Nigella’s Warm Raspberry and Lemon Cake

 

So… I met Nigella Lawson…

A few months ago while she was on the press junket for her newest cookbook, Simply Nigella.

There’s a reason we all adore her. That impression that you get from reading her recipe intros and notes, that darling woman you see cooking on your TV – that’s all real. That’s her. That special something that makes Nigella sparkle is absolutely genuine, and upon meeting her, I adore her even more. No one – NO ONE – can deal with that amount of people, sign that many books and still be graceful, poised, kind and genuinely happy to greet the next person in a never-ending line that nearly defeated me a number of times.

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Prior to the line of a kind I hope to never be in again, I was fortunate enough to see Nigella be interviewed, where she talked about everything from her life before cooking, to her hate of green capsicums, from her love of David Copperfield to her unique method acting technique of choosing a dish from a restaurant menu.

And she talked about mindfulness, talked about how, yes, it is the buzzword of the moment, but how cooking, for her, for so many, is mindfulness. Yes, we cook because we need to feed ourselves, our families, but for us who have that connection to the kitchen, cooking is so much more. It’s a form of relaxation, of therapy, it’s a way to extend ourselves, to learn, to experiment and be creative. It’s a ways to keep the hands busy and to calm the mind, or to hone it, depending on the mood and the food. It’s achievement and celebration, comfort and indulgence. It’s love, joy, a gift from you to the ones you love to feed, love to watch smile.

Jamie taught me how to cook, Stephanie showed me how to mix and match flavours, but Nigella, Nigella helped me find that passion and happiness of a lovingly prepared meal for one, two or more, of conquering a scary-looking recipe, of the simplicity in cooking if the joy is really truly there.

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So, no matter what you passion is, what that something is that brings you joy – do it, continue doing it, never stop doing it. Don’t let yourself or anyone ever stop you from cooking, painting, writing, dancing, cycling, gardening, hiking, star gazing, daydreaming, making lists, yodelling… if you love it, keep it, nurture it and watch it grow.

I’m going to very quietly sneak myself and Nigella’s warm raspberry and lemon cake in to the latest Fiesta Friday party and pretend like I’ve been here all along… It should be a great party this week with Angie, Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Linda @ La Petite Paniere at the helm.

Warm Raspberry and Lemon Cake

  • Servings: makes 9 slabs or 18 fingers
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 150ml light olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 75g fine polenta (not instant)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g frozen raspberries (not thawed)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and lightly grease a 20cm square tin with a dab of olive oil.
  2. Beat the oil with the finely grated lemon zest (you’ll need the juice later), then add the sugar and mix together. This can be done in a freestanding mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, or you can blitz all the ingredients, bar the raspberries, in a food processor.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, polenta, bicarb and baking powder and fork together to mix well. Add a spoonful to the oil and sugar mixture, beating all the while, then add 1 egg, followed by about a third of the almond and polenta mixture, and so forth, until all the eggs and the almond and polenta mixture are used up and you have a smooth, sunny, yellow batter.
  4. Whether you’ve mixed the batter with a processor, freestanding mixer, or bowl and wooden spoon, now fold in the frozen raspberries by hand and then spoon and smooth the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 minutes, by which time the cake will start to come away from the edges of the tin, be brown on top, and a cake tester will come out clean with all but a few golden crumbs (this is meant to be a damp cake).
  5. The minute the cake is out of the oven, pour or brush the lemon juice on top and leave until warm (rather than fresh-from-the-oven hot) before eating it.

 

Store note: Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. In hot weather, keep in the fridge.

Freeze note: Leftovers can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

 

Recipe by Nigella Lawson from Simply Nigella.

 

 

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt – Not Quite Jamie Style

Firstly, I’m a little jealous of all these ice cream recipes and concoctions suddenly flying around. Yes, I know America celebrates ice cream month in July, but you know what? July is freezing for some parts of the world.

But I never give up my ice cream. Even in the middle of winter, when I eat it sitting in front of the heater. Also, my freezer is full and there’s no room to chill my ice cream bowl…

Secondly, this was Jamie Oliver’s dessert, or the third course, in this particular 30-Minute Meal. This may or may not be part of the reason why I chose to try out this three-course meal…

As per usual, some changes were made. Jamie made this with frozen mangos, which I was unable to find. He also used natural yogurt, which would have made this raspberry version extremely tart.

A very tasty and healthier version of ice cream… but just you wait until I clean out my freezer…

And so my Jamie Oliver 30-Minute, three-course meal of Tuscan Bread Salad, Summer Vegetarian Lasagne and Frozen Yogurt dessert is complete. In 47 minutes…

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

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Ingredients

  • 500g frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 250g vanilla yogurt*
  • Juice from half a lime**
  • 4 leaves of mint
  • 6 mini waffle cones
  • Dark chocolate (finely grated) (optional)

Method

  1. Put the frozen raspberries in a food processor and pulse until they start to break down.
  2. Add the yogurt, lime juice, honey and mint and continue to pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  3. If using immediately, scoop onto a cone or a bowl and grate some chocolate over the top. Otherwise, put it in a container and store it in the freezer.

* If you find frozen mangos, or you decide to use a different kind of frozen fruit that is sweet, use natural yogurt instead of vanilla yogurt.

** If you are making this frozen yogurt with frozen fruits that are sweet, you may need to use the juice of an entire lime.

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