Not too long after Mr. Scrummy and I first met, I decided to cook him a meal. In my mind, it was going to be so delicious. And (bonus) so easy to ‘throw together’ as well. Sweet potato gnocchi with some kind of sauce – mushroom as I remember. A-hem. You can probably guess what’s coming.
Yup, it was absolutely disgusting. My over-confident self, having made gnocchi a couple of times before reasonably successfully, had decided not to bother with a recipe this time. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Just cook the sweet potato, add an egg and some flour and it’s done. Except that I really didn’t need to add as much flour as I thought. In theory, this meal had so much potential but all we could taste was flour. I think we both managed about four or five forkfuls each. Yucky yuck yuck.
I think we can all relate to this scenario. You have an idea in your mind about how something might work out, food related or otherwise, but the reality is something totally different. Just thinking off the top of my head right now, I can think of the time a friend asked me to trim his hair. I thought it would be OK, but it was absolutely terrible, poor guy. All uneven & lopsided. Oops. Then the big one is that I never expected in a million years to marry an Australian followed by spending a lot of time in planes travelling backwards and forwards halfway across the world.
Going back to food with too much flour in it, just this last weekend I made some sort of zucchini pecan muffins that were wonderful in the ‘envisaging’ stage – so moist and healthy and flavourful. In reality, they were so dense and … well, ‘floury’ … that they reminded me of that scene in the Hugh Grant film, About a Boy, when the young boy throws his mum’s bread into the pond and it’s so heavy that it kills a duck. I just ate another one to try to convince myself that they’re actually OK, but no, they’re really not. In the bin they shall go.
Of course this kind of ‘food flop’ is always disappointing, especially after you’ve researched a little, trotted off to the shops, spent ages traipsing the aisles looking for the ingredients, spent even more time clattering around the kitchen and outside taking photos and then had to clean up the disaster area of a kitchen you’ve left in your wake. When this happens to me (rather a lot lately) I just console myself with the fact that I can probably make an entertaining post out of all of these ‘misses’ at some point. Some point rather soon if I keep on with all this flopping!
Aaanyway, what I’m leading up to is to slightly boastfully tell you that this lemon posset with blueberries & macadamia shortbread is one recipe that will thankfully NOT be added to the ‘flops’ folder. I had never made a posset before, I was a bit pressured for time and I was making this to take to a dinner with friends so needed it to taste OK. Thankfully, this did end up exactly how I’d hoped it would. Phew.
‘So what on earth is a posset?’ I can imagine you asking. Well, apart from being a very old dessert, apparently dating back to medieval times, basically it’s just thick cream that’s heated with sugar and lemon juice and zest and then left to set in the fridge. That’s really it. I was worried the whole time I was making it that it wouldn’t set. I mean, there was no gelatin or thickener of any kind in it, so how could it? Well, apparently it’s the acid in the lemon juice that does the trick. I also thought it might curdle when I added the lemon juice to the cream, but no. Because of the high fat content of the cream, this doesn’t happen either. Double phew.
The resulting dessert is rich, creamy, silky, tangy and, yes, nicely set! I decided to add a simple blueberry layer that I made by heating blueberries with a little sugar for a few minutes. I also decided to make a quick macadamia shortbread to dip into the posset, which I was particularly pleased with.
This is probably one of the simplest ‘impressive’ desserts you could ever make. You could have this made and in the fridge in less time than you could run to the shops to buy a dessert. The shortbread took hardly any time to make, as well, but if you wanted to keep things even simpler and use shop bought then of course that would be fine. The only thing you need to consider when making this is to make it well before you want to eat it, because it really needs to be in the fridge for a good four or five hours to be properly set.
Also … just one little note about the shortbread. At first I thought that this was going to be added to my ‘fails’ list as well. The dough was extremely crumbly when I tried to bring it together but kneading it a little in several batches seemed to make it easier to handle. It’s definitely worth the extra few minutes of work for the lovely buttery, crumbly, nutty shortbread you end up with.
So … had any food flops lately? What about your food successes? I can’t wait to share my food flops with you someday soon, but for today I am happy to be able to share one of my great food successes! Enjoy!
Lemon posset with blueberries & macadamia shortbread
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the lemon posset
- 2 cups double cream
- 2/3 cup fine sugar
- zest & juice of 2 lemons
For the blueberry compote
- 9 ounces blueberries I used frozen but fresh are fine, too
- 1/2 cup fine sugar
For the macadamia shortbread
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 12 tablespoons butter softened
- 3 ounces macadamia nut pieces
- 1 cup plain flour
- a pinch of salt
For the lemon posset & blueberry compote
- Pour the cream into a medium-sized pan and bring it to the boil. Add the sugar and lemon juice and zest. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes, then take the mixture off the heat and let it cool for about half an hour.
- Pour the mixture into ramekins or glasses, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to set for at least 4 to 5 hours.
- Meanwhile, put the sugar into a small pan and heat it until it melts. Add the blueberries and cook for about 5 minutes until you have a compote. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
- Just before serving, spoon a thin layer of blueberry compote on top of the lemon posset.
For the macadamia shortbread
- Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.
- Cream the butter and the sugar together with a handheld whisk, then work in the flour and macadamia nuts with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the mixture out onto a board or clean work surface and gather it up into 3 balls of dough. Knead each dough ball a little until it will come together.
- Roughly shape each ball into an oblong and then cut it into about 1-cm wide pieces with a sharp knife. You will end up with rough half-circle-shaped pieces of dough.
- Place the uncooked shortbread pieces on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the shortbread is a light golden colour.
- Leave the shortbread to cool on a cooling rack. To serve, pop a piece of shortbread into the top of each pot of dessert. Delicious!
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Absolutely delicious! very simple! changed the amount to make 3 so i could use 1 cup of cream (as that is all i had) and it tastes amazing. This is my favourite website for baking as i can actually make it and it turns out well 🙂
Hi Freya! Thank you so much for leaving a review! This is one of my older recipes but it’s great to be reminded it’s still a good one. I have a ‘similar’ chocolate pots recipes (both milk and white chocolate versions) that you may like too. I love them because like the lemon posset you can make it well ahead of your meal and pop them in the fridge. 😉
Nicole @ Waterloo, with Love says
This looks absolutely divine! Thanks so much for sharing! After a long week of work, I can’t wait to try this out! 🙂
Hi, Nicole! So glad you like this and … really hope you enjoyed it if you did try it out! 🙂
Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says
I’ve never heard of a posset before but it sure does look delicious! We are the same page yet again, my firend…guess who has a blueberry parfait coming up on her blog? 😉 Great minds think alike.
Oh and I simply love how you added the shortbread. Shortbread is awesome. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!
Oh, that’s great, Tina! Can’t wait to check out your blueberry parfait! Do try adding shortbread to it. It works so well. I hope you have a lovely weekend, too! 🙂
Claudia @Breakfast Drama Queen says
This looks great! I’d never heard of a posset before – the things you learn!
Hi, Claudia! Thanks so much for passing by. Oh yes, the things you learn indeed! So glad you like the posset!
Honestly- I’m amazed it set as well! Though I always feel that way, even with custards and such that have eggs to bind. And I also have your shortbread problem….always seems too crumbly. I’m glad both worked out so well for you!
Thanks so much, Chrissy! Looking forward to coming over and seeing which country you’re in these days. 😉
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
I am not stranger to food flops – just recently I was trying to perfect baked overnight oats and the first time I made overnight oat bars they were simply too too moist – soggy is the word my daughter used!
Food flops though are what makes this food blogging quite the learning adventure! Nothing like learning through experimentation right? 🙂
Your lemon posset with blueberries & macadamia shortbread sounds definitely like a hit – two dessert in one! Gorgeous – I so wish I had been one of your friends enjoying this one! 🙂
So glad you like it, Shashi! I guess this is a bit of a two-in-one dessert! Bonus!
You’re so right about the food blogging thing being a huge learning adventure. I have a feeling the flops won’t ever end, but never mind! Thanks for telling me about your overnight oats – that makes me feel a bit better about my flops!
Consuelo - Honey & Figs says
Yup, I had one food flop not so long ago :(( Buuuut on the great side I developed a mean recipe for today so it’s all alright! It doesn’t look quite as good as these possets though. Yummm they sound delish!
That’s the great thing about food flops. Frustrating at the time but make for great learning experiences! Looking forward to what became of your flop, Consuelo! 🙂
Thank you so much, Ambar!
Haha, I can totally relate to that! When my husband and I first started dating I wanted to cook him some pasta, which is pretty much the easiest thing ever to cook, but somehow it was overcooked and mushy and not good! I was so embarrassed and I’m sure he thought I was a horrible cook, thankfully he kept me around!
I’ve never heard of posset before, but I want some right now! I bet it is delicious with the blueberries an shortbread! What a great combo, Helen! Also, now I’m also wanting some sweet potato gnocchi!
Oohhh nooo … well, I can totally relate … it must have been true love, Isadora!!
Do try the posset some time … it’s so so easy and nice even by itself without the blueberries. I think I want some sweet potato gnocchi now, too!! 🙂
Oh, by the way, Isadora, I’ve been trying to send you an email but I don’t think you received it? Can I use this email address I have here with your comment? 🙂
Yes, you can e-mail me at [email protected] I don’t think I got the other one… I look forward to your e-mail!
Thank you! I’ve emailed you!! 🙂
Mary Frances says
I had never heard of a posset! I’m ready to bake and eat them though! Lemon and blueberry is such a classic summer flavor combo you really cannot go wrong. I understand you completely on the too floury problem … I’ve not tried making gnocchi but I’ve definitely overdone muffins. So disappointing, especially when you made special trips to the grocery store! You did a beautiful job with these Helen! Hope you have had a lovely weekend!
Oh yes … muffins were last week’s flop for me! Oh well, just think, we’ll be experts on everything to do with cooking by the time we’re 90! 🙂
Couscous & Consciousness says
My goodness, I can certainly relate to having a share of culinary disasters, and to be honest I’ve often thought about making lemon possit, but feared just that. I think you’ve inspired me to finally give it a go though, since lemony desserts are my absolute favourite. Loving the idea of the blueberry topping and shortbread too.
So glad you like this! I think I have almost as many flops as I have successes, but it’s good to know I’m not the only one!
Do have a go at lemon posset some time. If you follow the recipe carefully, it should turn out just fine! 🙂
Jess @ Sweet Menu says
I LOVE shortbread! Love the beautiful flavours you have gone with here. Would be just divine!
Thank you, Jess!
Bahaha oh my gosh the first time I cooked for my husband (back when we were just dating) … holy cow was it disgusting!! He was such a good sport and ate it … even though we should have dumped it all!!
This sounds awesome – I definitely want a few of those macadamia shortbread cookies!
Glad I’m not the only one to have made such a ‘good impression’ on my husband-to-be! My husband is super honest so just told me it was horrible … haha! Glad you like the shortbread. I think this was my favourite part of this, too! 🙂
lori @ TheHealthMinded.com says
I am a Macadamia . . .well, nut! Love them and this looks fantastic!
And, the whole flops business, I could fill many boxes with those! At least we are learning and trying but it is amazing I have the guts to step back in the kitchen sometimes!
It’s comforting to know that we all have these flops. I guess it’s just a bit more stressful when you were hoping for a recipe to post the next day. 😉
[email protected] Olives & Garlic says
I have screwed up a few dishes as well. Last time I did that with mac and cheese and it came out all rubbery. Yuck. I adore anything with macadamia especially cookies. Yum
Ooh no, rubbery mac and cheese!! Glad it’s not just me that has the flops, though. I really love macadamias. It’s something about the texture and sweetness … 🙂
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
The first time I cooked for Ben, I made him Pad Thai out of a box…not knowing that his step-mom is Thai, AND a chef! Needless to say it didn’t go over that well…
This dessert looks delicious, macadamia shortbread sounds absolutely amazing!
Oh, that’s really funny, Denise! What are the odds?! Personally, I do love pad thai, though, even out of a box!! 🙂
Sarah @ Running On Brie says
Wow! Beautiful lemon posset! And I’ve got to try these macadamia shortbread cookies. I’m so glad we can openly discuss food flops! I made a strawberry rhubarb crumble a few weeks back that was as goey and flat as can be…such a disappointment after an hour in the kitchen! It still tasted pretty good though…
Oooh … strawberry rhubarb crumble sounds divine! But that’s even more of a disappointment, isn’t it, when a recipe flops and it sounded so good! At least the taste was good … imagine how great it will be next time!
Do try the cookies … I was really really pleased with them!
[email protected] TheGastronomicBong says
This is such a gorgeous and elegant dessert. I had no idea what a posset is, until now. It is so simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipes! can’t wait to give it a try.
Thank you so much for saying so, Arpita. I guess it is quite elegant (blush). I’d heard of a posset (because it’s English, I guess) but had never tried it before. I hope you do get around to trying it, too!
Annie @Maebells says
Don’t you just hate recipe flops? Apparently I am not a very confident person because they make my question my entire identity! ha! But I think this sounds wonderful! I love when old cooking methods or recipes are reintroduced. I am so glad you shared!
Thanks so much, Annie! Ha! I totally know what you mean about the flops … I feel so bad when things don’t go well. Like I’ve wasted so much time and money! Good to know that it’s normal, though. 🙂