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The Bake Off Series - Lemon Drizzle

This week the lovely ladies from our kitchen door retailer Second Nature traveled to our showroom to see Helen in action and baking one of our favorites Lemon drizzle cake! We had a lovely chat all things baking, kitchens and interior trends along with lots of tea a few slices of cake! Follow the recipe below to make your very own.

Ingredients for the cake

9oz Salted Butter

9oz Soft Brown Sugar

12oz Plain Flour

4 Eggs

2 ½ Tsp Bake Powder

3 Tbsp Milk

The rind of 2 Lemons & a little juice

Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the Lemon Curd (You could buy this also!)

• 100g (4oz) butter

•  225g (8oz) granulated sugar

•  3 standard eggs and 1 extra egg yolk

•  Juice and grated rind of 3 lemons

Ingredients For the Icing

6oz Icing Sugar

Lemon juice from 2 lemon

Lemon rind to decorate

A little water if it is too thick


Step 1

Preheat your oven at 160°c/325°f, Gas No 3.

Prepare 2 20cm/8inch round cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Cream your butter with the sugar, lemon rind and a pinch of salt for 3 to 4 minutes, until appearance is light a fluffy. 

 Step 2

One at a time, beat in the eggs, adding a tbsp of flour, lemon juice and milk with each. Sieve together the rest of the flour and the baking powder, then gently fold this into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon. 

 Step 3

Split your prepared mixture in to the two cake tins and smooth the tops. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours.

Step 4

While the cakes are baking, it’s now time to make the lemon curd filling.

Start by melting butter over a pan of simmering water. Next, beat together the eggs and extra yolk, then combine with the sugar, lemon rind and juice.

Step 5

Add the mixture to the melted butter and cook gently (not allowing to boil) until the curd thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon. Don’t allow to overheat as this could make the mixture curdle.

Pour into a storage container and allow to cool as your cakes bake.

 Step 6

Once you’re satisfied the cakes are baked, take out of the oven and leave them in the tin for 5 minutes. Then, turn the cakes out on to a wire cooling rack.

 While they are warm, mix together the juice of ½ a lemon and a little icing sugar, and drizzle this over both cakes to keep them moist.

 Allow to go cold, then peel off the greaseproof paper.

Step 7

Spread a desired level of lemon curd on to the top of one of your cakes, then place the other cake on top, forming a sandwich.

 Next, whip up some icing using icing sugar and lemon juice to taste.

 Pour over the top of your cake, allowing to trail the outside. As a finishing touch, decorate with lemon rind.


Traditional Pasta Sauce

Looking for the perfect, basic pasta sauce recipe? Then look no further, Helen’s tried and tested recipe has been cooked for many years and always goes down very well. Originally taught to her by her Italian mother-in-law, Helen has now got this Italian essential down to a fine art. This sauce is the perfect base for any tomato based recipes such as Bolognese, moussaka and chilli con carne – just add in anything you fancy!


-        1 carton of tomato passata

-        1 carrot diced

-        1 medium onion diced

-        Sprinkle of sugar

-        Rapeseed oil

-        We also add a little mince meat (optional)

-        Garlic clove (optional)

-        Cherry tomatoes (optional)


Heat some rapeseed oil in a large pan

Add the diced onion to the pan and lightly fry (be careful not to overcook)

Pop the diced carrot in as well as some salt & pepper

Add in the garlic if you are using

Once all the veg is starting to soften add in the mince meat if using

Add in the carton of passata to the pan

If you are using cherry tomatoes add these in

On a low heat allow the sauce to bubble away for 3hrs +

Add in a sprinkling of sugar

You will start to see a dark red oil appear at the top of the sauce this is the sauce becoming richer and tastier!

Once the sauce has been bubbling away for 3hrs add to your favourite pasta and enjoy!

Quiche & Pastry Making

In this weeks post we share the secrets to Helen's perfect pastry and her crowd pleasing quiche - perfect for a summers day picnic or party and can be adapted to suit whatever you have leftover in your fridge. Checkout the YouTube video to follow a step by step guide on how to make it. Enjoy! 

For the Pastry:

-        4oz (115g)  Butter

-        8oz (225g) Plain Flour

-        2tsp water (add as needed)

-        Salt & Pepper

For the quiche filling:

-        8 eggs

-        160g Pancetta cubes

-        2 Leeks - sliced

-        Mozzarella ball

-        Goats cheese round (different cheese can be used)

-        6-7 sundried tomatoes roughly chopped

-        Pepper to season

-        Butter for frying


Pop oven on ‘Top & bottom heat’ at 180°

Grease a 25cm fluted flan dish

In a bowl combine the flour & the butter together with fingertips until a breadcrumb like consistency is formed and then stir in salt

Add a little water to the mix so it becomes a firm dough.

Leave the dough mix to one side to rest

Over a medium heat add a good chunk of butter to a large saucepan and add the pancetta and leeks

Chop sundried tomatoes and add to the saucepan mix with a good amount of pepper

Lightly fry until all ingredients begin to brown then put to one side

Flour a worksurface and begin to roll out your pastry to desired size

Place rolled out pastry over the flan dish and using fingers push into flutes, prick the bottom with a fork

Leave any overhanging pastry until the quiche is completely cooked (As the pasty will shrink)

Put in the oven for around 5 minutes to blind bake

Whilst the pasty is in the oven, in a large bowl pour the contents of the pancetta mix along with the 8 eggs and combine together

Slice the mozzarella and goats cheese up

Take the pastry out the oven and turn the heat of the oven down to 160°

Pour the egg mixture and chunks of mozzarella into the pastry case

Arrange the goats cheese slices on top of the quiche

Bake in the oven for 40-45mins until the egg mix has cooked and the pastry has browned

Take the quiche out of the oven & enjoy!

Lemon & Coconut Cake

With warmer climes and longer days it feels appropriate to make a slightly more tropical based cake – how about Helen’s Lemon and Coconut cake? A light delicate sponge sandwiched together with zesty buttercream and a crunchy coconut top. Enjoy with a cup of tea mid-morning or a Gin & Tonic in the afternoon!

Ingredients For The Cake

Plain Flour – 340g (12oz)

Salted Butter – 255g (9oz)

Soft Brown Sugar – 255g (9oz)

Eggs - 4

Desiccated Coconut – 55g (2oz)

Coconut Cream – 200ml

Baking Powder – 2.5tsp

Zest of three lemons + the juice

Pinch of salt

Vanilla Paste – ½ tsp

Ingredients For The Buttercream

Butter – 85g (3oz)

Icing Sugar – 6oz (170g)

Pinch of salt

Lemon zest + juice (add juice as necessary)

Coconut shavings toasted (for the top)

Icing sugar – 60z (170g) – this is to pour over the top


Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees & line two 20cm sandwich tins

Pour coconut cream into a bowl with the desiccated coconut & allow to soak

Cream both the butter & sugar together

Stir in the coconut cream & desiccated coconut mix

Add in eggs – 2 at a time with a spoonful of flour each time

Carefully stir in the lime zest, salt & vanilla paste, be careful not overmix

Split the mix between the two tins

Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins

For the Filling

Cream together the butter & icing sugar together until light and fluffy

Stir in the lemon zest and a little of the juice if the mix feels stiff

Pipe the buttercream on one of the cakes and place the second cake on-top & sandwich together

Toast the coconut flakes on a low grill setting until golden (keep watch as they burn easily!)

Make icing sugar mix with water and pour over the sandwiched cakes until it drips

Sprinkle over toasted coconut

We are officially on Youtube!

The beginning of May marks IDEAS' first video on our Youtube channel Tasty Ideas, where Helen is showing us all how to cook a Victoria Sponge. It may not be the most refined but it's a start! As part of out channel will also be creating quick and easy how to video guides on all the appliances we sell here at IDEAS such as the NEFF slide & hide oven, hob and Quooker taps, so be sure to subscribe to our channel in the link below to catch all the latest bakes! 

Fabulous Flapjacks

Whether it’s a breakfast treat or a 3 ‘o’ clock pick me up Helen’s flapjack’s are always gone within a matter of minutes. Crunchy, gooey and packed full of ingredients why not give them a go this weekend, perfect for making with the little ones too!


200g Butter

2 tbsp Golden Syrup

200g Sugar

100g Rolled Oats

100 Self-Raising Flour

150g crushed Cornflakes

Handful of chopped glace cherries or any other dry ingredients such as choc chips, seeds dried fruit etc

Drizzle of Dark Chocolate for the top


Set the oven to 190c/Gas mark 5

In a pan melt the butter and syrup, very gently over a low heat

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl then pour over the butter mixture and mix well (get the little ones to do this!)

Spread an even layer of the flapjack mixture into a greased baking tin and press down firmly

Bake in the oven at 190c for around 20/25 minutes till golden brown

Cut into fingers whilst still warm and drizzle with melted chocolate if desired

Enjoy with a cup of tea!