Chocolate and Strawberries

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.

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.



  1. susanhal3:05 pm BST

    yum yum !

  2. I cannot be trusted to have have nutella in the house.

  3. Nutella cup cakes look brilliant! i'm with you on the quality controladn spoon licking :0) Hope you don't run out before the end of the bank holiday weekend!

  4. Mmmmmm... stop it please!!! only joking - going to try the nutella ones this week for half term treats! x

  5. That first recipe looks amazing - if you need any more quality control I'd be really happy to help out...

  6. Good God woman you are a genius - feeling a little under the weather, recipes look just the ticket to perk me up, as daughter can make the cup cakes!

  7. Pati from London5:11 pm BST

    Oh temptation, temptation... you've done it again, Sue. The nutella cupcakes look sooooo yummy. The lemon/berry bars too but I'm not sure whether I am good with liquid-y centres. The other day I tried your lemon tart recipe and I didn't succeed... I had to have it in the oven for over an hour because it was very liquidy inside and in the end, the crust burnt a bit... I am not a cake maker, though so I wasn't surprised...:-). Cupcakes and cookies are easier for me...Will try the nutella and let you know. Have a lovely half term! Pati x

  8. good gracious Sue your posts leave me blooming ravenous!! Guess what I'm going to be trying out this weekend?
    Top post!

  9. Your lad asked to be taught to cook properly? Wonderful news, he will be a credit to you. I can't comment on the baking, it doesn't agree with me.

  10. I LOVE the sound of the strawberry lemonade bars, i shall have to give those a go :o)
    i totally agree on licking the spoon!
    j x

  11. Gorgeous recipes, Sue. I have a 7 year old who would just love the Nutella cakes so I will be giving them a try! Also, I used your excellent idea of the healthy snack boxes and - joy - little son is in them all the time! He just takes out the boxes and fills up a bowl with lots of goodies and a Babybel cheese and that is his after school snack. I fill up my lunchbox from them each morning and instant, healthy lunch! Thank you!! xxx

  12. Stressedoutmumof111:35 pm BST

    I love your recipe book, where did you get that from? It's beautiful!

  13. Sue, I am off to the kitchen RIGHT NOW to make these Nutella muffins. They look so yummy! It is always such a treat to visit The Quince Tree and see what lovely things you've posted. Thanks!

  14. Anonymous6:51 am BST

    Oh, Sue, these cupcakes smell like trouble!!! (good one, I mean!!!)
    Enjoy them!

  15. I made a pudding recently which relied on eggs and lemon juice and it looked like soup when I put it in the oven. I had guests over and it was more than a bit terrifying.

    But like your bars, it came out beautifully and very remiscent of lemon curd. Very nice. And kind of meringuey.

  16. Oh my goodness that nutella ones look delicious. I have been known to eat from the jar with a spoon! so do not buy it often but I will have to go and get a jar to try these

  17. Hi

    How do you convert American cup measures to English ozs? I have loads of American recipes I want to try but have hesitated because of the cup measures.


  18. Oh these do sound scrumpchalicious. I bought some Elderflower cordial today, haven't tried it as yet. But have tried Elderflower iced tea, very nice.
    x Sandi

  19. Donna, I measured the required amount in cups and tipped it into my scales to see how much it weighed.

    I can't understand why people in this country have difficulty with cup measures. A set of measuring cups is not expensive, they are available at most supermarkets and all kitchen shops.

  20. The strawberry lemon bars are gorgeous!!! Tongue-tingling tastiness! A new absolute favourite! My diabetic husband said they were so good that he can't be trusted around them and to hide them! LOL

    The nutella muffins came out good. Not my favourite, BUT I did use rice flour (I'm not keen on rice flour's texture when used in baking) so my gluten-free daughter could have a treat and not be left out of my baking fest you inspired ;-) She loves them! So a win-win situation.

    I will be trying the nutella muffins with 'real' wheat flour soon as they were so easy to do. I can see my son's rugby team mates loving them (but I will have to double or triple the recipe...) LOL

  21. the strawberry bars sound delicious; my daughter LOVES lemons so I'm going to bake these for her lunchbox. Thanks again for the inspiration and beautiful photos.

  22. A lovely post, Sue, and how noble of you to take on the quality control task! The cakes look gorgeous and I'll have a go this weekend. And, yes, I have the GCSE-teenager at home, too...

  23. Hi
    I've been following your great blog for a few weeks now, just had to say that I love the photos you do with the recipes and that I'll be trying these out with the kiddies this week coming [entertainment for the half term week!!]

    Thanks, Helen

  24. It's the licking of bowls and spoons and quality control measures that spoil any attempt I make at dieting.

  25. I've just baked the nutella cakes, with my four year old. Spoon well and truly licked, she wants to decorate them! Will put a photo and link to you on my blog. Thanks soooo much for a Fantastic idea. Jude x

  26. The strawberry bars not only look delicious but so neat.

  27. Anonymous7:00 pm BST

    Thank you so much for the Nutella cupcake recipe - I made them today and I may have to make them again very soon - they have nearly all gone already. The spoon licking was a good shout too - I've never had 'neat' Nutella without bread before but I will again!!

  28. I made the nutella cakes today and they were a huge success (the last one has just been eaten!!). Thanks for the recipe xxx

  29. Stressedoutmumof1 the book is a Moleskine recipe journal. I got mine from Amazon.

  30. Stressedoutmumof19:21 pm BST

    Thanks Sue!

  31. You are a very bad influence on me. I am always off to the kitchen after I've popped over to the Quince Tree.
    Nutella. Mmm. I have been known to take a teaspoon to the jar when A Chocolate Craving has come on... The jar has to sit right at the back of the cupboard.
    Thank you! Ax

  32. That shortbread sounds divine!

  33. Nutella cupcakes! I shall have to make my daughter these! :)

  34. Baked a batch of the Nutella (or rather Aldi equivalent!) cupcakes this morning. They were absolutely delicious straight out of the oven.

    I agree with you on American cup sizes. So much less fiddly.

    On your recommendation I have bought myself a Moleskine recipe journal. I have a feeling the 'Nutella' cupcake recipe might find its way onto its pages!

  35. These recipes look absolutely yummy! The bars would be perfect for a summer treat and what can I say about those Nutella cupcakes...anything chocolate...well...any time is okay by me. Thanks for sharing :)

  36. Winding Ways2:37 pm BST

    I made the strawberry-lemon bars as a special treat as my mom is visiting with us. I was scared of the 1 cup of lemon juice, though. Every other recipe I have for lemon bars using only 6 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of lemon juice. So I added 1/3 cup lemon juice and the larger amount of zest and they turned out heavenly. Mom says thank you and now she wants the recipe too.

  37. It worked fine with 1 cup of juice although it did look a little alarming before it was baked.

  38. Oh yum. I had to search for this post as it was further back than I thought.
    No Nutella here (I live in Spain) but I will be using the Lidl knock off version which looks quite similar to me.


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