Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy Hewlett, has her first cookery book out, Baking With Kim-Joy. Photography by Ellis Parrinder

Lavender & Lemon Pandaleines

MAKES: 12–15
100g caster or granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
70g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
135g plain [all-purpose] flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp culinary lavender buds
30ml whole milk
Lemon Dip
40–45ml lemon juice
200g icing sugar
black food dye
a little extra icing sugar
Put the caster sugar and eggs, ideally, in a stand mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) and whisk on high speed for about seven minutes, or until thick and holds a trail. Meanwhile, melt the butter in 20-second bursts in the microwave so that it is liquid but not too hot. Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Grind the lavender with a mortar and pestle to break up.
When the sugar and egg mixture is thick and holds a trail, pour in the milk, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the lavender and then whisk until just incorporated. Pour in the cooled melted butter and whisk again until just combined. Do not overmix. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Grease a madeleine mould, then freeze it. Preheat the oven to 240C [475F/Gas mark 9].
When the mixture has finished chilling, use a spatula to transfer it to a piping bag. Snip a medium tip and pipe 12–15 blobs into the chilled mould.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200C [400F/Gas mark 6]. Bake for 8–12 minutes until each madeleine has a hump and is starting to colour at the edges. When baked, slide them out of the mould and onto a rack.
Meanwhile, make the lemon dip. Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar together until smooth and runny but still opaque when coating the back of a spoon.
Add a little more lemon juice or icing sugar until you have the correct consistency. Pour into a cup suitable for dipping the madeleines into and cover with plastic wrap.
When the madeleines are cool, dip, one by one (narrow, scalloped end first), into the lemon dip. Leave the madeleines to set on a rack.
Mix the remaining lemon dip with black food dye and a little extra icing sugar until it becomes pipeable. Transfer to a piping bag and cut a small tip. When the white icing has set, use the black icing to pipe ears, eyes and a nose on each madeleine.

Passionfruit & Strawberry Tarts with Cat Meringues

180g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
125g slightly salted butter, at room temperature
30g caster or granulated sugar
2 Tbsp beaten egg
Passionfruit Curd
12 passionfruit (all the juice and 1 Tbsp seeds)
110g salted butter
5 large egg yolks
125g caster or granulated sugar
Italian Meringue
80g egg white (from about 2–3 eggs)
160gcaster sugar
80ml water
black food dye
freeze-dried strawberry pieces
strawberry laces or other sweets (not pictured, but you can add these to look like the cats have been playing with string!)

Grease 6 x 10-cm [4-in] tart tins.
Add the flour to a large bowl. Chop the butter and add to the bowl, then rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Don’t overwork. Stir in the sugar. Make a well, add the beaten egg and beat with a fork, gradually combining it with the rest of the mixture. Use your hands to form the pastry into a ball.
Roll the pastry out on a generously floured surface. Using a 12-cm [4½-in] cutter, stamp out circles to line each of the tart tins. Guide the pastry into the shape of the tart tin. Trim off the top edges and prick the bases a few times with a fork.
Place the tart shells in the fridge for 20 minutes, or the freezer for less time if you’re in a rush. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C [400F/Gas mark 6].
Cover the tarts with foil, then fill with baking beans [pie weights] (or rice or lentils), making sure they spread into all the edges. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and baking beans and bake for a further 5–10 minutes so that the pastry is golden brown.
While the tarts are baking, make the passionfruit curd. Scoop the passionfruit pulp out and blend in a food processor for just for a few seconds to loosen the seeds. Strain the juice into a pan, then add one tbsp of the passionfruit seeds. Chop the butter, add to the pan and heat over a low heat until it has melted.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Pour about a sixth of the hot fruit and butter mix on to the egg yolk mix, whisking constantly, then pour all this back into the pan. Continue whisking over a medium heat until it is thick and holds a trail. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap if the tart shells are not yet out of the oven.
When the tart shells are baked and golden brown, remove from the tart tins and add a generous amount of curd to each.
Now make the Italian meringue. Add the egg whites to a stand mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk). Heat the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat, stirring initially but stopping stirring once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts bubbling. When the mixture reaches 10C, start whisking the egg whites. You want them to reach firm peaks at the same time as the sugar syrup reaches 115C [239F]. You can adjust the speed at which you whisk the egg whites to time the two together.
When the sugar syrup reaches 115C, pour it down the side of the bowl of whisked egg whites in a thin, steady stream while whisking on maximum speed. Make sure you don’t pour the sugar syrup directly onto the whisk, and make sure you keep the mixer on maximum speed to prevent hot
Whisk for a further 5–10 minutes until the meringue has cooled (the bottom of the bowl will no longer feel hot to the touch), then transfer the meringue to two piping bags. Cut a larger tip for one piping bag (this is for piping the bodies and heads of the cats), and cut a smaller tip for the other piping bag (for piping the ears, legs and tails).
Pipe an oval blob for each cat’s body, then a round blob for the head on one end of the body. Dip your finger in a little water and use this to flatten any peaks that form. Use the small piping bag to add the ears, legs and tail, again using water to help shape.
Dip a cocktail stick [toothpick] into a very tiny amount of black food dye (too little is better than too much!), and use to draw in the cats’ facial features. Make lots of tiny pricks into the meringue to draw the details, rather than dragging the cocktail stick through the meringue.
Finish with a sprinkling of crushed freeze-dried strawberry pieces. You can also use strawberry laces or other spaghetti-like sweet treats so that it looks like the cats are playing with string.
■ Baking with Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £18.99) Photography
by Ellis Parrinder.

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