You might call me obsessed, and you would be right. I mean, I don’t even know how many lemon cakes you can find in this blog. Lemons are and will always remain one of my favourite ingredients. I never tire of their taste and smell. If I were to close my eyes while plunging my face in a bag of those lovely yellow fruit, I would immediately be transported to somewhere in the Mediterranean.
This cake is based on an orange cake recipe by Sophie Dahl, in her book Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights. I’m sure that oranges are more than suitable for it but I find that most weeks I have more lemons than oranges to cook with. It worked and I made it quite a number of times since. Just look at the colour. Just perfect. This book, of which I have a second edition, has been on my kitchen table for quite a while. I find myself reading from it every now and then, never quite reaching the end, because subconsciously I don’t want an ending.
I love Sophie’s recipes; I found myself reading the book like one would read a novel. This is certainly nothing new for me as I usually read cookbooks from cover to cover anyway. However something was different with this one – I am still not through with it yet because I am intrigued by the stories. The recipes are just as important as the anecdotes so I hope to try as many of them as possible. In the meantime I’m having a slice…or two…
- 100g butter, softened
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 100g plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 130g polenta
- 50g ground almonds
- 80g plain yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of two lemons
Grease and line a round 23cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper, and preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and caster sugar. When this turns light and fluffy add the eggs one at a time.
In another bowl sift the spelt flour, plain flour and baking powder.
Gently, add these into the egg and sugar mixture. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into your cake tin and bake for around 45 minutes to an hour. Test it after 45 minutes with a skewer or knife. It’s done if it comes out clean.
For the drizzle you need 100g of icing sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and heat them for a few minutes over low heat until the sugar dissolves. If you run out of icing sugar you could use caster sugar instead, which I did in this case. However, for me, nothing beats icing sugar.
As soon as the cake is ready, prick it with the skewer and pour over the drizzle. Summer in a cake.
(Recipe adapted from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, 2nd ed., HarperCollins, 2012.)