My work colleagues barely spoke to me that week. For a few hours, every question seemed to be answered with just a grunt or a shrug. It took me a while to work it out, but finally I realised that they'd gone from enjoying cake as a treat to expecting it. So based on the reviews this cake got from the bake off, I decided that this will be my redeeming bake to regain some of the friendliness.*
|Work in progress|
If I'm making lemon cake myself, I normally use a four egg sponge, laced with lemon zest and the juice of a lemon. Once baked and cooled, I then slice and fill it with lemon curd (it will always be home made curd since I tried Nigel Slater's recipe) and top with a thick royal icing made with lemon juice rather than water. And of course, lemon jelly slices on the top. It's retro-chic.
My other top lemon cake recipe is the Hummingbird Bakery's Lemon Loaf from the original Hummingbird Bakery book. I've made this countless times and it always turns out really well. I think once it didn't rise quite as much as normal but the bake was still fine. Although I've given my mum this recipe and after three attempts, she's never managed to get it to work for her. They all went in the bin (and she's a trained chef!)
And then, of course, there's now Maria's Lemon Celebration cake to add to this list. It formed the base of Miss A's birthday cake and I really enjoyed this. To the point that I may make it my regular large lemon bake instead of my four-egg mix.
|Hummingbird Lemon Loaf|
So this cake has a lot to live up to. I could smell it baking away even though I'm two floors up from the kitchen. And it's smelling pretty good. Just as I was about to click publish, the hour of baking was up and I have a perfectly risen, nicely browned cake although the crust feels a little firm and I'm so tempted to put a drizzle over it. But I'm having faith in the Berry that it doesn't need it.
|Fresh from the oven|
If you want great advice on baking this yourself, you should also take a look at Jaim's Kitchen where she has written about her experience with this bake. She tested it for breakfast which I think is an amazing idea and I may just do myself. Just for research purposes of course.
Will update tomorrow with a finished pic and the verdict from the hungry hoardes.
Update: 29th March 2012
Well that's the last time I'm taking cake into work. I couldn't give it away! Okay so I got stuck in a meeting and by the time I was liberated, the office was pretty much desserted so half of the cake came home with me again. I've still not had a bit but those that did said it was really good. It looks to have quite a dense texture but was much moister than I was expecting as it felt quite crusty when I took it out of the oven.
* Okay, I fibbed. I revealed the lack of cake during the lunchtime bakery run so the sulk lasted the five seconds it took to choose something else from the vast array in the bakery :)