Thursday 2 May 2013

Homemade Lemon Cake


I love moving house. I don't know if this has become ingrained due to moving a lot when I was younger but there is just something I find exciting about sorting through all the things you own (some you may have forgotten you owned) and finding them all little places in your new home, in your new life.

However, the thing I am finding about moving homes is that you have no idea about kitchen functionality and the more I learn about baking, the more I learn that no matter what you do, no two ovens appear to be the same. There are ever so slight differences in each kitchen that can seem like the biggest obstacles in the world when you are faced with them for the first time.

I experienced this frustration when I decided to bake a lemon cake in my new kitchen. I was making dessert for my family dinner that evening. Easy as pie... or so i thought...

The kitchen is bigger and better equipped than my last but it was new. The oven was new to me. I struggled. When the top looked as though it had been perfectly baked I pulled the tray slightly out to insert the skewer... The cake wobbled like jelly. It was still batter underneath that lovely golden top. I had to change the settings.

I took these frustrations to dinner with me and could not for the life of me spread the icing on my cake. I had to take the cake with un-iced as it still had needed to cool.

No matter what I did I was creating bald patches. I had to get my sister to help me out, and of course to add to my experience she did it perfectly the first time, thus proving that the method and recipe were perfect... It was me causing the disaster.

I chalked it all up to unfamiliar surroundings and figured hey, at least now S has had her time in the spotlight showing me up with her fantastic icing skills.

And not to stress we still ended up with a delicious lemon cake.
I felt it was a little drier than I would've liked but we're all our own worst critics after all, and it means that next time can only mean improvement. So below is my recipe for a delightful lemon cake... Please enjoy...

Lemon Cake:

250g butter
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
250g self raising flour

45g butter
110g icing sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius

2. Line a circular cake tin with baking paper.

3. Beat the butter and add the caster sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

4. Add the vanilla and lemon zest. Mix well.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.

6. With the mixer on a slow-medium speed, gradually add the flour, ensuring it is well mixed..

7. Pour into the cake tin and place in the oven for 45 mins. If it begins to brown early as mine did, you can cover loosely with aluminium foil to prevent burning.

8. When a skewer comes out with slight crumbs attached, remove from oven and leave in tin until cool to touch. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

9. For the icing; Beat the butter until light in color. Add the icing sugar gradually then the lemon juice and zest.

10. Spread generously over the cake and garnish with a curled slice of lemon peel.

Happy Baking!!

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