Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lemon Drizzle Cake and hope for a better tomorrow...

Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.

It will be tomorrow in a few hours. I can't say I'm looking forward to it with enthusiasm despite the lovely cakes I've had to tide me over the weekend. I think I will need Edmund again, but we'll see. Perhaps a slice of this for dinner will sort me out.

Adapted from BBCGoodFood

250g Butter, softened and a little kept aside to butter the cake tin
225g Caster Sugar
3 Lemons, zested and juiced
Vanilla Beans from 1 Vanilla Pod
4 large Eggs
200g Self-Raising Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
50g Ground Almonds
Icing Sugar

Grease and line a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin.

Sieve Flour, Ground Almonds and Baking Powder together. Set aside. Cream Butter, Sugar, Vanilla and three-quarters of the Lemon Zest with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in Eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Fold in the Flour mixture gently by hand until just combined. Give the batter a quick mix with the electric beaters (5 - 7 seconds). Fold in three-quarters of the Lemon Juice gently by hand until completely absorbed into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake at 150 Celsius until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, mix the reserved Lemon Juice with enough sieved Icing Sugar to get a thick, white, spreadable icing. The icing should not be too runny. Pour the icing over the just baked cake and place it back in the oven for about 5 minutes to dry a little. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely. The icing will form a thin crust on top of the cake. Sprinkle with reserved Lemon Zest and serve.
  • I used a smaller round cake tin and cupcake cases instead of a 20cm round cake tin.
  • I also accidentally left the cake in with the icing a little too long so it started bubbling and made a bit of a mess on the oven floor. This idea (not the mess!) is from Tamami. If you click on the link, you will see that she has given step-by-step instructions on how to get the perfect shiny set icing. I'm of course, a half-past-six baker so I simply mixed and did.
  • And yes, I have tried Jamie Oliver's recipe for the same cake. It's a lovely cake by itself. It's got a more full-on mouth-puckering lemon flavour going for it as well as syrup poured in and an icing on top, but I found the poppyseeds distracting.
  • I much prefer this cake. The flavour is more elegant and nothing distracts from the moist lemony crumb. Perfect with a cup of hot tea.

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