While I was waiting for the contractors to come and install doors on my bedroom (yes, I live in a doorless room right now), I decided to bake a cake. Although my friends wanted me to bake them a carrot cake, I’ve always been more of a lemon fan, especially in the summer months, when nothing sounds more invigorating than cold lemonade or limeade or lemon ice cream, or lemon tart. So I baked a lemon cake with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and half a cup of ground almonds folded in. The result was spectacular-and I was impressed with my ability to follow a recipe and to correctly estimate measurements, despite not having the proper baking supplies. While the cake has a light lemony taste, it isn’t overly moist or heavy like some lemon cake slices, which was a nice change. The berries add beauty and fun pockets of tart sweetness, and the ground almonds subtly scent the cake to loveliness.
from Rose Carrarini’s Breakfast, Lunch, Tea
generous 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon
grated zest of 2 lemons
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 1/2 cup ground almonds
scant 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the glaze (optional- I didn’t make it)
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 10 inch loaf tin and line its base with parchment paper (I used two 8 inch loaf tins and didn’t line the base with paper).
Beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is very light and creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and the vanilla extract.
Add the lemon juice and zest.
Mix together the baking powder, salt, and ground almonds and carefully fold into mixture with the flour.
*Add blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Fold them gently into the cake mixture and keep some back for the top.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is light golden. (At this point, I had an emergency: while the top of my cake was rapidly becoming more golden, the inside of my cake hadn’t finished cooking. I called Maggie’s mom, a master baker, who told me to cover the top of the cake with tin foil to prevent it from burning while the rest continued baking. She saved my cake!)
Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the tin before taking it out.
Make the glaze, if you wish. Combine the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to make a thick but pourable mixture. Pour it over the cake and let it drip down the sides.