I bought lemons on Friday in an attempt to make a buttermilk substitute for the dark chocolate cake I made. The cake was a success, the buttermilk less so. It remained far to liquid and whilst it didn’t affect the cake, it’s not something I’ll be trying again in a long time. Next time I’ll go on a buttermilk mission and not just give up due to fatigue which is what happened on Friday. So yesterday morning/afternoon I woke up with a craving for lemon cake. I’m now always reminded of the book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, whenever I think of it but I don’t think lemon cake is necessarily sad. Although I do think it can be used to cure sadness – the cake is more like sunshine which, in my current grey climate, is a welcome diversion. But then, I don’t feel other people’s feelings by eating the cake (which the girl in the book does).
This is easy cake, equal amounts flour, sugar and butter and can be made in a few steps. I’ve adapted it from The Primrose Bakery Book. They use self-raising flour (which I never have) and a kind of one bowl method which I find impossible with my beater. I’m a cream the butter and sugar kind of girl so I’ve adapted it to that method. They also ice it but I wasn’t in the mood for such shenanigans. Apart from the extra work I was more in the mood for plain cake. Plus there’s that left over white chocolate ganache which I told you about here and I find the two marry well together.
If you are inclined to ice it, make a basic lemon juice and icing sugar icing to drizzle over the cake. At a guess I’d say you would need 1/2c icing sugar and a few squeezes of lemon juice. You want the icing to be thin enough to drizzle over and yet hold it’s shape and consistency.
Adapted from The Primrose Bakery Book
155g butter, unsalted and soft
155g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1 1/2 lemons*
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
155g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
*I like my lemon cake intensely lemon flavoured plus I had half a lemon left over from the buttermilk incident.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with butter and baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.
Add in the zest, lemon juice and vanilla, beat together and then add in the eggs.
The mixture will split at this stage, but stress not, it’ll come back together when you add the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients, beat everything and then scrape down the sides. Give everything a final fold together with a spatula and then spoon it into your loaf tin.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
Eat with ganache and a cup of tea whilst reading a good book.