Thursday, June 28, 2012

Forever Nigella: Afternoon Tea



Forever Nigella #16 is being hosted by Fleur of Homemade By Fleur. This month’s challenge is to prepare and blog any Nigella Lawson recipe for Afternoon Tea. Forever Nigella is organized by Sarah at Maison Cupcake.

Afternoon Tea.  For us Americans, we think of it as something we have to get dressed up for and try our best to be posh.  But in reality, Afternoon Tea is supposed to be a snack to get us through the afternoon to dinner.  Now, I could go into all the different kinds of “Teas” there are, but I’ll save that for another post.  Today, lets treat Tea as so many do, with a cup of tea and a nice cake, cookie, or other sweet treat. 

I’m usually a chocolate lover, but in the summer, I’m a sucker for Lemon.  When I saw these Little Lemon Puddings on, I was hooked. (Translation: pudding can mean a steamed cake or just dessert.)  These puddings, are what Nigella calls a “short-cut version of the traditional English Canary Pudding.”  The traditional is steamed, while these are baked.


Don’t they look sunny and happy?  And Cute! And just look at that drippy lemon curd!  I gave these a try for a family dinner.  They were a big hit!

I had to use a conversion chart to figure out a few things:

125 grams of sugar = 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon

125 grams of butter = 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon

125 grams of flour = 1 1/8 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, (the equivalent to the 180 degrees C and gas mark 4).

I also used silicone cupcake liners, so they were a little smaller than the ramekins I would have used, so I got 8 servings instead of just 6.


Mine didn’t turn out as golden as the Nigella photo, but that doesn’t keep them from tasting delightfully lemony.  The lemon curd on top is the icing on the cake, literally. 

These little puddings are a nice addition to your own Tea Time recipes.  But I didn’t stop there.  Because this little beauty is also a part of my 2012 Ice Cream Cupcake Contest entry.


The Ice Cream Contest is being hosted by Scoopalicious and Cupcake Project.

When I was trying to decide what I wanted to do for the contest, I thought about all the different ice creams I wanted to try making.  My mind kept coming back to Afternoon Tea.  I love lemon curd on a scone with clotted cream.  It’s divine!  So what better to go with the Little Lemon Puddings than Clotted Cream Ice Cream.  Yes, I went there!


Wow! This ice cream was so good!  It’s yummy perched upon a Little Lemon Pudding, topped with more lemon curd; it tastes like sunshine!  It’s perfect for a summer afternoon.

Clotted Cream Ice Cream

6 Egg Yolks
1 Whole Egg
1/2 cup Sugar (I used Vanilla Sugar)
2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
1 Vanilla Bean (split, with seeds removed) or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 Cups Heavy Cream
6 ounces Clotted Cream

Use a whisk to combine the yolks, egg and sugar.  Whisk until the mixture turns pale yellow.  Add the milk and vanilla, (pod and seeds) to a saucepan and simmer.  Once it simmers, pull out the vanilla pod and VERY slowly pour the milk into the eggs while quickly whisking. 

Bring the mixture back to the pan with the vanilla pod and simmer, stir constantly, until thickened.  (It will coat the back of a wooden spoon.)

Strain the custard mixture to remove any lumpy eggs and vanilla pod.  Stash the mixture in the fridge until cold. 

Stir the clotted cream into the cold mixture. Whisk the heavy cream in a cold metal bowl until it forms soft peaks, and fold into the mixture.  Freeze according to your ice cream freezer’s manufacturers instructions.

*Note:  Clotted Cream can be purchased at grocery stores that specialize in international foods.  A tea room shop is another place to look.  Or you can buy online from companies like the English Tea Store.  Alternatively, you can make your own; a feat I would like to tackle soon.

2012 Ice Cream Cupcake Contest

Official Rules:

  • Dates: You can enter any time through June 30, 2012.
  • How to Enter:
  1. Create a recipe for ice cream cupcakes! The ice cream cupcakes must contain cake and ice cream (or frozen yogurt, gelato, or something ice cream-like). Cupcakes baked in ice cream cones without a frozen element are not eligible.
  2. Write a new post on your blog about your creation. The post must include a photo, a recipe, and a link to both this post and to Scoopalicious. If you don't have a blog, upload a photo of your creation to Facebook or any photo sharing site (like Flickr). Make sure that you make the photo public (on Facebook, you'll simply change "share with Friends" to "share with Public"). In the photo description, include the details about the cupcake and the recipe.
  3. Find and click the "Add your Link" button at the bottom of this post.
  4. Complete the entry form. In the name field, enter the name of your creation. In the URL field, enter the link to your post (not your whole blog). If you don't have a blog, enter the link to your photo's page. On Facebook, this is the address of the photo post, not the one that is When you click to add a thumbnail image, the program should let you choose from the images on your page. If it doesn't work properly, check your link. If it still isn't working, you can upload an image directly from your computer.
  5. After you submit your entry, wait a few minutes and refresh this page. You should see a thumbnail version of your entry displayed. Your entry is now complete!
  • Number of Entries per Person: Sorry, we are allowing just one entry per person this year - so make it count!
  • Judging Criteria: Cupcakes will be judged on perceived deliciousness, creativity, and presentation - in that order of importance.
  • Prizes: The Grand Prize winner and the entry prize winners will be announced by the end of July! For the Grand Prize of a $250 gift certificate to a favorite cooking store, the store (virtual or brick and mortar) must specialize in cooking and/or baking supplies. General stores like Amazon, Target, etc. are not eligible. The cooking store must sell gift certificates. Stores outside of the U.S. are eligible, but the gift certificate will have a value of $250 U.S.

Read more:


Forever Nigella Rules

1. Blog your entry by 28th of the month showing:
a) the current Forever Nigella badge
b) a link to this announcement post
c) a link to the Forever Nigella page at Maison Cupcake:

n.b. posts must have been published since the announcement post. Archived posts need to be re-published afresh if you wish to submit.

2. Remember copyright.
You must NOT reproduce Nigella’s recipes verbatim. Tell us which book it is from and/or link to it online. If you’ve adapted the recipe in some way i.e. changed at least two ingredients or amended the method then it’s ok to publish the a recipe in your post but you MUST write directions in your own words.

3. Submit your post
Use the linky tool or email the host cc’ed to sarah AT maisoncupcake DOT com.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Graduate


Rebekah 5

This is a picture of my little sister, Rebekah.  It was taken just yesterday.  At least, that’s how it feels. 

Rebekah graduated from High School last Saturday.  She’s not a little girl anymore, she has become a beautiful young woman. {wipes tear}

Cap & Gown

After the graduation ceremony, we had a little party for her.  She deserved it, she’s worked hard to get where she is.


We are so proud!


The cake was from Costco.  YUM!


The Heritage High School colors are Red and Blue, (they are the Generals.)  We live in a very historic area, so this is quite appropriate.  It also happened to be Memorial Day weekend, so the color scheme was easy to work with.  I made these cookies using the tried and true Nigella Lawson Recipe.  I make them my own by using a thinned Wilton Royal Icing made with just an 8th teaspoon (maybe a little more) of lemon extract (before adding the rest of the liquid). You want the icing thin, but not so thin it drips right off the cookie. I dipped the tops of the cookies in the icing and then before they hardened I added the sprinkles.


The patriotic sprinkles came from Michael’s but this is the season to find them all over.

IMG_5628 copy

I also made these cute little brownie bites.  They are a Pampered Chef favorite.  The cream cheese icing is delish!

IMG_5633 copy

Michael’s also had these cute little wrappers, 99 cents for 100.  What a deal! I’m going to have to go back for more.

I used two different wrappers so you can see the design even after they are baked. If the two papers are the same brand, you can bake them in both, but I wasn’t so lucky, so I baked in the white and just added the cute ones later.


I don’t know where to find this recipe in the Pampered Chef universe, but this is how my friend Kim, a Pampered Chef Consultant showed me how to make them.

Cream Cheese Brownie Cups
Makes 48

1 package (19-21 oz) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
1 4 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz cool whip, soft from the refrigerator
sprinkles, chocolate shavings, mini M&Ms optional for topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray, or use mini cupcake wrappers, (what I do).  Mix brownie batter according to directions to make cake like brownies.  Use a small scoop to fill each cup 2/3 full.  It will make two pans of cups.  Bake for 14 minutes or until the edges are set.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  Immediately press tops of brownies with Mini-Tart shaper to make indentions.  Allow to cool.  (If not using wrappers, do not leave in the pan too long or they will stick, hence why I always use wrappers so I don’t mess up!)

Mix cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer till smooth.  Fold in cool-whip.  Pipe swirls of icing onto the tops of the cups.  Top with your choice of toppings.


Somehow I missed taking pictures of the punch.  I’ve blogged about it before.  Here is that picture and the link to the recipe.


My sister and the other graduates were honored at church a couple weeks ago.  Each graduate had a slideshow made to play at the reception.  Here is Rebekah’s.  If you are fortunate to know my sister, go ahead and grab some tissues.  It isn’t enough we’re seeing adorable pictures of her growing up, but she sings the song that is playing too.



We love you Geggie!