Kat Riach runs an off-grid bakery from her farm in the Fife countryside and regularly shares her baking tips and tricks with us.
Baking is something I’ve been interested in since I was really young. I remember very clearly helping my mum to bake bread at weekends.
I was always desperate to get my hands on the dough, and would knead it enthusiastically before sitting and watching it rise under a tea towel set on top of the boiler cabinet. Back then, for Mother’s Day, I was determined that I would prepare a treat for her without any help.
My favourite recipe was peppermint creams. Making these, more often than not, involved coating the kitchen in a fine dust of icing sugar, and the result was always just a little too green and a little too minty, thanks to my generous additions of food colouring and peppermint oil.
Mum would always make appreciative noises, even although I’m now quite sure they weren’t as appetising as I thought.
Baking is not something we did together all the time, and yet she has ignited in me a passion for it – the smell of the rising bread in our kitchen still tangible. So in celebration of this, I will be baking her a treat to celebrate Mother’s Day – without her having to worry about the mess in her kitchen. Personally, I cannot let Mother’s Day and Easter pass without baking a Simnel cake, it has to be my favourite celebration cake.
This year, I discovered a recipe for lemon drizzle simnel traybake – a combination of two classic cakes.
This recipe includes the all important layer of marzipan in the middle of the cake, the ground almonds and the dried fruit, but combines it with the tangy crunchy lemon coating of a drizzle cake.
To finish, each slice is decorated with a drizzle of lemon glace icing, some shreds of lemon rind and a small marzipan ball, symbolic at this time of year.
More in this series:
Preparing the meal on Shrove Tuesday is when the home cooks shine