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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


(Makes about 4 cups)

I finally had a bit of spare time to make use of some of the hundreds of large lemons we have again this year, so...today it was Lemon Curd (thank you, Jo, for the free eggs...one jar is definitely for you!), American Lemonade, and candied lemon zest strips (for later use when I make White Chocolate Mousse topped with Lemon Curd and Candied Zest - from my Foodtown Magazine that arrived this week.)

Anyway, there are several versions of Lemon Curd or Lemon Honey, but they are all quite similar. Some use whole eggs and I opted for yolks only for a richer yellow colour. Some also use quite a bit more butter and I opted for a lower cholesterol version. My mate, Linda, also uses a similar microwave version, but I found that one to be a bit tricky as you must stop the microwave often to stir to make sure you don't end up with lemony scrambled eggs. Linda's is always perfect, however, mine was a bit grainy and not the smooth texture like Linda's was.

In any case, here is the version I think is most popular here, and I may opt to post a whole-egg version later as well, if it turns out well enough. One quick thing to note, is that if you are only using the yolks, the whites can be used to make Meringue Biscuits to eat with the cooled Lemon Curd which is a lovely sort of "Lemon Meringue Pie Deconstructed".


8 Egg Yolks
2 Cups Sugar
100 Gm Butter, cubed
2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
200 Ml Lemon Juice (about 6 good sized lemons)


In a medium saucepan, slowly begin heating the yolks and sugar and combine well.

Once the mixture is well incorporated, add the butter, zest and juice, stirring constantly.

Bring this mixture just to a boil and remove it from the heat, continuing to stir until the mixture begins to cool and thicken slightly.

Carefully pour the Lemon Curd into clean canning jars and tighten the lids just until snug befor leaving to cool.

Refrigerate the Lemon Curd and enjoy. This should last 3-4 weeks in the fridge...if there is any left by then!

Bon apetite!



Today was the last school day prior to baby's birthday, so I had to make the class some cupcakes. I don't like to do the same every year, so I decided to try a new recipe this time...with a twist. One of my Christmas presents this year, was a new cookbook from my lovely husband. He gave me the "Jamie's America" book by Jamie Oliver (one of my favourite Food Channel personalities). On page 38 is a recipe for very chocolaty Velvet Cupcakes, which looked great, but the problem is that my little girl prefers "vanilla" to chocolate. No problem!!!

I used the basic Velvet Cupcake recipe, but rather than adding cocoa, I just added a bit more flour to make up for it. Also, for flavour, I added a bit extra vanilla essence and a little almond essence and left out the food colouring.

This batter is a little different from my other cupcake recipes for a couple of reasons. One reason is that this recipe uses egg and buttermilk, and the other reason is that the batter is thick, but "fluffy". I have been thinking of how I might describe the texture of the batter, and the only thing that comes to mind is "fluffy" almost mousse-like, but in a thicker, slightly heavier way.

I don't want to plagiarize Mr. Oliver, but I will give you the gist of this recipe, as it is a common cake base recipe used in the States. The "velvet" result is similar to the texture of the good ole' American Hostess brand cakes...yumm!

Here we go:


50 Gm Butter, softened
150 Gm Caster Sugar (fine granules)
1 Large Egg
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract/Essence or Paste
1 Tsp Almond Essence
160 Gm High Grade Flour
125 Ml Buttermilk
½ Tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ Tsp White Vinegar


Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F and line muffin tin with paper liners or silicone cups. (I sprayed demitasse cups with cooking spray and baked the cakes in those).

Cream the butter & sugar together with a mixer until fluffy.

Beat in the egg, vanilla, and almond essence.

Carefully fold in half of the flour then mix in half of the buttermilk, then repeat with the other half of each. Once well combined, the mixture should be very smooth and fluffy.

In a small cup, mix the baking soda and vinegar and mix into the batter carefully until well combined.

Divide this batter evenly between cupcake liners (or demitasse cups) then bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

FROSTING: I made a simple mascarpone frosting using 4 tbsp soft butter, 8 oz mascarpone cheese, ~3 cups icing sugar and a squeeze of orange juice. Cream the butter & cheese until fluffy, then add the juice (or about a half teaspoon of vanilla essence) and mix in the sugar, one cup at-a-time until you get the desired consistency.