When Life Gives You Lemons…

Lemon HeadWhen life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade.  (This is London, not Miami, for Pete’s sake.)  Make lemon drizzle cake.  Its much tastier.  That’s what I did yesterday on a rainy, cold & windy Sunday afternoon here in Bermondsey.  One of the last Sundays I’ll spend here in my little Bermondsey kitchen.  We’re moving at the end of the month.  To the suburbs, I might add.  I’m happy we’re moving into a bigger space and that we’ll have a garden to lounge about in on the one or two languid hot days we’ll have to look forward to over the course of the glorious English summertime.  But our little urban pad has been a wonderful space to spend the last four years.

L has been spending the better part of the last few months negotiating our property exchange, and so he doesn’t get fired before we can pay for the place, he had to spend the day catching up in the office.  Meanwhie the dog and I lounged about all the morning; me in my jammies, putting the Nespresso to good use and the dog sighing and staring mournfully out the window at the fifth consecutive day of rain.

Sometime around 3pm I rolled up my sleeves, marched into the kitchen, cleared the counter and fired up the…computer…and proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes researching recipes.  But after THAT, I made some lemon drizzle cake.  I found a great recipe by a fellow blogger (click here for (Mostly) Yummy Mummy’s original recipe), but I’ve spent enough of my life as a professional recipe developer that I can’t help but mess with recipes, and I love my lemon cake to be extra lemony – which in this recipe you really need to cut the intense butteryness.

So here’s what you’ll need to cook this cake…

  • 6oz spelt (or wheat) flour (sifted)
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 very juicy medium unwaxed lemons
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp of icing (powdered) sugar

And here’s how you do it…

1.  Grease & flour a small loaf tin & line base with parchment.  Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.

2.  Cream butter & sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.

3.  Add 3 eggs, one by one; mixing each egg thoroughly before adding the next.

4.  Add the zest & juice of one whole unwaxed lemon straight into the wet mixture.

5.  Add the sifted flour, salt & baking powder and fold in gently.  Don’t overmix it or you’ll overdevelop the gluten.  (You want a tender cake, right?)

6.  Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin and pop it into the middle shelf of the oven for around 40 minutes.  Once its golden brown, test it with a wooden skewer – if it comes out clean, its done.

7.  Let the cake cool for a few minutes while you prepare the drizzle.  The drizzle is prepared by whisking together the icing (powdered) sugar with the juice of the second lemon.

8.  Remove the warm cake from the tin and turn it upside down.  Make plenty of holes (20-30) with a wooden skewer and pour the drizzle all over the bottom of the warm cake.  Let it sit upside down for a few minutes as the drizzle works its way down, flavouring the cake with the lemony sweetness.  Once its cooled a bit, turn the cake around and let it totally cool before cutting.

. . .

So, in summary, a few of these…

Eggs

 …and a couple of these…

(girl with smeared mascara optional)

Lemon Head

…gives you one of these…

Nummy Cake Bon Appetit!

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