When life gives you lemons (and a new cake tin)

I recently purchased a big, round cake tin in the Debenhams sale (and there was a tin inside it for biscuits!). So, with the worst reason ever to make a cake, I decided to ‘try out’ my new tin.

(This is also a post about using stuff up: lemons, dates and marzipan – all fruits of a cupboard rummage.)

I cling desperately to the creaming method when sponge-making (and imperial measurements).  I’d love a Kitchen Aid one day, and imagine myself happily watching ingredients churning round in an ‘all-in-one’ method kind-of-a-way, producing lots of delicious fayre, and whilst using every attachment. #Lifegoals.

Despite what I have said previously – that I don’t experiment with recipes when baking – I did give my standard sponge recipe a tweak. With the fail-safe ratio of 1 egg to every 2oz butter/sugar/flour, I added a lemon. I used my zester which gives quite long strips of peel  – you could use the fine side of a grater but hey, life’s too short for that and the grater’s difficult to wash up.

NB: In the spirit of frugal kitchen practice, I used the remaining half of lemon in my tea for the rest of the day.

Lemon sponge cake

6oz butter
6oz golden caster sugar
6oz self-raising flour
3 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half of above lemon
Filling – lemon curd and a few spoons of butter icing (found a pot of ready-made icing during cupboard rummage)

Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5. Grease and bottom-line 1 deep or 2 Victoria sandwich tins. Cream together butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour. Stir in zest and juice. Spread into tin(s) and bake for about 20 mins (a bit longer if in one tin) until golden on top and springy to the touch. Turn onto a wire rack after a few mins to cool completely.

Halve cake horizontally (if baked in one tin), spread with fillings. Nice with a cup of tea – put any cake remains in a nice cake tin!

Verdict: the image implies the cake was soggy and stodgy – this is one of the lightest sponges I’ve ever produced, so take heart.



Stuffed dates

For that last taste of Christmas past, I pitted the dates, made some little marzipan ‘sausages’ and voilà, we’re back in my childhood in the ’70s.  Some might say life’s too short to stuff a date but I would disagree – the rather boring process allows one to do ‘other thinking’ so I’m happy to confirm no time was wasted during this process.

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