I don’t like cake! There, I’ve said it! In a world obsessed with the Great British Bake Off, I am probably due to get lynched but I just don’t like fussy cooking. Yes, some people are bakers and others enjoy making savoury food which works even if you put in 110g rather than 100g.
I fall into the latter camp but working with men, I occasionally have to bite the bullet and bake. Yes, in my world the application of a little sugar seems to get the wheels turning faster and my computer running far smoother than before.
So a request for a Lemon Drizzle Cake was put in and although - as a South African – this isn’t a cake I am particularly familiar with and reminds me rather strongly of weather condition [a south westerly lemon drizzle is due to hit Scotland sometime on Sunday], I started looking for a recipe.
Yes, Lemon Drizzle for Idiots was my requirement and I found this recipe on Nigella Lawson website. It isn’t actually one from the domestic goddess but rather a post by Welsh Girl
on their community pages.
4 oz [or 113g] of softened butter [plus a little extra to grease your tin]
6 oz [or 170g] of self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
6 oz [or 170g} of superfine sugar [castor]
2 large eggs [or three medium eggs]
6 tablespoons [or 106ml] of milk
Rind of 1 large lemon [unwaxed]
For the icing:
Juice of 1 large lemon
4 oz [or 113g] of superfine sugar [castor]
You need to start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees C [or gas mark 4] so I felt confident with this step as I marched towards the valley of the shadow of cake doom.
Then, you need to grease your tin [9” x 8”]. I have a small kitchen and if I bought the different types of tin suggested each time I cooked, I would not fit into it so I fell back on my favourite stand-by [a square disposable foil tin]. So far so good, I thought as I gamely rubbed margarine onto the tin.
They suggest using baking parchment instead of greasing the tin but to be honest, it all seemed a bit of a faff [definitely points off for effort at this point on a Monday night after a long day at work].
Then you are supposed to dump all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl before beating for 2 to 3 minutes. And so the pain began! The original recipe only used ounces so I kept having to refer to the internet to figure out how much I needed to put in.
I also got enthusiastic so kept having to spoon ingredients back into the packaged, I now looked like an angry blond wine swigging snowman – not a domestic goddess in sight.
Finally, everything was in the bowl and I started mixing! Lumps and more lumps! More wine came out at this point as I realised that my butter was too cold and I couldn’t quite get it to mix in.
Giving up, I spooned it into my greased tin and popped it in the oven [for between 30 and 40 minutes] – retiring to the sofa to recover while muttering about cake.
One minor burn later [and more cat judgement], I poured the lemon juice mixture over the hot cake and left it to fester [probably not the right term but I was rather cranky].
Next day, I dropped it off with our IT department to their surprise and delight! While this might have been my first lemon drizzle cake and to be honest it wasn't much to look at, it apparently tasted great and they were merrily humming around high on lemon and sugar!
Not a bad recipe for a good result but as I rather value my fragile grip on mental health, I doubt I will ever enter the Great British Bake Off.
P.S. – Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @littleofwhatyou