Is it really June already? Has May been and gone?
I feel a bit like John Lennon when he told Yoko that he was only going out for a packet of fags.
It seems that time is getting the better of me at the moment. There just seems to be too much to do and not enough time to do it. Anyway, I hope you've all been having a great time - especially as we seem to have had a bit of summer at last.
So after my impromptu break, I managed to get back into the kitchen today and tried my hand at some new recipes.
This one is a gorgeously moreish layer cake. It uses spelt flour and toasted, ground hazelnuts to give a lovely, nutty taste to the sponge which is lifted by the tang of lemon zest. I used a cream cheese frosting to balance out some of the sugar, and as you can see, the top is loaded with fresh, juicy blueberries.
Very nice with an afternoon cuppa.
Hazelnut, Lemon and Blueberry Layer Cake (adapted from 'Love Bake Nourish' by Amber Rose)
115g toasted, ground hazelnuts
260g softened unsalted butter
225g white spelt flour
2 tspns baking powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
130g golden caster sugar
130g maple syrup
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
For the frosting
150g cream cheese at room temperature (I used Philadelphia Original)
100g softened unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
1 tbspn lemon juice
2 tbspns Blueberry Conserve (I used Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry)
200g fresh blueberries
Dusting of icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 conventional / 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4.
Grease and base line two 20 cm / 8 inch loose bottomed cake tins.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
Place the butter and caster sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until soft and fluffy. Add the beaten egg a little at a time (add a little flour if the mix starts to look curdled), and then add the maple syrup.
Gently mix in the flour and baking powder, along with the ground hazelnuts. [You can make your own ground hazelnuts by roasting 115g hazelnuts in the oven for 10 minutes, then piling into a tea towel and giving them a good rub to remove the skins before blitzing them in a food processor. But I managed to get some ready prepared from Wally's Deli in Cardiff. Do look out for them on sale. If you can find them they save you a lot of faffing around.]
Share the batter evenly between the cake tins, and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes. The cakes should be risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, before turning out of the tins and allowing to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle for a minute or so, until they become smooth. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, until you have a smooth, spreading consistency. Add the lemon juice. Gently swirl through the jam, and then use to sandwich the cakes together, and the frost the top layer. [The original recipe uses whipped cream flavoured with the jam and some honey, which you can go with if you like. I just fancied something a bit sharper, especially as Mike isn't a big fan of whipped cream.]
Luxuriously pile the top with fresh blueberries, and then give them a little dusting of icing
And just try and keep the smile off your face.
As there are a number of blogging challenges around this month that this will fit in with, I'm going to enter it in this month's Tea Time Treats, which is being hosted by Kate over at What Kate Baked, and co-organised by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage. This month's theme is Layer Cakes, so I think this one fits the bill pretty well.
I'm also entering it into a new challenge, organised by Victoria at A Kick at the Pantry Door, called Feel Good Food. This month's theme is blueberries, so again, this fits in well there.
Finally, this month's Calendar Cakes, organised by Laura at Laura Loves Cakes, and this month's host, Rachel at DollyBakes, is based around jam. Well, with the fruity blueberry conserve in this lovely frosting, I reckon that just about counts (fingers crossed).