Simply delicious food. That's all.
I don’t eat cake, but in recent months I have developed what I pretend is a homely, pinnie-wearing passion for making it.
It’s born mostly of my grim determination to master a skill that – like sewing and two-fingered whistling – has eluded me to date, and not because I watch the Great British Bake Off , because I don’t (but that’s mostly because I can’t bear to be patronised, even vicariously, by Mary Berry whose neat-as-a-pin pressed trousers, pretzel-knot pashminas and crow’s feet-creased, twinkling blue eyes don’t hide for one second the fact that she thinks the contestants are all ghastly and ill bred.
Me and baking parted way back. Right back to the hours I spent standing outside the Domestic Science classroom, despatched there by Mrs Raybold for shrieking with hilarity when I dropped an entire sausage plait – a whole morning’s labours; or for putting rabbit poo instead of raisins in my rock cakes; or for swearing loudly at Jane Sims because she trod on my marzipan grapes.
So, determined in an almost Catholic attempt to make amends, I have returned to cakes in a bid to become a better person. Although what I just said about Mary Berry would belie that I suppose.
Here’s a girly lemony concoction. I don’t lay claim to it particularly- cake is cake after all – but this one is not anyone else’s either. ..
Lemon Curd Cake
Two 7″ sandwich tins – greased, lined
Oven preheated to 170 degrees
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
Teaspoon of baking powder
Juice and microplaned – finely grated – rind of one lemon
A tablespoon of olive oil
Half a teaspoon of lemon oil (I use Boyajian lemon oil here; it’s delicious, but so is their whole range)
One jar of really good quality lemon curd. Or make your own but my baking patience only stretched so far on this occasion…
Icing sugar and lemon rind to finish
Whisk together all the cake ingredients, except the lemon curd, icing sugar andextra lemon rind, until you have a smooth and glossy
batter. Share this equally between the two cake tins and bake in a preheated oven (170 degrees or so) for up to 30 mins – start checking after 20 mins. The tops should be golden and springy to the touch. If a thin skewer poked into the middle doesn’t yield any batter then you’re ready.
Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread the lemon curd generously on one half of the cake – don’t be tight; you’re only cheating yourself – then top with the other half and dust with icing sugar. Just before serving, add some pared lemon rind.
Keeps well in a tin for 3 days or so, although it doesn’t get the chance round here…