Two of the most perfect foods wouldn't you say?
I've been baking with them this morning. Baking some celebratory treats to mark the bank holiday and the fact that today my baby boy (elder son) officially leaves school.
He has one more exam after the half term holiday but otherwise he has now left school. He will be going to sixth form college in September but from now until then I will no longer have the house to myself. There have been mutterings about getting a job and a request that I teach him how to cook properly.
It is thanks to Pinterest that I found these two recipes.
First Strawberry Lemonade Bars.
A simple shortbread base of butter, sugar and flour is pressed into a shallow tin and partially baked while you make the filling.
The filling is made by blending lots of fresh lemon juice with lemon zest, strawberries, sugar and eggs.
A little flour and baking powder are added.
You then pour this mixture over the shortbread and put it back in the oven. The filling is very liquid indeed and I was a bit alarmed at this point as it seemed too runny to produce anything firm enough to cut into bars.
I needn't have worried, the filling emerged from the oven firm yet wobbly.
Once it had cooled down I cut it into 16 bars. The perfect number for a family of five. Dessert on Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus one extra for quality control.
I take care of quality control. Someone has too.
What you end up with is shortbread topped with a strawberry-lemon curd.
Intensely lemony and strawberry-y.
They will make a lovely fresh summery dessert.
I shall be trying this recipe out with raspberries later in the summer.
If you'd like to try it out I converted the cup measures of the original recipe to ounces and copied the recipe out in my recipe book.
Now for the chocolate. Chocolate in the form of that great Italian invention, Nutella.
These were easy to put together.
The recipe said the cake batter should be quite stiff so that the Nutella could be swirled through it. I felt it was a little too stiff to do this easily. Next time I will add a tablespoon or two of milk to the batter.
You need a generous teaspoon of Nutella on each cake.
Lick the spoon. Do not be tempted to skip this part, it is essential for a baker's wellbeing.
Swirl the Nutella through the cake batter with a skewer or other pointy implement. Lick that too.
When baked the Nutella becomes crunchy on top but remains soft inside the cake.
I converted the cup measures for this recipe too although I actually prefer to use American cup measures for American recipes. I think they're easy to use especially for measuring dry ingredients.