Tag Archives: microplane zester

Salted Caramel Focaccia with Rosemary and Vanilla

This is my second time to take part in the Fresh from the Oven Challenge and with such a delicious looking Salted Caramel Focaccia …… and not having made a sweet focaccia before, how could I resist. Euan suggested using fresh candied citrus peel (apple and other fruits could also be used) and luckily I had some candied orange peel that I had made some months back. No candied lemon peel and oo type flour though… but no worries, one can always try to improvise! 

I always try to keep a few pots of fresh herbs growing in the garden throughout the year and rosemary being one of them manages to survive our searing hot summers! A combination of fresh  rosemary, home-candied orange peel, fresh lemon zest (use a microplane grater for best results) and a few vanilla products from my store cupboard, I thought would work nicely with this recipe!

The original recipe and method of making the Salted Caramel Focaccia is found over at Euan’s blog Signor Biscotti who is hosting this months Fresh from the Oven Challenge. Some changes were made to the original recipe and are as follows:

  • Not having type 00 flour, replaced with all-purpose flour
  • Used vanilla infused sugar instead of castor sugar throughout the recipe
  • Used vanilla infused olive oil instead of olive oil
  • Used 75g of home-candied orange peel instead of the 100g of mixed peel
  • Omitted the raisins
  • Added the zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • Used ordinary salted butter
  • Used 3 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary, 2 for mixing in with the dough and 1 for sprinkling over the top before baking

After mixing the dough I found it was not as sticky as Euan described (possibly the flours used), but tossed it on a work surface and gave the dough a good work-out by hand, a very therapeutic process! I hope to try the french technique for kneading dough another time… interesting video to watch (link on Euan’s blog), my dough was definitely not as sticky as the one chef Paul worked on or should I say slapped around his work surface!

Incorporated the candied orange peel, lemon zest and rosemary into the dough, which was then placed into an oiled bowl and covered with some cling film. The dough took about one hour and forty minutes to double in size.

 Used a baking stone with its own tray (lightly oiled) to shape the dough on. A swivel peeler enabled me to shave thin slices of cold salted butter directly over the dough, before sprinkling over the vanilla infused sugar and remaining fresh rosemary. Loosely covered with cling film, the tray with the dough was left for almost an hour to rise before dimpling and baking on top of the baking stone (pre-heated in the oven) for almost 20 minutes. The results… Fantastico… Delizioso pane appena sfornato... loved this recipe, it was so delicious with its crunchy sweet crust, using fresh candied orange peel made a big difference to the flavour and the touch of fresh rosemary was not overpowering.  Will definitely make this focaccia again and will try using some candied lemon peel also, which I need to stock up on! Although most of the focaccia was eaten (some restraint was greatly needed) the same day… polished it off the next morning (I did share some) for breakfast and although the crunchy crust had dissolved, it was still enjoyed!

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lemon and fresh thyme posset shooter

Once again Jennifer (Delicieux) is hosting this months “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop” and the theme,“lemons.”  I was ready to submit an earlier post on the magical stages of a developing lemon... when I just realized no older posts would be accepted on the blog hop…darn!

A quick re-think and a scan over some ingredients already stocked in the kitchen… lemon posset came to mind.

Lemon posset is a dessert based on a very old British medieval drink called a posset. This drink was made by heating milk, then curdling with an acid such as wine or ale. The hot posset was also used for minor aliments such as the common cold and was often spiced with ginger and aniseed.

Even William Shakespeare’s Macbeth makes reference to this medieval drink when Lady Macbeth uses poisoned possets to knock out the guards outside Duncan’s palace

“The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms

Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugg’d their possets

That death and nature do contend about them,

Whether they live or die.”

Fast forward to the 20th century and posset is a smooth and  luxurious tangy-sweet lemony thickened cream that is chilled and best served in small quantities. A super easy do-ahead dessert for dinner parties. Like Lady Macbeth I hope to knock out (figuratively speaking) my guests bydrugg’d their (my guests) possets with this deliriously lemony dessert shooter with a hint of fresh garden thyme.

Lemon and Fresh Thyme Posset Shooters

Ingredients:

  • 250ml double cream or whipping cream (min fat 35%)
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • zest half of a lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • thyme leaves to garnish and/or some grated lemon zest

You will need 6 small shot type glasses, the recipe can easily be doubled if you require a larger quantity.

How to make:

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan. Add the sugar and fresh thyme. Over a medium heat dissolve the sugar in the cream while stirring continuously. Let the cream come to a gentle boil (do not let the cream boil over), reduce the heat and simmer the cream for three minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice (this will thicken the cream) and lemon zest. Let cool for about 5 minutes, remove the thyme sprigs and pour into 6 small shot glasses. Once cool cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours (will thicken further) or overnight.

Before serving (straight from the fridge) scatter over a few thyme leaves and/or grated lemon zest.

Note: Do not use cream that has a lower fat content than 35% or the cream will curdle when you add the lemon juice. Ideally double cream which has a much higher fat content should be used which will result in a creamier and thicker setting posset.

Using a microplane zester (my star zester) will give the best results for obtaining a very fine grating of lemon zest.

This post is part of the “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop,” click (here) and check out all the other lemon dessert entries!

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