Ideas strike me at the oddest times, but it’s more often than not, when I’m hungry. We’re not talking about change the world type ideas, instead, I prefer tastier ones. Ones that are tangible, crispy-edged, warm, gooey with a little pucker.
Like this grilled lemon loaf with blueberry jam and mozzarella cheese. Well, when life gives you lemons, make lemon loaves. In my case, when life makes you gluten intolerant, and gluten free bread is not-that-cool, make grilled cheese sandwiches out of cake!
Let’s start with the lemon loaf. It’s got to be moist, lemony, dense enough to be held without breaking. You’re looking for a fairly tight crumb, no loose, fluffy sponge types.
And the jam, I used a store bought one, but really if I had an abundance of berries lying around, I would have made it into a thick, chunky jam.
The mozzarella was inspired by my mid-afternoon burger cravings. I couldn’t decide if I was hankering after the juicy burger or the gooey cheese. And if I had to pick one, let’s just say a lovely beef patty didn’t really go with lemon loaf slices.
This inspired creation was really tasty. The good thing was that the loaf itself was really delish (the guys at the office can back me up on this!) and mozzarella isn’t the strongest, most forceful cheese on the block so it really added a good textural contrast and slight moisture without making it too abstract. It’s pageant worthy, definitely worthy for the 2nd Annual Grilled Cheese Pageant.
Miss Congeniality, maybe?
Gluten Free Lemon Loaf (adapted loosely from Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
Makes 2 small loaves, 12-16 serves
2/3 c – 1 tbsp almond meal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup + 2 tbsp non-fat yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup canola oil
1) Preheat oven to 180 degreesC. Grease and line two small loaf tins with parchment.
2) Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and almond meal together. In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat the eggs and sugar for 3 mins on medium speed
3) Add in the oil and beat on high for 1 min, or until emulsified.
4) Add in the yoghurt, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat for 1 min on medium speed
5) Add in the flour and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
6) Pour into prepared pans and bake for 50-60 mins. Or until skewer inserted comes out almost* clean.
7) Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins. Remove from tins and continue to cool completely.
* The skewer will have little bits of cake stuck to it, but will be 95% clean. That’s how mine was like and the cake came out fine.
Grilled Cheese Lemon Sanwiches
1) Lay two thin slices of lemon loaf (about 1.5cm each) on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the sandwich.
2) Spread 1 tbsp of blueberry/blackberry jam on the bottom slice. Sprinkle 1 large tbsp of mozzarella cheese on the jam surface. Cover with top slice and wrap in aluminum foil.
3) Place to grill in a grill oven for 4-5 mins or until cheese has almost melted through. Remove from foil and grill until cheese is completely melted and edges of sandwich are toasty and crisp.
** You could probably do this on a cast iron press or skillet as well! I don’t own one unfortunately.