got sent some of Urban Fruit‘s products to try out in my baking. They make dried fruit that they gently bake at low temperatures and they never add any extra sugars. You can pretty much do anything with their products that you like, my ideas are bake with it, add it to cereal or yoghurt, or eat it as a healthy snack! Of course baking with it is what I did and I thought lime was a fabulous tropical flavour to pair with the mango.

The selection of strawberry and mango fruits I received. They do 90g and 35g packs.

I started by creaming together 175g caster sugar, 175g butter and the zest of 2 and a half limes. Keep the remaining half for garnishing.

I added 3 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract and whisked in.

Then I folded in 175g self raising flour. And
finally added 105g of the Urban Fruit dried mango, I cut any
larger pieces in half.

I divided the mixture between 12 muffin cases and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

To decorate I melted 60g white chocolate and drizzled it over the muffins. Then I garnished with the leftover half of lime zest.

The muffins were really fresh and delicious. I loved the lime flavour, and the mango gave them a nice texture. It didn’t have a strong mango flavour, it was quite mild but tasty all the same! They certainly got eaten up fast.

Check out my blog post on the Double Chocolate & Strawberry Muffins I made with the strawberry Urban Fruit!

I’m entering these into myself and Cakeyboi‘s monthly baking challenge Treat Petite. This month the theme is ‘Let’s Get Fruity!’

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Mango & Lime Muffins

Ingredients

  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 175 g Butter
  • 3 Limes
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 105 g Dried mango
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 60 g White chocolate

Instructions

  1. Cream together the caster sugar, butter and the zest of 2 and a half of the limes
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk in
  3. Fold in the self raising flour. Cut any larger pieces of the mango in half and add them to the mixture
  4. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes
  5. To decorate melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the muffins. Then garnish with the leftover half of lime zest
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Things To Do With… Zested Lemons, Limes & Oranges

Things To Do With… Zested Lemons, Limes & Oranges

I often find myself with naked lemons, limes and oranges after zesting them for a recipe and I never know what to do with them. It always seems like recipes call for zest only, or more zest than juice, so I imagine this is a common problem for bakers! In order to resolve this problem and avoid food waste guilt I’ve had a scout around and collected together some recipes that use only the juice of citrus fruits. It took me a while to find recipes that don’t need zest at all, but I’ve found a good selection. Let me know if you make any and how they turn out!

Index

There is approx 30ml juice in a Lemon
There is approx 30ml juice in a Lime
There is approx 80ml juice in an Orange

Lemons

 

Lemon Meringue Pie – Uses 250ml Lemon Juice
This gorgeous pie has a melt in the mouth tangy lemon filling, a fluffy meringue topping and crisp pastry.

Other idea from around the web:

Lemon Curd – Uses 125ml Lemon Juice
Probably the most obvious use for citrus juice, you could also make Lime or Orange curd from this recipe too.

Freezable Lemon Bars – Uses the Juice of 2 Lemons
Biscuit crust, lemon filling and topped with whipped cream. These look so good! Almost like an easier version of lemon meringue pie that’s bitesize too.

Lemon Vinaigrette – Uses 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
A good salad dressing can turn a boring pile of lettuce into a tasty and exciting meal. Lemon juice will add a fantastic zing to your usual lunch fare.

Lemon Sugar Cookies – Uses the Juice of 1 Lemon
A very simple recipe to follow with a delicious result!

Lemon Cream Pie – Uses 210ml Lemon Juice
A perfect summer dessert, you can replace the graham crackers with digestive biscuits for the pie crust.

Limes

Key Lime Cheesecake – Uses 175ml Lime Juice (about 3 Limes)
This is an American recipe so it is in cups. You can use digestive biscuits for the base instead of graham crackers as they are very similar.

Pina Colada Fruit Jellies – Uses 3 tsp Lime Juice
These look so yummy, and would be great for a gift or party treat.

Banana Mango Muffins with Lime Glaze – Uses 1/2 a Lime Juice plus 1 tsp
These sounds really tropical, tasty and full of nutritious fruit!

Chocolate Covered Lime Cheesecake Bites – Uses 60ml Lime Juice
Cheesecake covered in chocolate – such an awesome idea!

Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars – Uses 4 tbsp Lime Juice
Coconut and lime go so well together in these tasty looking bars.

Oranges

Cinnamon Orange Juice Cake – Uses 250ml Orange Juice
This looks so delicious, cinnamon and orange make a great flavour pairing and this recipe is very easy to follow.

Blueberry Orange Juice Bread – Uses 175ml Orange Juice
I love the sound of blueberries and orange together, this bread looks so fresh and fruity.

Apple Crepes with Orange Sauce – Uses 175ml Orange Juice (plus 2 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice!)
Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast treat, I would be very happy with these for my weekend breakfast and I’d know I was getting some fruit goodness at the same time.

Peach Romanoff – Uses 6 tbsp Orange Juice
A really simple no-bake (you only need to use the stove top) recipe that sounds superb.

Sicilian Orange Almond Cake – Uses 75ml Orange Juice
A very warming tasty cake, I think adding some spices would be a great addition to this recipe. You can replace the curds in this recipe with natural yoghurt.

Other ideas for leftover citrus fruits…

– Squeeze some lemon over chicken before roasting
– Or squeeze lime over fish and prawns
– Pop a wedge or slice into your drink, or get cocktail making!
– Mix any citrus juice with icing sugar and drizzle over a cake
– You can freeze the juice in ice cube trays

NB. Image Source for the main image

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Lime & Ginger Angel Food Cake

Lime & Ginger Angel Food Cake
Happy New Year everyone! I have had a wonderful Christmas break and I hope you have too. This Lime & Ginger Angel Food Cake is my first bit of baking for a couple of weeks now. That may not sound long, but for me it is! I know this time of year is when everyone starts to focus on healthy eating, and Angel Food Cake is a great option as it contains no butter so is low in fat. I also left the cake ‘naked’! So no buttery icing to worry about. Although I always try to eat well and have plenty of fruit and vegetables, I do think that indulgences are important. As long as it’s one slice of cake once a week, and not an entire cake every day, there’s no harm in my opinion!

The base of this recipe is an Ina Garten one that I use for all my Angel Food Cakes (I’ve made a Lemon one and Chocolate one before). I started by sifting together 170g plain flour and 2 tsp ground ginger (add 3-4 tsp for a stronger flavour), I sifted it 4 times to get plenty of air in it. I then added 100g caster sugar to the bowl and stirred in.

In my food mixer I whisked up 10 egg whites, along with 3/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Once soft peaks formed, I slowly added 300g caster sugar whilst continuing to mix. If you need some ideas to use up your egg yolks, check out my post on Things To Do With Egg Yolks.

Once the mixture was glossy I added the zest of 3 limes and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and whisked in.

I gently folded the flour
and sugar mixture into the egg whites. Ina’s tip for folding works for me every time. Cut the mixture
down the middle with a spatula and pull it round the edge of the bowl,
keep doing this and turn the bowl as you fold. You need to be very gentle so you don’t lose any air.

I poured the mixture into my pan and put it in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 – 40 minutes. If you are using an Angel Food Cake tin (as pictured above), you do not need to grease the pan. If you are using a non-stick bundt tin, you must grease and flour it.

When the cake came out of the oven, I tipped it upside down to cool. Although the tin has little ‘legs’ to assist with this, I always put it on a cooling rack as well.

When it was fully cool I ran a palette knife around the edge and middle of the tin and the cake came out easily enough.

I decided to keep the cake ‘naked’ and dusted it lightly with icing sugar and garnished with some lime zest and chopped crystallised ginger. Angel Food Cake is so light and spongey, I love the texture of it and really enjoy eating it. I was pleased that the lime flavour came through so well, although the ginger wasn’t very strong. I think I’ll add another teaspoon next time.

It’s perfect paired with creme fraiche and some fresh berries!

I’m entering this into The More Than Occassional Baker’s monthly challenge, Alpha Bakes (hosted on alternate months by Caroline Makes). This month the letter is ‘L’.

 

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Lime & Ginger Angel Food Cake

Ingredients

  • 170 g Plain flour
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 400 g Caster sugar
  • 10 Egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Crystallised ginger chopped

Instructions

  1. Sift together the plain flour and ground ginger, sift it 4 times to get plenty of air in it. Then add 100g of the caster sugar and stir in
  2. In a food mixer whisk up the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Once soft peaks form, slowly add 300g of the caster sugar whilst continuing to mix
  3. Once the mixture is glossy add the zest of the limes and the vanilla extract and whisk in
  4. Gently fold the flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites
  5. Pour the mixture into an Angel Food Cake tin and put it in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 - 40 minutes
  6. When the cake comes out of the oven, tip the tin upside down to cool
  7. When it is fully cool run a palette knife around the edge and middle of the tin to help the cake come out
  8. Dust it lightly with icing sugar and garnished with some lime zest and chopped crystallised ginger
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Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!

Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!
The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens this week with a new slot on BBC One and a new tent location at Welford Park in Berkshire. This year we are back to the standard 12 bakers (there were 13 last year), and their first challenge was to make a Swiss Roll. Fairly simple you might think, but the bakers went all out to impress with patterned sponges, unusual flavours and decorations.

There was a great variety of characters and styles this year. Diana, who has been baking for 60 years made a traditional Lemon Curd Swiss Roll. Chetna used her Indian influences to make a Cardamom, Pistachio & Coffee Swiss Roll. Youngest baker Martha, who is 17 years old, made a Tirimasu Swiss Roll.

Most of the bakers did very well and there was some amazing creativity including floral patterned sponge, a homemade Swiss Roll presentation plate, and Chetna’s beautiful chocolate decorations, pictured above.

Nancy and Richard did very well and got great feedback from Paul and Mary. Kate was praised for having the best swirl of the day, but her sponge was dry. Unfortunately some mistakes were made including Iain’s ‘Swiss Fold’ and Enwezor’s under baked sponge.

The first technical challenge of the season was Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake. The cherries had to be suspended throughout the cake, and not sink to the bottom. Again I thought this sounded fairly simple, but as always with GBBO, the bakers over think every detail and of course have half a recipe to work with!

There were a few mistakes including runny icing, dry sponge, burnt almonds, sunken cherry and disappearing cherries! Nancy won the challenge, with Martha and Chetna in second and third place. The bottom three were Norman, Richard and Jordan – who all did very well with their Swiss Rolls so it was all topsy turvy!

The final showstopper challenge was to make 36 miniature British cakes. Chetna and Kate both made mini tired Victoria sponge cakes. Luis and Jordan both made genoise sponges, and both flavoured them with lemon. Lemon was a very popular flavour for this challenge as Iain and Martha used it too, with different levels of success. Martha got a fantastic result from Paul Hollywood, however Iain’s cakes were too big and unevenly baked.

Nancy’s Jaffa Orange cakes were perfectly uniform and looked very professional. I thought Norman’s Almond & Rapsberry cakes looked extremely British, and very attractive. I loved when he asked the judges what they thought of the jam! Richard and Enwezor both used coffee and walnut as their flavours, which are a favourite of Mary’s and they received good feedback from her.

Claire was the first baker to leave the series. She did not perform well in all three rounds, and I didn’t warm to her at all so I was satisfied with the result. Nancy won this week’s star baker and it was easy to see why, she exudes perfection and copes well with things going wrong. I think she is going to do very well in the coming weeks!

After seeing all the patterned Swiss Rolls I just had to try it out for myself. I’ve made a simple Swiss Roll before filled with jam, and also a Buche De Noel (Yule Log) so the method was not new to me, but I got quite nervous about the filling and getting the stripes neat!

I started with the mixture for the pattern. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it. Mine weighed 43g. So I mixed together 43g icing sugar and 43g butter. I then added the egg white to the mixture and combined well. I added 43g plain flour and mixed well. Finally I put some green food colouring in, until it was the shade I wanted. I used Sugarflair Mint Green and also a little bit of Sugarflair Melon.

I put the mixture into a piping bag and snipped the end of the bag off with some scissors. Onto a lined baking tray I piped diagonal lines. Of course you can do any pattern you like, but this is what I chose. Then I put the tray into the freezer for one hour.

When the hour was nearly up, I started on the main sponge. I separated 4 eggs. Into the bowl of whites I added 55g caster sugar and 1 tsp cream of tartar and used my mixer to create stiff peaks.

Into the bowl of eggs I put 55g caster sugar and whisked together.

I folded the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots.

I melted 60g butter and measured out 75g plain flour and 25g cocoa powder. I added the butter and flour/cocoa powder to the egg mixture in two batches, folding in gently between each batch. I took the frozen pattern tray out of the freezer and poured the mixture over it, giving the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there were no gaps.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for approx 7 – 8 minutes. When it was done, I immediately flipped it out onto some baking paper and peeled off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern!

I flipped it back over again and rolled it up, taking the baking paper with it. I then left it to cool completely.

I made the cream cheese filling by mixing together 20g butter, 100g cream cheese, 1 tbsp lime juice, the zest of one lime and 300g icing sugar. Admittedly, this is not the best filling for a Swiss roll as it is quite runny, but damn does it taste good!

I unrolled the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-rolled it. And it was ready to eat!

I took it into work and everyone was very impressed with the stripey pattern! It got eaten up extremely quickly too, one of my fastest disappearing bakes by far! Despite my reservations about the runny filling, the flavour of it made it completely worthwhile and the roll retained it’s shape and structure throughout.

I also made a red zig zag striped which I filled with my raspberry jam and some fresh cream. The recipe is the same, I just used red food colouring instead of green for the first mix, then omitted the cocoa powder and replaced it with plain flour for the sponge. Next week on The Great British Bake Off – Biscuits!

Lucy from Supergolden Bakes is also baking along to GBBO and is collecting bake along links from other bloggers, head over to her blog to check out the collection!
 
 

Recipe slightly adapted from HowToCookThat.

 

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Chocolate Swiss Roll with Lime Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients

For the pattern

  • 1 Egg
  • 43 g approx Icing Sugar
  • 43 g approx Butter
  • 43 g approx Plain flour
  • Green food colouring

For the sponge

  • 4 Eggs
  • 110 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 60 g Butter
  • 75 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder

For the filling

  • 20 g Butter
  • 100 g Cream cheese
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
  • 300 g Icing Sugar

Instructions

  1. Start with the mixture for the pattern
  2. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it
  3. Mix together the same weight of icing sugar and butter.
  4. Add the egg white to the mixture and combine well
  5. Then add the same weight of plain flour and mix well
  6. Add green food colouring until it reaches the shade you want
  7. Put the mixture into a piping bag and snip the end of the bag off with some scissors
  8. Onto a lined baking tray, pipe diagonal lines, or a pattern of your choice
  9. Put the tray into the freezer for one hour
  10. To make the chocolate sponge start by separating 4 eggs
  11. Into the egg whites, add the caster sugar and cream of tartar and mix with a food mixer or electric hand whisk to create stiff peaks
  12. Into the egg yolks, add the other half of caster sugar and whisk together
  13. Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots
  14. Melt the butter and add it to the egg mixture along with the plain flour and cocoa powder in two batches, folding in gently between each batch
  15. Take the frozen 'pattern' tray out of the freezer and pour the mixture over it, give the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there are no gaps.
  16. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 5 for approx 7 - 8 minutes. When it is done, immediately flip it out onto some baking paper and peel off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern
  17. Flipped it back over again onto some fresh baking paper and roll it up, taking the baking paper with it. Leave it to cool completely
  18. To make the cream cheese filling mix together butter, cream cheese, lime juice and lime zest, and icing sugar
  19. Unroll the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-roll it
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Petit Fours: GBBO Week #3

Week 3 on The Great British Bake Off was dessert week, or ‘stressed’ week! The first challenge was to make a trifle, and in typical style, Mary and Paul had a lot more in mind than some instant jelly and custard with a bit of whipped cream whacked on top. They specified a need for defined layers in the trifle, flavours that were compatible and to add texture, such as biscuits, on top.

 

This challenge was not just about baking, it was also about time management and multi tasking. The bakers made sponges like ladyfingers, swiss rolls and ginger cake for the bases. Jams, jellys and curds all from scratch for the filling. Creme anglaise, aka custard, by the ton. And some exicting topping’s such as macarons (Ali), ginger biscuits (Beca) and Amaretti biscuits and honeycomb (Kimberley). It was a lot to deal with in just 3 hours!

 

 
 
 
 
 

Ruby, Kimberley and Christine all did well with praise for good flavours and layer definition. A few bakers trifles looked good, but a ‘slack’ custard or oversoaking of the sponge letting them down. The biggest disaster was Deborah’s accidental pilfering of Howard’s custard! It was such an awful situation, poor Deborah obviously felt terrible about it. The judges took the mistake in their stride and judged the trifles and custards seperately so all was fair.

 

The technical challenge this week was Île Flottante (Floating Islands). Which are light and fluffy poached meringues in a sea of creme anglaise, topped with spun sugar. Wow this was a tall order! I had never heard of them before watching this episode, and frankly they didn’t look that appetising to me. Even Mary admitted it was a difficult technical bake and expected the bakers to struggle with cooking the meringues – probably because pan size, temperature and cooking duration had all been omitted from the recipe!!
 
 
Only a couple of bakers did well on all counts here. Those that were good at custard from the trifle, did well again. Glenn won the challenge, he had made them before which is always a lucky advantage with technical bakes. Rob came in second, and Ruby third. Mark and Beca took the last two spots, with Deborah in at ninth.
 
 

 

 

For the showstopper the judges requested 24 petit fours, 12 to be sponge based and 12 to be biscuit based. I was really impressed with the baker’s creativity and flavour combination in this challenge. Petit Fours are small dainty french desserts, usually served at the end of a meal. I love these tiny cute creations! Hence lots of photos…!
 
 
Beca, Ruby, Rob, Christine and Frances all shone on this challenge. I loved the tiny macarons Beca made for the top of her Limoncello & Blueberry Bursts! Rob didn’t get much screen time in this episode, but Mary labelled his petit fours as ‘remarkabley professional’. Frances did it again with perfect theming, styling and baking for her Nutcracker petit fours. There were a few disasters, poor Deborah’s cakes stuck in her mould which affected the apperance, Mark didn’t rest his macarons for long enough resulting in an ugly finish, and Ali’s petit fours were bland and too simple according to Paul and Mary.

 

 

Leaving us this week was Deborah and Mark. I think it was Mark’s time to go without a doubt, and I was surprised he made it through this far as none of his bakes were of the expected GBBO high standard. I thought Deborah had a lot more potential, and she is definitely talented, but unfortunately a couple of mistakes and unfortunate mishaps could not be ignored. Next week is pie week!

I decided to make petit fours this week. It took me a while to come up with ideas, mostly for the practical reasons that I don’t have any miniature bakeware and didn’t want to buy any just for this one bake.

Luckily I remembered I had this adorable tiny cupcake cases tucked away in my baking box. I bought them from Ikea a couple of Christmases ago, but have never used them. Finally they got an outing! I wanted to stick to the GBBO remit of 12 sponge based petit fours and 12 biscuits based petit fours. Except for the part where I made about double that amount!

I started with the mini lime cupcakes. Lime is my ultimate favourite citrus fruit, I love it and it’s great in cakes. I creamed together 100g caster sugar and 100g butter.

I added the juice and zest of half a lime, as well as 1 egg and whisked in.

Finally I folded in 100g self raising flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder.

 

I use my big cupcake tin to make these in as I didn’t know what else to do! It was very diffcult to figure out how much mixture to put in the cases. I did varied amounts to see what would happen. The mixture made 24 mini cupcakes.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes then left to cool. As you can see they were a little irregular size wise, and because of the tin they were in, the cakes went outwards instead of upwards if the case was over filled. Had I been competing on GBBO I probably would’ve measured them all exactly (and had a mini cupcake tin!), but the people that were going to eat these would not notice the imperfections I do!

To decorate I made some chocolate decorations by melting about 100g dark chocolate and piping these ‘zig zag squiggles’ as I like to call them, onto baking paper. Once the chocolate sets they can be easily peeled off the paper.

I also made a lime buttercream with 50g butter, the juice and zest of half a lime, 175g icing sugar, and a tiny amount of mint green Sugarflair food colouring.

 
 

Once the cakes were cool, I piped a little swirl of buttercream on top, added a fresh raspberry and placed the chocolate decoration on. I was really happy with the look of these, especially the chocolate decoration as it was a last minute addition! The sponge definitely wasn’t limey enough, so I’d recommend doubling the amount of lime. Luckily the buttercream made up for it!
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Mini Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream, Fresh Raspberry & Chocolate Decoration
 
 
Ingredients
  • 150g Butter
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Limes
  • 100g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Dark chocolate
  • 24 Fresh raspberries
  • 175g Icing sugar
  • Green food colouring
 
Instructions
Cream together the caster sugar and 100g of the butterAdd the juice of half a lime, and the zest of one lime, as well as the egg and whisk inFold in the self raising flour and baking powder, then fill cupcake casesBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes then leave to coolTo make the chocolate decorations, melt the dark chocolate and pipe squiggles onto baking paper. Once the chocolate sets, peel it off the paperTo make the lime buttercream mix 50g of the butter, the juice and zest of half a lime, the icing sugar, and enough green food colouring to get a pastel green colourOnce the cakes are cool, pipe a swirl of buttercream on top, add a fresh raspberry and place a chocolate decoration on
 

For my biscuit based petit fours I decided on a Viennese whirl biscuit. I used a Hairy Biker’s recipe to make the biscuits and I changed the name very slightly, to Viennese Swirl Biscuits

In a large bowl I mixed together 250g butter, 250g plain flour, 50g icing sugar, 50g cornflour and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until it combined. The texture was like very stiff buttercream.

I put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. You could use a flower nozzle if you like too for a different effect, as long as it is a large nozzle you will be able to pipe it without any problems.

I piped little swirls onto a baking tray, I filled three trays before the mixture ran out. This will make approximately 25 biscuits once sandwiched together.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

I made an almond buttercream with 50g butter, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 150g icing sugar. I wanted it to be quite stiff and not seep out of the biscuits. I piped buttercream onto half of the biscuits, and smoothed cherry jam onto the other halves. Then I sandwiched them together. I tried to match flatter halves of biscuit, with less flatter halves, so that the biscuits would sit nicely upright.

These biscuits were absolute stars and described by one of my colleagues as the best Viennese biscuits he’d ever had! I’d have to agree as they were delicious, had just the right amount of crumble to them, and melted perfectly in your mouth. I was very pleased with them! Plus they were really easy to make – I highly recommend trying these. You can use any jam and buttercream you like to fill them, be creative! However, cherry and almond really is a tasty combo!

Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits
 
 
Ingredients
  • 300g Butter
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 jar of Cherry jam
 
Instructions
In a large bowl mix together 250g of the butter, plain flour, 50g of the icing sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract until combinedPut the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzlePipe little swirls onto lined baking trays until the mixture runs outBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool fullyMake the almond buttercream by mixing 50g of the butter, almond extract, and 150g of the icing sugar. Pipe the buttercream onto half of the biscuits, and smooth cherry jam onto the other halves. Then sandwich them together
 

I’m also entering these tasty treats into myself and Cakeyboi‘s new baking, blogging challenge – Treat Petite. The challenge is for all small bakes that are individually portioned, and what could be more a treat petite than petit fours! The theme this month is ‘No Theme’ –  so anything goes!

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Coconut & Lime Loaf Cake

Coconut & Lime Loaf Cake

I love to bake with lime as it my absolute favourite citrus fruit. Mixing it with coconut creates a tropical feel so this bake is perfect for summer time. This cake is a great way to start baking with lime, especially if you’ve never had lime in a cake before. Loaf cakes are very easy to make and usually require little decoration, this cake is all about the zingy citrus flavour so a sprinkling of coconut on top of this golden cake is all you need to do. This cake uses a ‘low and slow’ bake method, which means it takes a long time on a low temperature, so be patient and you’ll get great results!

To make the sponge I creamed together the butter and caster sugar along with the zest of the limes.

I added the eggs and milk and whisked in, then added the dessicated coconut and the self raising flour.

I poured the mixture into a 1lb loaf tin (you can test the size by seeing how much water the tin can hold, 1lb will hold about 1 litre of water) and baked for an hour.

While it was baking I made a drizzle by mixing together caster sugar and lime juice. As soon as the cake was done I used a thin skewer to poke holes all over it then I poured the syrup onto the hot cake bit by bit and left it to cool in the tin. When it was cool I sprinkled the top of the cake with some dessicated coconut.

 

This loaf cake is so simple to make, with a superb result. The lime is a delicious flavour and the coconut adds yummy texture.

I’ve made this cake countless times and my friends, colleagues and family know it well and they get excited every time I bake it and always enjoy it.

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Coconut & Lime Loaf

Ingredients

  • 200 g Butter
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Limes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 50 g Dessicated coconut Plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 200 g Self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp Caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 1lb loaf tin

  2. Cream together the butter, caster sugar and the zest of the limes until light and fluffy

  3. Add the eggs and milk and whisk in until smooth

  4. Mix in the dessicated coconut and the self raising flour

  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean

  6. Mix together the juice of the limes with the caster sugar, the sugar will dissolve into the juice while the cake is baking

  7. When the cake is done, poke holes all over it with a thin skewer and pour the drizzle over it, a little at a time until it is all soaked into the cake

  8. Sprinkle the top of the cake with some dessicated coconut

Recipe adapted from Be-ro

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Key Lime Pie: GBBO Week #5

This week on GBBO was pie week! The contestants first challenge was to make a wellington, these are typically made using beef. Sarah-Jane used a fantastic looking fillet of beef, although she didn’t chill her meat after sealing it and her pastry collapsed when baking! (See picture below). It was such a struggle to watch this, I understood that she was thinking of quality and expense of the meat and wanted to keep it moist, so she had good intentions. But at the same time I was biting my nails with worry! I could see that Mary and Paul felt the same when she told them what she was doing, and I was shouting at my TV for them to tell her.

The other contestants used different meats including fish for their
wellingtons. Danny chose to do a vegetarian wellington. The reason I
have never made a beef wellington is because a nice beef fillet is going
to set you back upwards of £50! Seeing the contestants using different meats definitely gave me inspiration to try out other meats. Cathryn’s English breakfast wellington filled with sausage meat and eggs caught my eye, she described it as a giant sausage roll, sounds delicious to me!

The second challenge is what I would describe as the meanest challenge on GBBO so far – hand raised pies (see picture above). The contestants had to shape pastry around a dolly, which was a disaster for the majority of contestants as once shaped and chilled, the pastry wouldn’t come off the dolly! No one did very well on this one.

The final challenge was American Pies. This challenge produced what has been called ‘the best bake of the series’. Ryan Chong’s Key Lime Pie (pictured above). He struggled during baking, but managed to turn out the beautiful pie you can see above. He was awarded star baker and praised highly by Mary and Paul. It was a very emotional moment and I was so pleased for him! This had to be the bake I tried out this week!

The recipe I used said your lose bottomed tart tin should be 24cm wide. However, mine was a lot bigger, about 29cm (11-ish inches) wide. So I decided to double the recipe! One of my philosophies in life is “better to have too much than too little”. And I definitely stick to this when baking. I put 350g of plain flour and 170g of butter into a large bowl.

Using my hands I rubbed the butter into the flour until fine crumbs formed. I then added 90g of caster sugar and mixed together.

In went 2 eggs and again use your hands to bind the mixture together into a dough. Knead it briefly into a soft ball of dough, wrap in cling and chill for 1 hour.

Meanwhile I made the filling. I whisked together 3 egg yolks and the zest of 3 limes until the mixture thickened. I then added a can (usually 397g) of condensed milk, and whisked again for 5 minutes. Finally in went the juice of 5 limes, whisk some more until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy.

Once the pastry was fully chilled I took it out of the fridge and used about two thirds of it to roll out on a floured surface. Make sure to flour the rolling pin too as the pastry sticks otherwise. I lined my tart tin with the rolled out pastry. Make sure you keep the edges hanging over as pastry shrinks when baking, you can trim them off later.

I lined the pastry with baking paper and poured in ceramic baking beans. You can use dry rice if you don’t have beans, but I recommend using them as the ceramic distributes the heat evenly. I baked the pastry on 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20 minutes. Then removed the baking beans and baking paper and baked the pastry alone for another 5 minutes.

Let the pastry cool completely. You can neaten up the edges now and trim any bits off that are hanging over the side of the tin. Then add the lime filling and bake for 15-20 minutes until it’s set, but still wobbles in the centre.

It’s your choice how to decorate! You could use meringue like Ryan did. I chose to whip up some cream and covered the pie in it, then garnished with lime slices and a sprinkle of lime zest. The cream balanced out the zingyness of the lime filling really well. My pastry was lovely and baked throughout, and my filling set perfectly. The edges of my pastry did go quite dark, I found it difficult to trim off but did the best I could.

This was a bi hit with my housemates, and I ate two slices so it must’ve been pretty tasty!

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