My favourite way to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon is, surprise surprise, with a spot of baking. I realised that due to my housemate’s dislike for lemon/orange peel I had been neglecting cakes with these ingredients and thought it was high time that I built them back into my repertoire. So I set about trawling the interweb to find a good recipe and found an Observer article written by Nigel Slater called Crumbs of Comfort. I love his writing style and the fact that he is such an obviously, passionate foodie. A few years ago I read his book, Toast, which is the story of his ‘childhood and adolescence told through food’ and is a very good read.
I decided to try out his Lemon Loaf Cake described as ‘A truly moist cake scented with lemon and almond, with a thin, sweet-sharp icing’. Sounded good to me!
The recipe lacked any raising agents so what came out of the oven was a dense, compact loaf and I was a bit worried that it would be too stodgy but good old Nige set my mind at rest by saying that as a ‘general rule, the taller the cake the less good it is to eat. As usual less is more.’ While the cake was still hot and fresh out of the oven the recipe tells you to prick some holes in it and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, which made a satisfying sizzling sound and an amazing smell! I had to exercise some patience and wait for it to cool before icing with an icing sugar and lemon juice paste.
But it was definitely worth the wait….
It was amazingly moist. The lemon and almond flavours, which go so well together, were delicate but still shone through the buttery goodness of the cake. In fact it was so good that I even managed to tempt my lemon hating housemate into trying a slice and…she’s a convert! That’s what I call a result.