“Easy peasy lemon squeezy!”
– Not sure if anyone else’s family have this saying, but it’s a oldie in my house. Urban dictionary tells me it comes from an old TV commercial from when dinosaurs roamed the earth, lost even to the cataloguing power of Youtube.
So here I am in Taipei, Taiwan as I start my Year Abroad in the East, and already I’ve been doing my fair share of baking (typical!) with my girlfriends here, and in our tiny Asian-style kitchen as gifts for old family friends. This recipe is a favourite, and it’s based on one that I found by Tanya Ramsay, and have experimented with to give it a proper lemony bite; it’s a cake I’ve saved for special occasions so I can guarantee it’s a crowd pleaser!
Even if you’re a first-time baker, this is one to try, it’s very very hard to go wrong.
Have a read through the method, gather your tools, and get baking!
The Cake Mix
1 lemon’s worth of zest ie. yellow of the peel grated
1/2 lemon of squeezed juice
225g self-raising flour
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
75g Caster Sugar
1 lemon’s worth of zest
1 & 1/2 Squeezed lemon juice
(pips removed, bits removed if preferred – but I like them in)
Tip – Start by grating both lemons of their zest, then cut lemons in halves and put aside for squeezing
1. Turn on the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Mix the butter and sugar either by hand or electric whisk till light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.
4. Fold in the flour, grated lemon zest of one lemon and the juice of half a lemon – gently fold till mixed thoroughly.
5. Use a kitchen tissue/butter wrapping to grease the insides of the cake tin, then fill with mixture.
6. Pop in the oven for 45-50mins!
– While your cake is cooking, squeeze the rest of the lemons (1 & 1/2).
– Add the sugar and the lemon zest of one lemon to the juice and set aside to steep while the cake is baking.
The Finishing Touch
– When the cake is ready, a metal skewer can be inserted and removed leaving no trace of mixture on the skewer.
– Take the cake out of the oven and pour the drizzle as evenly as possible over the cake.
– Leave to stand for approx. 15-20 mins to cool before removing from tin.
Cake is ready to be served.
For any experienced bakers out there who want to experiment with a different texture to their cake, I recommend trying a pure wheat flour. I struggle to find anything other than this extremely fine version of low-gluten flour here, and it produces a very light and even bake to any cake. Try your local Asian food store and let me know what you think!