So let me set one thing straight: I’m definitely not on some kind of health kick, as in eating clean and all that hoo-ha. However lately I’m on this…how shall I put it?…try-many-new-things…thingamabob. I’m sorry, but my vocab skills are out the door today. Please bear with me just a tad longer. This little gem of a recipe is worth the wait.
What? You say. Are you actually posting a cake recipe in the middle of August? The answer is quite obviously a resounding “Yes!” Don’t worry, there’s a perfectly plausible explanation for this. It’s #TeaandCakeTuesday – weekly blogging event where anyone can post their favourite cake or dessert recipes and/or photos. One of the things that stuck with me during Blogging 101 (now completed by the way, with a few design tasks still to tackle) is how important it is to talk to other bloggers and readers alike. Years of experience have already helped me understand this, but once in a while it’s good to remember that even if you feel you’re in a bubble, working and writing alone, there are many other people with whom you can connect. So here’s one of my favourite cakes which deserves to be written about and celebrated here, and in turn celebrates all those hard-working folks brave enough to blog and/or vlog. It’s not as easy as it seems people.
I have spent my morning and afternoon roaming around Guildford, taking in the place. I walked around the centre, recorded some sights, bought myself a healthy lunch and made my way up to the Castle. I took my small camera with me to take a few video snippets.
I’m trying to teach myself how to vlog. I shouldn’t have said that. My SLR didn’t come with me today. I really wasn’t in the mood to carry heavy stuff in my backpack anyway. These days I have given up on handbags: nothing fits in them anymore. They are currently also packed in a plastic box ready to be shipped. (People, if you’re not into nostalgia, then please just skip this part. Thankfully there’s a recipe in here somewhere!) I was prepared to walk into town, knowing that I would enjoy the stroll. I arrived there around 9 am, feeling sticky to the core, because with Ellie Goulding singing in my ear for the last ten minutes or so, I almost ran the last leg. I should have listened to Clannad instead. Weather like this, (I’m subconsciously bracing myself for Malta here) is good for sipping a cold drink under an umbrella, with some food, of course.
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.
A very good friend of mine came over to London for a short work-related visit. I hate not having a cake or some cookies standing by for days like these, but, as is so typical of me lately (don’t ask me why because I have absolutely no idea), I found myself frantically flipping through countless cake recipes and notes, not knowing what to do. After a few deep breaths and one lemon and ginger tea, it became as clear as day. The solution was simple: lemon cake. I love this recipe and I knew it was going to work. It brings so many memories of when I first started this blog. Enough nostalgia though and on with the baking.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- zest of a lemon
- 175g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 100g icing sugar
Tin: 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin (or similar), properly greased and lined
Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. When you line your tin with baking paper make sure it comes up to around 1cm or a bit more to the sides (see photo). This will make unmoulding much easier.
In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and lemon zest and beat well. Fold in the flour and salt (you can leave the salt out if you want), and add the milk. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and place it in the oven. In the meantime prepare the syrup (see method below). Bake for around 45 minutes, or until golden and check with a skewer or knife to make sure it’s done.
Prepare the syrup by placing the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small pot over the heat and swirl the pan gently until the sugar dissolves. Puncture tiny holes in the cake and pour the syrup over the cake while it is still in the tin. Make sure the middle part absorbs as much liquid as the sides.
When the cake is completely cold, you can lift it up from the loaf tin onto your serving plate. If the cake is still warm it might crumble.
Incidentally my friend brought me a big bag of Mediterranean lemons from the tree in her garden. These will be very happy days, with many many baking days ahead! Enjoy! R xx
(This recipe is adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.)