“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.”
G.K. Chesterton

Strawberry & Lemon Curd ShortbreadDesperate times call for desperate measures! Even though the magnitude of my troubles was minuscule, 3 days of no internet reduced me to tears. Silly how addicted and dependent we can be on the internet. Sometime back, sweet Joy from Gourmeted tweeted about Lemon Curd & Shortbread Bars. I had a small jar of left over lemon curd in the freezer and this recipe called my name. Saved the link as the net is just a heartbeat away; well almost always… Strawberry & Lemon Curd ShortbreadLittle did I know!! We have massive roadworks being carried out for rain harvesting which have meant underground telephone cables being cut pretty often. The cable company always has them up and running the same day; not this time though as the damage was extensive. Oh the untold anguish and the feeling of being cut-off…Strawberry Lemon Curd ShortbreadThese wedges were something born out of desperation as I finally gave up and decided to bake ‘anything shortbread’ with the lemon curd and strawberries. Cookbooks yielded nothing, so I eventually put together a basic shortbread recipe for the base, topped it with the lemon curd, and then threw on some strawberries to add colour and taste. Slivered almonds on top  for crunch seemed to crown these well. Strawberry Lemon Curd ShortbreadMy love for fruit in baking continues unabated. I managed to get a neat stash of strawberries the other day at a really good price. The challenge of course was to use them judiciously and deliciously so they wouldn’t disappoint! Froze some, made some strawberry muffins {recipe to be blogged}, and then made this shortbread.Strawberry Lemon Curd Shortbread’twas soon time to tempt the teen out of her diet, and these had her eating out of my hand, no fuss, nothing! Ah the power of food, always A M A Z I N G!! I enjoyed making these. Loved the different textures, the colours, and the burst of flavours from the rather buttery unsweetened shortbread to the sweet tart lemon curd, the strawberries lending their ever promising magic to the wedges. Bye bye diet, hello happiness!!Strawberry Lemon Curd ShortbreadIt’s always handy to have lemon curd on hand. Have you tried making your own? I use a simple home made lemon curd recipe from Ju @ Little Teochew. It freezes beautifully too, and am contemplating doing a batch of orange lemon curd once before the season bids us adieu.

Strawberry Lemon Curd Shortbread Strawberry & Lemon Curd Shortbread
Delicious and light, the crisp buttery shortbread base is complimented beautifully by simple homemade lemon curd – the flavours tart & sweet.  Strawberries add a unique dimension to this indulgent dessert.
Cooking time: 45 mins | Servings: 6 | Meal type: High tea / Dessert
Biscuit Crust:
100g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
3/4 cup plain flour
2/3 cup easy homemade lemon curd
100g fresh strawberries, diced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a loose bottomed 7″ round tart pan.
Run the flour and butter in blender until you get a breadcrumb like mix. Press into the bottom of a removable base 7″ round tart pan.
Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes, until light brown Take out of oven, top with lemon curd followed by strawberries. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over.
Return to oven and continue to bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes till the edges begin to get light brown.
Cool on rack, cut into wedges and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.
You can use other seasonal fruit like blueberries, raspberries etc.
Strawberry Lemon Curd ShortbreadThank you for stopping by
Copyright © Deeba @ Passionate About Baking


I have a winner for the CSN giveaway… It’s Michelle @ Big Black Dog who said, “I know exactly what I want at CNS, a pizelle maker!”. Congrats Michelle. Mailing you soon!!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Orange is the happiest color.”
Frank Sinatra

Tweeting always has sweet surprises on the deck! The wonderful and talented SaffronBerry girl, found this orange cake when the Persian in her became obesessed about finding an orange cake recipe. As she said, “You’ll know we’re a bit obsessive and weird about our citrus fruit. We hoard it, display it, eat it, drink it, preserve it, dry it, cook it, and I’m sure we’d bake it too if there were a tradition like that of Western baking in Iran, heck we’d probably wear oranges and lemons if we could find a way to.

I absolutely adored the way she summed up her citrus emotions, and now I think I might have some Persian DNA in my blood too. I too am very obsessive about citrus everything, and currently have a jar of tangerines and limes being preserved out of an Ottolenghi recipe! Recently made a load of Bitter Orange Marmalade, Dried Apricot, Pistachio and Orange Biscotti and Orange Pastry Cream Tartlets with Candied Tangerines (last 2 recipes yet to be posted).

As Hilda rightly said, the gateau almost feels like a cheesecake without cheese, it’s very light, and yet it’s also dense in that the egg whites don’t give it volume, they just prevent it from being puck-like.
I LOVE ORANGE!! Thank you for this great gateau recipe Hilda. I absolutely adore fruit in bakes, citrus even more. The cake was FAB … even though the story of my life remains the same. Yes indeed, power cut again; else the cake would have been much lighter. Still had a beautifully light crumb, and I poured fresh orange juice over it S L O W L Y. The gateau absorbed it all, but for about 2-3 tbsps.

It’s a wonderful recipe and I will be making it again soon. Served a few slices with homemade fresh mascarpone. It was drooliciously good both ways. Was happy to have an opportunity to use my oven dried orange slices for the top…tee hee! Even sprinkled some orange sugar on top right after pouring the juice.

I’ve made a jar of orange sugar by rubbing orange zest into vanilla sugar, and letting it dry in a very very low oven. I store it in a jar with a vanilla bean, and the flavour matures beautifully over time. It’s got a slight bitter tinge to taste, but is nice on top of bakes and in cookies. Got the idea from basil sugar from Ilva @ Lucillian, and it’s also something Alice Medrich uses in her recipes like Citrus Olive Oil Cakes etc.

Gâteau à l’Orange
Adapted from here
4 oranges
Zest of 1 orange
100 g of softened butter
100 g sugar
150 g flour
3 eggs, separated
11/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp rhum
1 Tbsp orange essence (or Cointreau)
1 pinch of salt
Butter (to grease the pan)

Heat the oven to 170C.

Grease a 6″ cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment
In a bowl, beat the sugar and softened butter together.
Add the yolks one by one to the butter and sugar mixture, taking care to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next one and beat until you obtain a smooth batter.
Add the rhum and the orange essence/Cointreau and mix again.
Mix the flour and baking powder together and add it to the batter by “raining it in”. Mix well.
Cut and juice the oranges. Pour half of the resulting juice in the batter, add the zest and mix.
Beat the whites until firm with the pinch of salt. Add them delicately to the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour, checking the coloration from time to time. It will be dark orange when done.
Pour the other half of the juice into the cake while it’s still warm. Take care not to pour it too fast and not to let the cake cool too much before you do so. You may find that if you don’t get the timing right, your whole cake will not have juice in it (as in it may have two different textures and have a visible line halfway down where the juice stopped penetrating).
Serves 8.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

This delicious comforting citrusy gateau is off to Sweet Comforts: Sugar High Friday #61 being hosted this month by Kate @ A Merrier World.
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“Friends are like cupcakes in my pantry of memories.”
The weather has changed, Spring is in the air. Pretty flowers everywhere, & even though the daytime highs are much higher than normal, the mornings & evenings are just beautiful. There is frenzied activity of birds building nests, butterflies buzzing around… & in the last frame, goatherds coming in from Rajasthan to allow their sheep to graze here.These inspired cupcakes made me feel like Spring. I got a lovely comment from a blogger the other day. Everything about her comment made me feel so good. A bit from it …” I enjoy Indian food and am so lost since my dear friend moved away. She was a wonderful and talented cook. I never knew food could center the universe in such splendor until I entered her kitchen. She would grind her own spices and cook for hours. I treasure all the memories and today you have evoked them, once again.”

Even her blogs name makes me happy. It’s ‘Coffeegrounded’, & the blog is beautiful. I wandered around her spot on the next day for quite a while, & within the next hour made these fresh & moist Glazed Lemon Cupcakes. I tried to leave a comment back at her blog, but couldn’t because my wordpress login doesn’t seem to work for some reason. Couldn’t find an e-mail contact there either. If you are reading this post dear girl, please know that your words made my day, & these gorgeous glazed cupcakes were worth every word of praise that you gave them. I have made a second batch too for my daughter who was bringing a whole bunch of friends home from school.

It was our anniversary yesterday. Gosh, can’t believe it’s been 14 years. Time has certainly flown by. Life has never been so good, & I’m a happy & satisfied soul. Of course I crib & whinge, but that’s just part of my happiness. The daughter made us a very pretty card & got us a bunch of lovely magnets that say ‘I LOV U’. The son made his card in advance & left it with his sis as he wasn’t going to be here. We didn’t do much yesterday since our little fellow was out on his first outstation school trip. He came back very late last night, bubbling with excitement, with small gifts for all of us with the little money they had been allowed to carry. The ‘P’ pendant on a chain for his papa, & a pair of earrings for me. They were allowed to carry just a small amount of money as it was their first trip, & the poor mite said that his money got over by the time he reached the toy shop. I made these cupcakes for him to take with him on the trip.The blossoms are from the ‘currypatta‘ tree which is in bloom these days! The cupcakes looked like Spring & Easter when they were done, & it was real fun glazing them. I added some dried black raisins to the batter. GLAZED LEMON CUPCAKES
‘This recipe comes from the Martha Stewart website. A wonderfully moist and tender item, she offers them up as, Glazed Lemon Cakes. If you are looking for a reminder of the infamous diner lemon cakes of old, this is your item.‘ …as quoted from Coffeegrounded
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar ( I used powdered sugar)
1/2 cup dried black raisins (not in original recipe)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 muffin tray or a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin. Coffeegrounded used pretty small Panettone papers, & her pictures are very beautiful too.
  • Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. I added lemon essence too.
  • Beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn mixer to low speed and add flour in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk mixture. Add dried berries if using .
  • Divide the batter amongst muffin tin/cupcake papers. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  • In a small bowl, stir confectioners sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth, & thick. Drizzle or pour over cakes. Add sprinkles garnishes immediately, if using. Allow to set for 30 minutes before serving/storing. This time allotment allows the icing to set firmly, but it’s really not necessary. These really are finger-licking wonderful! Go ahead and enjoy.

I also had added joy (& much excitement) yesterday when I got this not-light-at-all parcel from Nic all the way from the U.K. Returned home after a lunch out with the hub, to find that the old postman had chucked this over the gate while we were away. The Cherrapeno lady had said she was sending me something as light-as-a-cloud & pestered me for my address…till I eventually relented. I got this lovely assortment from her… …take a look! Cherries, berries, dried cranberries, craisins, dried winter fruit, chipotle paste, chili jam, Bailey’s truffle chocolate bar (Nic’s current fave & deliciously so; I had a good nibble, so I know), strawberries in white chocolate…. It was a virtual Indian monsoon cloudburst. Thank you dear Nic. You really made my day!!

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