Old Fashioned sweet shop: Lemon and Orange sherbet dips

Sherbet Lollypops

The first month of a whole new year and I am hoping that this year will be another exciting year.

I love making and eating sweets so I decided to start my 2019 with something that I was excited to try for a while, both because of its simplicity and because there really is nothing more that epitomises a classic sweet shop item – Sherbet dip lollies!

When I was a kid, I usually bought these for 20p from the local shop (from that you can probably work out whether I am younger or older than you) although honestly age is very irrelevant with sweets anyway, just ask my dad!

For these I used a recipe from The Vintage Sweet Book by Angel Adoree to create both the lollies and the sherbet.

For flavouring I went for a classic lemon sherbet, though I decided not to colour it yellow and for the lollies I made them orange flavoured and coloured them using a peach gel colour. Orange and lemon, you can’t really go wrong with that can you?

I have an idea for a fun children’s party – bowls of different flavour sherbet, sugars and lolly pops.

Different colours and flavours with scoops and bags so people can mix and match to their liking. The flavours and colours could be endless and they would beautiful to display.

Although the lollies aren’t fragile, I have not found a way of storing them easily as they tend to go a little sticky. I’m sure that there are ways to do this but I need to look into it more.

Just a little word of warning – although these are simple and cute to make they do involve boiling sugar to a very high temperature so aren’t suitable for kids to help out with.

You may not have the book I used so here are some links to good recipes:

Peppermint lollies

Sherbet dips

Cake, Sweet

Lemon Meringue Cake

For Christmas my husband bought me lots of new baking equipment but the one thing I have been dying to try out for the past month is my sugar thermometer.

I’ve always wanted one of them ever since I was younger and had a failed attempt at making fudge without one, so I was naturally excited to try it out myself.  One of recipes I have seen used a lot recently on TV, which required the use of my sugar thermometer, is the Italian Meringue.  This is made by whisking egg whites then adding a hot sugar syrup heated to the soft ball stage, which cooks the egg whites and once piped onto your cake or pie put under a grill or use a chef’s blowtourch to brown.

Instead of making the usual lemon meringue pie, I thought it might be nice to make a simple lemon sponge cake and then decorate it with an Italian meringue.

I have to say that my cake recipe turned out very nice but I am not convinced that the meringue recipe I used is the right one for this cake.  It is very soft and fluffy, which would be perfect for a pie, but for an afternoon tea cake it is a little underwhelming.  I would suggest that if you want to make this cake with a meringue topping then I would instead use a meringue icing (maybe like this website: Cupcake meringue icing) and not the Italian meringue I made. 
The only problem with this recipe is that I wouldn’t have been able to use my new sugar thermometer!

The recipe I used for the cake is one I learnt in my cooking lessons in high school. I have been using it now for 15 years – so as long as you stick to the recipe it is foolproof.

Lemon Meringue Cake

6oz Sugar
6oz margarine or butter
7oz Self raising flour
3 Medium eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half lemon
Lemon curd

Heat oven to Gas 4 or 180c
In a large bowl, cream the margarine or butter together till light and fluffy. Add one egg into the mix along with 2 tbls of flour and mix gently till combined. Do the same with the other 2 eggs and flour, then add the remaining flour.
Mix in the zest of the lemon and add half the juice from the lemon.

Divide mix equally into two 8″ cake tins, which have been lined with non-stick greaseproof paper.
Bake cakes in the oven till they bounce back when touched (or when a skewer comes out clean), which should take approx. 20-25 minutes.

Once cooled spread generously with lemon curd and sandwich together.

Decorate with meringue icing, buttercream, or even just sprinkle with icing sugar – whatever takes your fancy; then get yourself a nice hot drink, cut a big piece of cake and eat!