So, my phone exploded the other day. There I was, casually sitting on my couch, watching an episode of one of Jamie Oliver’s old shows and eating some hazelnuts that I scrounged from the back of my cupboard (classy as f*ck), when **KA-BOOM*** my phone exploded.
I have never had more text messages, facebook messages, and instagram notifications IN MY LIFE – my poor, shattered phone did not know what to do. And it was all thanks to a shout out from the very dude who I was watching on TV at the time – Mr Jamie Oliver himself!
Yep, the big man gave little old me a shout out on Instagram, which I still can’t completely believe. He’s such a hero of mine! My first cookbook at age 10 was Happy Days with The Naked Chef, and I used to go and rent DVD’s of his show out from the Library. Needless to say, I was the coolest kid in school! (for real though, I did not advertise this to my friends)
He’s still such a champion – all over instagram, social media and Youtube, running a kickass selection of restaurants and producing amazing books and my favourite magazine. He strikes me as someone who loves his job knows how to surround himself with the right people.
AND in addition to all of that, he’s trying to improve food education for children all over the world. If you haven’t already, go and sign his petition. It takes five seconds, and it’s a great initiative. He’s achieved so much for improving farming practices and school dinners and all sorts in the UK, if anyone can do something with your signature it’s this guy.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve been riding high on the adrenaline of that for the past few days. Is it lame to admit that an instagram shout out gave you an adrenaline high? Whatever, I’ve gotta live my life.
So this dense, sharp, buttery lemon loaf is what I engineered over the weekend, just to get back to the baking basics. It’s got this great, moist, dense crumb, plenty of sharp lemon flavour, and it needs absolutely no adornment, save for a sprinkling of icing sugar. I recommend a thick slice of this and a nice mug of strong, milky tea. English breakfast of course.
PS, I wrote a piece for Jamie Oliver.com about the history of the Anzac Biscuit – you can read it here if you’re interested!
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
- 1 stick + 6 tbsp (200g) butter
- 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 eggs
- 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a loaf pan.
- Place the plain flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat. When the butter's melted, remove the pan from the heat, and add the buttermilk and vanilla bean paste, and stir them well.
- Crack in the eggs, and add the zest and juice of the lemons and beat together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into the loaf tin, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown, and a skewer or thin knife comes out clean.