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Rich Banana Bread

Rich Banana Bread

This is probably one of my favourite Banana Breads. It is the one I used to make for my boss when I worked at the Manor.  The Mr loved it for breakfast in the mornings.

For him I would have to toast it beneath the grill in the toaster oven until it was golden brown and crisp on the edges, almost burnt, but not quite.  He wanted it very crisp.

After that I would lay slivers of cold sweet butter onto its surface and serve it to him on a hot plate while the butter was still melting down into those crisp edges and golden surface . . .  he really did enjoy it.

No small wonder as it is a truly beautiful banana bread.  Moist and rich.  It is the sour cream that makes it so  . . . 

He liked it with toasted pecan nuts . . .  I prefer it with toasted English walnuts  . . .  a love that hearkens back to my father's own love for walnuts  . . . maple walnut was his favourite ice cream.  As it is mine.

I like to sprinkle more chopped walnuts onto the surface of the loaf prior to baking  . . .  they look really nice sitting there on top . . .

This is a loaf that cuts beautifully on the first day.  Most loaves you need to wait overnight to slice.  Not this one.

Todd enjoys it in thick slices spread with softened butter . . .

It really is a lovely bread, on the first day, and on the second day, the third, the fourth  . . .  and so on and so on . . .trust me when I say you won't have it hanging around for long.

Yield: one medium loaf

Rich Banana Bread

Moist and delicious and studded with crunchy toasted walnuts. Everything a good banana bread should be.


  • 120g butter, melted (1/2 cup)
  • 190g sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 210g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60g sour cream (1/2 cup)
  • 60g chopped toasted walnuts, plus more to sprinkle on top (1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium bananas peeled and pureed


How to cook Rich Banana Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a medium loaf tin (9X5) and line with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, soda and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, then fold in the sour cream and bananas. Stir in the walnuts. Spread batter in the prepared pan, levelling the top. Sprinkle with a few more walnut pieces if desired.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, until well rise and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve. We like it buttered. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and use within 4 to 5 days. This also freezes well.
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I had this bottle of Monin Butterscotch syrup and I thought it would add a special touch to just brush some of it on top of the loaf while it was still warm . . .

I think I was inspired . . .  it made something which was already perfectly delicious even more so!

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Marie Rayner
Stuffed Buffalo Chicken for Two

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken for Two

I adore the flavours of Buffalo Chicken Wings.  I love the heat of the sauce  . . .  mingled with the cool richness of the blue cheese dressing, and all of that succulent chicken wing meat.  I think of all the parts of the chicken, I love the wings most of all.

And they are probably the bits that are the worst for you with all that skin and all that fat, but that's probably exactly why they are so tasty, because of that fat and scrumptious skin.  There's a whole lot of flavour packed into those little wings!

I can remember when my children were growing up, and money was scarce, I used to be able to buy big packs of chicken wings for a lot less than I would have had to pay for other chicken parts.  I used to just shake them with some seasoning and bake them. Everyone was happy, especially my pocket book.

Of course I am watching my waistline and cholesterol a bit more these days, and so I save things like chicken wings for a rare treat.  Today I applied the flavours of Buffalo Chicken wings to chicken breasts, and quite successfully I might add!  

This is a low carb entree that will have everyone smacking their lips.  Chicken breasts are stuffed with a lush cheese filling  . . . you combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and not a lot of each actually.  Just enough to keep the chicken nice and moist.  I also used ranch seasoning to give it a bit more flavour. You can make your own or use some from a packet of dry ranch dressing.

Stuffed into a pocket you cut into the chicken breasts, they keep the chicken moist. It also means that the chicken (because its been split) doesn't need as long to cook, which helps even more to keep it moist.

You brush the chicken pieces generously with Buffalo sauce before cooking, and again once or twice while they are cooking  . . .

Once done you drizzle the cooked chicken with a lush low carb blue cheese sauce.  It all sounds very indulgent doesn't it?

For a low carb meal I served it with my favourite Little Gem Salad and steamed yellow wax beans. 

I adore Baby Gem lettuce and wax beans. Altogether this was one of my favourite low carb meals ever! 

Yield: 2

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken for Two

This delicious low carb chicken dish can easily be doubled to serve more people.


For the chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 4 TBS cream cheese
  • 4 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese
  • 1 TBS ranch seasoning
  • 60ml buffalo sauce (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
For the Blue Cheese Dressing:
  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese crumbled
  • 6 TBS Greek yogurt
  • 4 TBS mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • heavy cream or water to thin


How to cook Stuffed Buffalo Chicken for Two

  1. First make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together, mashing the blue cheese until it is finely crumbled. Thin as desired with either cream or water. Set aside for the flavours to develop while you cook the chicken. This will keep for several days in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Lightly spritz a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Using a sharp knife make a pocket in the edge of each chicken breast, taking care not to cut all the way through. Mash together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and ranch seasoning. Stuff half into each chicken pocket. Place into the baking dish and brush generously with Buffalo sauce. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, brushing with more buffalo sauce every 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving. Drizzle with some Blue Cheese Dressing and sprinkle with parsley to serve.
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For Todd who is not trying to lose weight, I added a baked potato. We were both very happy. I think you will be too.  You can also easily double the amounts to serve more than two people.  Trust me when I say, this is so, so, SO delicious! 

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Marie Rayner
A Very Lemony Post

A Very Lemony Post

If I had to sit and think about the one flavour I adore more than any other in the world, I would have to say that I yearn for the flavour of lemon the most of all.  I am a true foodie and always have been.  I have the utmost fondness for all  sorts of foods, yes  . . . but lemons are at the uppermost top of my list of edible passions!

I have been cooking, collecting, writing about food for a very long time now, even in the days before online journals and  blogs. When I first started writing an online journal it was not very long before I discovered that the posts that most excited people were the ones in which I wrote about food and shared recipes.  A lot of those recipes have never been posted anywhere else or even in this kitchen blog and so I thought today I would gather together the best of my lemon posts from those early blogs to share with you.  The photography is not the best admittedly.  Those were very early days and I have learnt a lot since then, or at least I like to think that I have.  The recipes are very sound, despite how they may look and so I give to you  . . .  a Very Lemony Post. 

First up a really great Lemon Curd. 

Lemon Curd

Yield: 3 cups
This freshly made lemon curd is delicious and I use it a lot! It’s wonderfully delicious spread on bread, scones or muffins. Use it to fill lovely little tart shells, or sandwich it between the layers of a wonderful Victorian sponge. It’s so versatile I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all using it all up! (I could eat it by the spoonful)


  • 1 TBS finely grated lemon zest plus
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (240ml)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar (55g)
  • 4 large gree range eggs
  • ¾ cup (180g) unsalted sweet butter, plus
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into pieces


How to cook Lemon Curd

  1. Whisk the zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and a pinch of salt together in a medium sized, heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add the butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly. Cook only until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk when you pass it through and the first bubbles appear on it’s surface. This will take from ten to fifteen minutes.
  3. Immediately pour the curd through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto it so that a skin doesn’t form. Chill, covered in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This keeps, covered and refrigerated for at least one week.
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This is a delicious way to use up some of that lemon curd.  Little Ginger Lemon Cakes. 

*Little Ginger Lemon Cakes*
Serves 4 

I love these little cakes. Crisp and spicy ginger cookies sandwiched together with the tart and mellow flavour of a lemon curd flavoured whipped cream, these little babies are a delight both to make and to eat! I have put quantities here for four, but it is easily multiplied and divided. It's a quick way to put a lovely dessert on the table for a whole crowd of people!


  • 1 cup of double cream (240ml)
  • ¼ cup of lemon curd (2 heaped dessertspoons)
  • 1 package of thin crisp ginger biscuits, such as Anna’s (my personal favourite)
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


How to cook Little Ginger Lemon Cakes

  1. Whisk the double cream until it holds soft peaks and then gently fold in the lemon curd.
  2. Place one ginger biscuit on each of four plates. Spread with some of the whipped cream and lemon mixture. Top with another ginger biscuit and repeat at least 2 more times. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve.

Who doesn't love cake?  Not me!  This is a fabulously tasty gingerbread filled with blueberries. I like to split the cake and then fill the centre with lemon curd for a spectacular treat! 

*Blueberry Gingerbread*
Serves 12 

This is an unusual version of gingerbread in that it is studded with lovely pockets of blueberry. Who knew the two things would go together so well! This is really moist and delicious and only gets better every day!

½ cup sunflower or canola oil (120ml)
1 cup sugar (caster* or granulated) 190g)
½ tsp salt
3 TBS mild molasses (or equal parts of golden syrup and dark treacle)
1 large free range egg
2 cups plain flour (280g)
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (120g)
1 cup buttermilk (240ml)
2 TBS Demerara sugar for sprinkling on top

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*C. Lightly grease and flour a deep 9 inch cake tin and set aside.
Beat together the oil, 1 cup of sugar, salt and molasses with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg, mixing it in well.

Sift together the flour, spices, and baking soda. Remove 2 TBS of the mixture and dredge the berries in this.

Add the remaining flour to the beaten mixture, alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the blueberries and remaining flour.

Spread in the prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle the Demerara sugar evenly over top.
Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, or until well risen and the top springs back when gently touched with your fingertips. a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out fairly clean.

Set on a rack to cool. Cut into wedges to serve, either warm with butter of with some whipped cream on top. OR…you can do like I do, and split the slices in half and dollop some lovely lemon curd in the middle and then put them back together.

Did someone ask for a Lemon Tart?  I served this one with a blackberry coulis, some fresh berries and softly whipped cream.

*Caster sugar is a finer type of granulated sugar.

I have not made it in ages. I remember at the time it was most delicious!  But don't take my word for it. You really need to make this! 

*Lemon Tart*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 lemons scrubbed and dried (I used un-waxed)
1 1/2 cups sugar (285g)
1 large free range egg, at room temperature
2 large free range egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 TBS cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
 4 TBS melted unsalted butter, cooled
1 (9-inch) tart shell, partially baked and cooled
Whipped cream, creme fraiche for topping (optional)
icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Centre a rack in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F.  Place the partially baked tart shell onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Grate the zest from your lemons.  Slice the whole lemon in half.  Remove the seeds from all the lemon halves. Taking a sharp knife peel away all the white pith.  (this is the bitter part)  Cut the lemon halves into small bits.  Put it all, the zest, the lemon flesh,  and any juice into your blender along with the sugar.  Pulse and blend until you have a smooth  mixture.  Add the remaining filling ingredients and pulse and blend until you have a smooth homogenous mixture.  Remove the blender jug and rap it down on the counter a few times to work out any air bubbles and then pour it into the partially baked crust.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Increase the oven temperature to 180*C/350*F and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.  (Dorie says not to worry if the filling begins to bubble up or bubble over the edge of the crust.)  It is done when it is set, but a bit shaky in the centre.  There should be a slight sugar crust over top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Serve with some cream, creme fraiche and a dusting of icing sugar.  (Or with berries as I have done!)


You are going to positively love these Raspberry Lemon Bars.  They are fabulously tasty!  

*Raspberry Lemon Bars*
Makes 15 squares

Printable Recipe

These delicious squares combine a buttery shortbread crust and a tangy lemon curd topping, all sandwiched together with sweet and fruity strawberry jam. A batch of these baked in mid-winter is a sweet and satisfying reminder of warm summer days.

2 cups plus 3 TBS plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
8 ounces chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest (I use un-waxed lemons,
if you aren’t using these wash your lemons
well in warm soapy water)
¾ cup good quality strawberry preserves (you can also use raspberry)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease and flour an 11 X 7 inch baking pan. I then line it with greaseproof paper lengthwise, leaving a one inch overhang either end so that I can lift the squares out after baking for ease in cutting into squares.

Stir together 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cups of the icing sugar and salt. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the prepared baking pan evenly and bake for about 16 minutes until just firm.

Stir together the sugar, 3 TBS flour, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice, mixing well.

Remove the pan from the oven and spread with the strawberry jam evenly. Pour the lemon mixture over top and return the pan to the oven. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan before removing and cutting into squares. Lightly dust with more icing sugar before serving.

 Cupcake anyone?  These are a really nice cupcake. Moist and lemony. 

The batter has cream cheese in it for richness, and they are also filled with lemon curd and topped with a lush frosting. 

*Lemon Cupcakes*
makes 12

I love cupcakes. They are like eensy teensy little baby cakes just big enough for one, and who doesn't like a cake that screams "Just for You!" These ones are exceptional. Moist and lemony, with a tiny secret tucked inside.


  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature (120g)
  • 3 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 TBS grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup sugar (127g)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 7/8 cup flour (123g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd to fill
For the frosting:
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar (195g)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract


How to cook LemonCupcakes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one fully before adding the next.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to the creamed mixture, beating on low speed until just combined. Divide the resulting batter equally amongst the muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, removing them from the pan, and placing them on a wire rack.
  5. When they are completely cooled, make a little hole in the top of each and down into the centre. Fill each hole with about a tsp of lemon curd.
  6. Beat all the frosting ingredients together until light and fluffy and smooth. Spread frosting evenly over each cupcake to cover the hole you made. Decorate as you wish and serve.

Who wants a piece of cake!  I do!  I do!  Especially when its a delicious Lemon & Poppyseed Bundt Cake!

*Lemon & Poppyseed Bundt Cake*
makes 16 servings

A deliciously moist cake with a double blast of lemon flavour!


  • 1 pkg (2-layer size) lemon cake mix
  • 1 pkg(3 oz.)Lemon flavor powdered Gelatin dessert (4 serving size)
  • 1 1/4 cups water  (300ml)
  • 1/2 cup oil (120ml)
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 4 TBS poppy seed
  • 1/2 cup Cream Cheese (120g)
  • 2 TBS butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted (130g)
  • 2 TBS shredded zest and 1 TBS juice from 1 lemon, divided


How to cook Lemon & Poppyseed Bundt Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Butter a 12 cup fluted tube pan of 10 inch tube pan very well. Dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, gelatin, oil, water and eggs into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Stir in poppy seed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack and gently remove the pan. Cool cake completely before proceeding.
  4. Beat the cream cheese spread and butter with a mixer, using clean beaters, on low speed until well blended. Gradually beat in the sugar and lemon juice. Spread this mixture over top of the cake. Garnish withthe lemon peel. Cut into slices to serve.

Lemon and berries are a beautiful marriage made in heaven . . . 

Especially when you bake them into a delicious scone!  Put the kettle on, you'll want to enjoy a nice hot cuppa with these light and fluffy babies! 

Lemon Blueberry Drop Scones*
Makes 12 to 14
Printable Recipe

Deliciously moist, flavored with lemon and stogged full of lucious blueberries!

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (8 ounces) lemon yoghurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter melted
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400*C/200*F/ Gas mark 7.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Beat together the yoghurt, egg and butter.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir to moisten evenly without over mixing.  Fold in the berries.

Drop by heaped tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space in between each.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned and well risen.  Remove from the oven.

Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle over top of the warm scones.  Serve warm.

Lemon is not just for baked goods (although it is fabulous when baked) its also for wonderful savoury main dishes as well, such as these tasty Lemon & Oregano Pork Chops!

With their crisp and flavourful crumb coating and the lush lemon mayonnaise for serving, these always go down a real treat!

*Lemon & Oregano Pork Chops*
Serves 4 

These tasty chops are quick, easy and flavourful. I have included a simple recipe to make some lemon mayonnaise, just using ingredients to hand, which is the perfect accompaniment. Sometimes the simplest meals are the tastiest!


For the chops
  • Finely grated zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs (120g)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 2 TBS sunflower oil
For the Lemon Mayonnaise:
  • 4 TBS good quality mayonnaise (I use Hellman's)
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • the zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper


How to cook Lemon & Oregano Pork Chops

  1. To make the lemon mayonnaise, mix together all the ingredients with a fork or small whisk until well incorporated and seasoning to taste with a good grinding of black pepper. Set aside and keep cool.
  2. Take a shallow plate and on it mix together the bread crumbs, lemon zest and oregano. Set it aside.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice iinto another shallow plate and set it aside.
  4. Place the pork chops into a plastic bag, one at a time, and beat it with the length of your rolling pin on each side until they are half as thick as they started out. Season each one generously with some salt and pepper on each side. Working with one at a time, dip them first in the lemon juice and then into the bread crumb mixture until they are well coated.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat and cook the pork for about 3 minutes on each side, until the crumbs are crisp and nicely browned and the pork is just cooked through.
  6. Serve each on a heated plate with some lemon mayonnaise. Boiled new potatoes and a simple steamed vegetable such as green beans or carrots go very well with these

One of my favourite Chinese dishes is Lemon Chicken!

*Chinese Lemon Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This has always been my favourite kind of chicken.  I just love the tanginess of the lemon sauce.

2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 cup cornstarch (150g)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 cups peanut or vegetable oil
Lemon slices (optional)
White sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup chicken stock (60ml)
1/4 cup sugar (45g)
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup (60ml) water 

Whisk together the soy sauce and sesame oil for the marinade.  Coat the chicken with the marinade, cover and then place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least half an hour.

Combine the cornstarch and white pepper in a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off.  Roll the chicken pieces in the cornstatch mixture, shaking off any excess before frying.

Heat the three cups of oil in a large pan, until just smoking, then add the first batch of chicken pieces and deep-fry until cooked through.  This will take about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken. 

Turn off the pan with the oil in it, removing 1 tablespoon of the oil into a medium-sized pot and heat over medium-high. (You can save the used oil for later use by allowing it to cool, then straining into an aluminum can or other container.)

Add the garlic and ginger to the 1 tablespoon of the oil,  and cook briefly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken stock, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook to thicken.

Remove the sauce from the heat.  Add the fried chicken pieces and toss them in the sauce. Garnish with lemon slices and white sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with white rice and maybe some steamed broccoli or snow peas on the side.

So there you have it, enough Lemon recipes to keep you busy for a while I reckon!  High in vitamin C and fibre, its been said that eating lemons can reduce the risk of stroke in some people. They fight free radicals, help to lower blood pressure, and they also say that drinking a cup of hot water and lemon in the water is a great aid to reducing weight.   Somehow I don't think these benefits transfer very well when consuming them as cake, but oh well . . . why quibble about something so very tasty!  Now where's my fork! 

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Marie Rayner
Blackberry & Lemon Eton Mess

Blackberry & Lemon Eton Mess

The blackberries are not quite ready yet, but it won't be long now.  We are lucky in this country to have an abundance of blackberries that grow in just about every hedgerow free for the picking.  They call them Brambles over here and long about late July on, you can see people parked up and picking to their hearts content. We British are great lovers of the Bramble, and no small wonder. 

We actually have plenty right in our back garden as well as in our hedge. I always end up the season with bags of them in the freezer, ready to turn into pies and crumbles and jams. This recipe I am sharing today makes good use of either fresh or frozen blackberries and is a RIF on our very popular Eton Mess Dessert, which is actually just whipped cream, strawberries and crushed meringues.  A simple dessert.  One thing I really love about British summers . . .  they are a tasty berry fest from beginning to end! 

I was recently gifted (as an early Birthday Pressie) with this lovely Cookhouse Hand Blender and I was really chuffed to receive it.  As you know mine had recently disappeared and my electric hand whisk blew up.  I have been busy putting it through its paces since I received it.  I use it every day. It is great for making lovely homemade mayonnaise, and pureeing banana, making smoothies, etc.  The mini food processor makes short work of blitzing small bits into crumbs, like nuts and bread. I use it to chop onions and celery.  Oddly enough I had never used the whisk attachment on my old stick blender, but not having a working hand mixer now, I decided to use this the other day to whip together my cream and yogurt for this dessert.

It did an excellent job!  This electric hand blender has variable speeds, so you can start it off at a lower speed and work it up to a higher speed.  This was invaluable when it came to whipping up this cream mixture.  It did not end up all over the kitchen because of that!  Yay! 

Eton Mess is a very traditional British dessert composed of fresh strawberries, broken meringues and whipped cream.

History says that it was first eaten at Eton College in 1893, created to serve at the annual cricket match between the pupils of  Eton and Harrow. 

Its very delicious in its simplicity, but then again  . . .  it is the simple things in life which often bring us the greatest pleasures.

This lovely dessert I am sharing today is a variation on that theme  . . .  

A simple whole blackberry sauce is layered in glasses with a good lemon curd.  If you have your own homemade curd so much the better.  You can find my recipe for that here.  Its pretty darned good if I don't say so myself. 

You don't have to use homemade curd  . . .  but its awfully nice if you can.

The cream mixture is simply thick Greek Yogurt and Single Cream (whipping cream) beaten together until soft peaks form. 

I use full fat yogurt, why quibble over a few calories when it comes to this. In for a penny . . .  in for a pound.

These are layered in dessert glasses. I like a layer of the yogurt cream on the bottom and then on the top.

With layers of the bramble sauce and lemon curd in between  . . .

You top it with crumbled meringue nests and finish it off with a light dusting of icing sugar.  This is so, so, so  . . .  lush and delicious.

Yield: 4

Blackberry & Lemon Eton Mess

A  delicious RIF on a traditional favourite using seasonal blackberries.


  • 150g fresh or frozen blackberries (1 cup)
  • 1 TBS water
  • 2 TBS sugar, divided
  • 280g full fat Greek yogurt (1 cup)
  • 240ml single cream (1 cup)
  • 160g good quality lemon curd (1/2 cup)
  • 2 meringue nests, crumbled
  • icing sugar to dust


How to cook Blackberry & Lemon Eton Mess

  1. First prepare the blackberry sauce so that it can cool enough to use. (I actually like to prepare it the night before.) Place the berries along with the water and 1 TBS of the sugar into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until reduced. It should be somewhat syrupy. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely. (If making the night before, cover and place in the refrigerator.)
  2. Place the yogurt, cream and remaining sugar into a bowl. Whip with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Layer this mixture into dessert glasses along with the lemon curd and blackberry mixture, making a bottom and top cream addition, with the lemon curd and blackberries in the middle. Crumble the meringues over top, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. Fabulously tasty!
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I cut the recipe in half for this, successfully, making only two servings which Todd was able to enjoy two days in a row.  Oh but I was sorely tempted  . . .  and yes, I did have a tiny taste for review purposes you understand, lol.  I could never recommend something I hadn't actually at least tasted for myself could I?  Oh the things I do for you  . . . . you are most welcome! 😋

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Marie Rayner

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