Tag Archives: honey

Lavender and Honey Macarons

Lavender and Honey Macarons

Lavender and Honey Macarons

My favourite place to go at the moment has to be Mayfield Lavender in Surrey. It is just gorgeous. A huge field of purple that smells divine, just driving past it everyone turns their heads. If you haven’t stopped to have a walk through the rows and rows of lavender yet then make sure you do, you won’t want to leave and I’m sure you will be back. I can’t keep away, whether I’m just admiring the beauty of the purple plants, having a walk through the planted rows, buying bunches of lavender to make my flat smell just as wonderful as the field, doing aPilates class under a tree in the field, taking photo upon photo of the lavender or sipping a refreshing glass of delicious Lavender Lemonade. In fact I think I am due another trip there! Lavender is also a wonderful ingredient to add to your baking, a lovely light floral taste. I paired the lavender with honey to make these lovely Lavender and Honey macarons. I used Surrey Honey, a delicious local honey. The macaron shells are flavoured with the dried lavender buds on the top, this is all you need to flavour them with lavender, any more and it would be too much and I used the honey in the buttercream. The result, Lavender and Honey Macarons. I’ve also included some photos from the Lavender field at the end of this post, so scroll down to see the beautiful Mayfield Lavender.

Lavender and Honey Macarons

To make these lavender macarons you will need (makes approx 20):

175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
3 large eggs (whites only)
75g caster sugar
purple food colouring (gel or paste, not liquid)
dried lavender buds
pinch of salt

To make the honey buttercream you will need:

150g icing sugar (sifted)
75g unsalted butter
2tsp runny honey

 Time to eat

Start by preparing a tray for the macaron shells (unless you have a macaron mat!). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Under this I slide a sheet of paper printed with 3.5cm circles, this means I can create equally sized macarons and just slide the paper out before baking. Now make the shells. Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds into a bowl, pushing the almonds through the sieve so they are fine. If you have a food processor then give them a blitz in that. In another bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the egg whites form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar a little at a time and whisk, the egg whites should turn thick and glossy. Add the food colouring, a little goes a long way. You have to add the colour before adding the dry ingredients because you don’t want to risk overmixing at that stage.

 A thick and glossy consistency

Once you have achieved your desired colour add half of the icing sugar and ground almonds and fold in using a spatula. Add the rest of the icing sugar and almonds and fold in.  Don’t over mix it, you want the mixture to fall like ribbons from the spatula, not for it to be too liquid. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, either fitted with a 1cm nozzle or with the end of the bag snipped off. Pipe small circles of mixture onto your prepared baking tray, using the printed circles as a guide. Remove the printed paper once finished. Lift the tray off the surface and drop back down from about a 15cm height 2-3 times, this helps the macarons have a good foot. Sprinkle the top of each macaron shell with a few dried lavender buds.

 Sprinkeld with Lavender

Leave the macarons at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes to form a skin. You should be able to lightly touch them without the mixture sticking to your finger. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 15 minutes and leave to cool on the tray. Now make the honey buttercream. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth, add the honey and beat well. Once the macaron shells are completely cool fill a piping bag with the buttercream and pipe a circle of buttercream onto the bottom of half of the macarons. Sandwich them together and they are ready to enjoy!

 Lots of Macarons

And now for some photos of the beautiful Mayfield Lavender fields:

 Mayfield Lavender Fields

 Lavender

 Making Honey

 Friends in the Lavender Field

Lottie xx

Osterzopf

Easter Bread Baking: Osterzopf and Hot Cross Buns

Just one more post for my Easter related baking! I went back to my parent’s house over Easter and completely took over the kitchen with my bread and Easter egg making! I’m sure my Mum is glad to have her kitchen back now and I am back to my minature one. My Dad is a bit of a fan of the bread maker but I decided to do it properly. I made a giant Osterzopf loaf and plenty of Hot Cross Buns. Osterzopf is a German Easter bread, a bit like brioche with a subtle hint of lemon, lovely toasted and buttered! The recipe is below. For the Hot Cross Buns I used Mary Berry’s recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

For the Osterzopf you will need:

500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
50g sugar
250 ml milk
7g dried yeast
75g butter
1 egg (beaten)
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp milk
1 egg
sugar to finish
Flaked almonds.
Honey to drizzle.
You can also add raisins if you fancy.

Start by mixing the flour, dried yeast, salt and sugar together. Heat the milk gently in a saucepan until warm, not hot. Add the butter to the milk and stir until melted. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the beaten egg and lemon zest and mix to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard) for 30 minutes to an hour.

Turn out onto a floured surface again and knead. Divide the dough into 3 equal size pieces and roll each out into a sausage shape. Plait the sausages of dough together and use a bit of water to stick the ends together. Put the plait onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover again and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Beat the egg with the 1tbsp of milk and brush over the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until golden. When you take the loaf out of the oven drizzle with honey and serve. Enjoy!

 

 

And my Hot Cross Buns:

 

After my flurry of bread baking over Easter I am pretty keen to make some Sourdough, I saw them making it on River Cottage the other day, so watch this space and see how I get on. In other news, I spent this morning making a rose swirl birthday cake with some piping using my trusty Wilton 1M nozzle, blog post to follow soon!

I have been prompting for a musical version of Titanic this week that my boyfriend is in. It is an excellent show and I am very excited about watching it from the front instead of the side tonight! There are really only very few seats left but if you are near Epsom and are wondering what to do tonight then I recommend going to see ELOC perform Titanic at Epsom Playhouse! You will not be disappointed.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog then please leave a comment, I appreciate every comment left. And if you are on Twitter and haven’t done so already then add me on twitter @lotts_louise to keep up to date with my blog!

Love, Lottie xx

I have entered this bread into Alpha Bakes hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes. This month’s letter is B.

lebkuchen

Lebkuchen

Christmas started in our little flat this weekend and now the tree is up and looking beautiful. This also meant it was time to start Christmas Baking! I love the fact that December can mean a whole month of baking lots of lovely christmassy treats. And first up was Lebkuchen, a traditional German Christmas treat, a little bit like gingerbread. Yes, I do love Germany. One of my friends text me this weekend to say she was in Berlin, I got a little jealous! However I took a trip to Hobbycraft this weekend, so that made up for it! I bought a new heart shaped cookie cutter, so my Lebkuchen are love hearts!

Lebkuchen

What you need: (recipe from BBC good food)

Ingredients

250g plain flour
85g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch each ground cloves , grated nutmeg and black pepper
200ml honey
85g butter
zest of 1 lemon

100g icing sugar
1 egg white , beaten
3 tbsp lemon juice

Honey and butter

Melt the butter with the honey in a pan. Once it is melted add all the dry ingredients and the lemon zest and mix well. Put the mixture into a food bag to cool and put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. It should solidify into more of a cookie dough consistency. Once the dough is fully cooled you can roll it out. This is best done between two pieces of cling film, until the dough is about 5mm thick.

Roll out the dough

Use a cutter to cut the dough into the shape you want and put them onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake in them in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes.

Dough hearts

Biscuits

Leave the biscuits to cool on a baking tray. Once cool you can dip them in the icing. To make the icing mix the icing sugar with the egg white and lemon juice until smooth. Dip each biscuit into the icing and leave it to set. You can also dip them into chocolate instead of icing if you prefer. I finished mine off with a sprinkle of glitter dust (just because it is new!).

Iced hearts

Lebkuchen eaten

I’m entering these into Tea Time treats hosted by Kate at What Kate Baked and Karen at Lavender and Lovage!

Tea time treats

Lottie xx

plums

Plums, plums and more plums!

Every year we get an absolute bounty of plums from the tree in the garden. It’s a game of getting them before they all suddenly drop at once and become unusable. This year was no exception and my Dad presented me bowlfuls of plums to bake with. So we had plum and goats cheese tarts, plum and almond tray bake, plum crumble (of course!), sweet plum tarts and plum compote! All in one day! So here they are……

Plum and Goats Cheese Tarts (it was about time I posted something a little bit more savoury!)

Plum and Goat's Cheese Tarts

These are super easy to make. You just need:
Puff pastry (yes, I cheated and bought it ready made!)
Plums thinly sliced
Goats Cheese
Honey
Thyme
Black Pepper

Roll out the pastry and cut out circles of pastry and put them on a greased baking tray. Crumble the goats cheese and top the pastry circles with the goats cheese. Next add the slices of plums on top of the goats cheese. Drizzle each tart with a little honey, some sprigs of fresh time and a sprinkle of black pepper and pop in the oven! Easy and yummy! And to make the sweet tarts, just do the same but without the cheese, thyme and black pepper.

Plum and Almond Tray Bake

Plum and almond tray bake

6oz self raising flour
6oz light brown sugar
6oz butter or margarine
3 eggs
50g almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
splash of milk
plums halved and stoned
flaked almonds

Mix the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, almonds, vanilla and milk together and pour into a greased and lined tray. Top the cake mix with with the halved plums and sprinkle with ground almonds. Pop in the oven at 180C until done. Voila, another plum recipe done!

Plum Crumble

Plum Crumble

For the plum base:
About 20 plums
150g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Put the plums and lemon juice into a greased oven proof dish and sprinkle with sugar.

For the crumble:
6oz plain flour
2oz caster sugar
2oz light brown sugar
4oz butter
Put it all in a bowl and use your fingers to crumble it all together. The top the plums with the crumble and sprinkle with flaked almonds to make it look nice. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

I think that’s enough plum recipes for now!

Lottie xx