Tuesday, November 7

No Fuss, No Worries: Only Cake

I’d forgotten the power of a good basic cake.
Like a Pavlov reaction, I thought instinctively of the margarine, soppy, flavourless version that you can buy at the store. The one that doesn’t even deserve the name cake and will keep till end 2010...
What was I thinking??

Pound cake is the best. Or more precisely; Madeira cake is the best.
And this version is even better; it’s so easy, has a lovely lemony twist and a divine sugar topping that really gives the extra touch.
A crunchy layer with a big crack down the middle, covering a soft and slightly moist, amazing cake that will melt deliciously in your mouth…

The recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess, i.e. my first cookbook. My collection has, as you might have noticed, grown considerably since then but it still has a special spot with me.
I made this cake from it quite some time ago on request. I was actually already forgotten it but (luckily) came across the pictures when I sorted out my files. This is a wonderful cake, even the best in its sort I think.
Well, try and judge yourself…

Cake (for 8 to 10 slices)
- 240g (2sticks/1cup) soft butter
- 200g (1cup) finely granulated sugar, plus more for topping
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 3 eggs
- 210g (1 ¾ cups) self raising flour +
- 90g (¾ cup) all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 170°C (330°F) and butter and line a cake form with parchment paper.

2. Stir butter and sugar until creamy and add lemon zest.
Mix in one egg, then one tablespoon of flour, then an egg again…and so on.
Add the rest of the flour, mix well, and add the lemon juice. stir until well combined.

3. Pour the batter in the prepared form and sprinkle generously with sugar (about 2 Tbsp) Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely, then invert onto a serving plate.


Helene said...

No fuss, nothing fancy but I bet it is an awesome basic. I love recipes like these because it allows for experimentation in your spices or additions like dried fruits or nuts. Love Nigella!

Lauren said...

Simple things are such a great pleasure! Sounds so good.

This cookbook is on my list of ones to get.

UnGourmetGal said...

Such a perfect crust, looks scrumptious! I bet it would be terrific served with warm berries.

peabody said...

I will glady eat your cake...it looks nice, simple and yummy.

Angie said...

Julia, this must be a refreshing cake, with the lemony aroma, and I love the crust too!

wheresmymind said...

FOr some reason I would like some orange marmalade with that

Veron said...

Wow , that looks so good! I agree with everyone that the crust makes it more delicious! I can imagine myself having it with tea.

Rachel said...


Foodie's Hope said...

Yum! I used to buy those in England! Love it.Now miss Julia, thanks to you , I can bake that here in US!! :))

Ange said...

You make it look & sound delicious, I also have this book & will keep it in mind to try out

gattina said...

Juila, please give me two BIG slices!

Brilynn said...

I have the book, but have yet to try this cake, I just might have to do that.

Julia said...

Hi Helene! Yes - totally! Yum, would love to try a pear-hazelnut version…=)

Hi Lauren! I really recommend it, it’s a keeper!

Thanks Ungourmetgal - those berries sound delicious! Great add!

Hi Peabody - good! =) your nuts tarts looking great as well…yum!!

Thank you for your comment Angie, yes that crust was indeed perfect…every cake should have it…;)

Hi Wheresmymind! Haha LOL - well, that’s an option..;)

Thanks Veron - certainly! A big slice with a steamy cup of tea…perfect!

Hi Rachel - indeed! =)

Oh, how nice Asha! Glad I could help and I hope it’s just that good…(or better!!!)

Hi Ange - yes it’s really good
I know I wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t been asked - so many other things in that book are looking good…but I’m glad I did try it! =)

Hi Gattina! Haha, oh I’m so sorry - can’t do… Is an imaginary slice as well OK? ;)

Hi Brilynn…glad you liked it! Hope you do try it…!

Anonymous said...

You're so right. Sometimes the simplest pleasure are the most soul refreshing. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

You are right, nothing is better than homemade cake, and yours looks delicious!h