Yesterday I reviewed 2 Sargies products - their Luxury Lemon Curd and Free Range Meringue nests. Although they were very nice in their simplest form, I thought it would be good to use them in a couple of recipes too. I wanted the recipes to be simple, to use both ingredients, and to have other ingredients I am most likely to have in my cupboard. So I chose Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, and Lemony Eton Mess.
Both recipes are taken from somewhere else (BBC Good Food and Delia Smith respectively) but I tweaked them slightly to suit the Sargies products.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes - serves 12
(original recipe can be found here)
100g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 free range eggs
100g plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
75g lemon curd (I used Sargies Luxury Lemon Curd)
Preheat oven to 180 C
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until fluffy and combined
Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated and creamy
Fold in the flour and lemon zest until well combined
Spoon mixture into paper cases, then add a teaspoon of lemon curd on top of each
Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 mins until they are golden and springy, or until a skewer (in my case a piece of broken spaghetti) comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
It is here that I deviated from the original recipe. Where Simon Rimmer's calls for making my own meringue, I instead made a batch of Hummingbird Bakery vanilla frosting, substituting the vanilla for a squeeze of juice from the lemon I had zested earlier. I then crushed in some of Sargies Meringue nests to give the frosting texture and flavour and to add the key "meringue" part!
I asked my lovely friends Magda and Mark to have a taste and tell me what they thought. Unfortunately my style of questioning (akin to an inquisition I think) was a bit too much for him and he declared the whole process as "STRESSFUL! Really stressful!". He did say they tasted nice though...! In fact I think I'm lying there. I seem to remember him also saying "So where is the lemon in this stupid cake?!" but I will put that down to the stress of blogger interrogation...
As it happens, I had a taste of one myself and was impressed by how light and tasty they were. The lemon curd acted like a "drizzle" - moistening the cake yet retaining enough of its consistency to make a pleasing little filling in the middle which took me by surprise. The frosting complimented it well, and was a good use of the ready made meringues.
Lemony Eton Mess - serves 4
(the original recipe can be viewed here)
300ml double or whipping cream
Icing sugar (to taste)
Meringue nests (I used Sargies free range hand piped meringues)
3 tbsp lemon curd
Whip the cream to a soft, floppy consistency
Chop the strawberries into small but meaningful chunks
Set aside half, place in a bowl and sprinkle over some icing sugar.
Put the other half in a blender with another good sprinkle of icing sugar (to your taste - I like it sweet, you might like it sharp) and blitz to a smooth pulp
Sieve to remove seeds and pour 2/3 into the cream, folding gently to make a marbled effect
Add the lemon curd and gently fold through
Fold in the remaining strawberries and crushed meringue pieces
Drizzle with some strawberry puree before serving.
I loved this. It was light and sweet with a nice tangy bite from the strawberries. The lemon curd was a good addition - a subtle taste that didn't overpower the summery-ness of the strawberries and cream. It was also so easy to make that I have stored this away for use when I next have friends over for dinner.
Thanks again to Beth and Dave for sending me these products