A feast of desserts (2 in fact)

I know, I know. It’s been a while and I won’t make excuses, I’ve just been lazy! So let’s get back on track…

We were invited over for dinner at friends’ and in passing, I said I’d make dessert. However, I deliberately forgot about this until our host texted me on Saturday morning to double check this was still the case. I didn’t have the heart to say no, so a quick text to my husband to do a quick food shop and I was making lemon meringue cake and sticky semolina cake from Feast, Nigella Lawson.

Now, we had been for dinner with these friends before and been blown over by the cooking skills. We had high hopes for the starter and main so the dessert would have to live up to them. Not wanting to risk the dessert being a flop, I decided to make two so I’d have a back up!

Lemon meringue cake
Click here for the recipe.

This should come with a warning – if you make it, you will not want to go back to lemon meringue pie. So give careful consideration to whether you want to go ahead and bake this.

What makes this such an amazing dessert is that it includes sponge. When I first read the recipe, I was worried this would make it too dry, but it somehow adds to the moistness of it. Plus, no need to make pastry!!

The only problem I encountered was that, once you have baked both cakes with the meringue topping, you need to be very careful in assembling the final product. With the first layer, it doesn’t matter if the meringue cracks and crumbles as it can form the base, by the top layer has to stay in tact. Just try not to touch it! I carefully teased it out of the tin from underneath, then removed the bottom of the tin and greaseproof paper with a large steak knife…you may discover a better way!

Spreading cream and lemon curd in the centre is very satisfying, but eating it, even more so. There was none left, I forgot my camera and here is the pitiful image I took…

Try it. I promise, you will love it!

Sticky semolina cake
No recipe link I’m afraid.

I chose this purely because I had rosewater and orange blossom water at my disposal and the recipe seemed straightforward enough. Now, when I asked my husband to buy semolina, I didn’t bank on this. Luckily, I had some dry semolina in the cupboard (it was a bit out of date but still in its sealed packet so thought it would be ok).

From the picture you can see I don’t have a suitable baking tray…

Again, very easy to make the cake itself, plus the rosewater and orange blossom syrup. The best part is, when you take the cake hot out of the oven, you pour the syrup over it. Don’t be scared, it looks like a lot but it will all eventually absorb.

I cut these up into squares and we had them with coffee after our meal. They have a hint of turkish delight but what really sets the taste buds going is the ground cardamom. It wasn’t too overpowering, but gave it a different dimension somehow.

All in all, a great success, and we had lobster (locally caught) thermidor for starter and slow barbequed lamb for main. Delicious!