Saturday, 6 February 2010

Lemons and Life

I've been visiting Mr. and Mrs. C quite frequently for the last few months. I've known them since I started working at Campsie. They are the nicest people - warm and unassuming, who treat me as one of the family. :)

Last week Mrs. C took me to have a look at her backyard / garden. She had a lemon tree growing at one corner, and she was eager to pick some ripe lemons for me to take home. Goodness, they were the largest lemons I've seen, so heavy that I joked I could knock someone unconscious with them.

I'm trying to look for a dessert recipe which would do justice to these lemons; otherwise, my back-up plan would be to make a cold refreshing lemonade with them. :)

Much later, I found a recipe on Gourmet Traveller, lemon and pink grapefruit syrup cake with vanilla bean ice-cream which I would adapt to be lemon and orange syrup cake, since I have oranges on hand instead of pink grapefruit. :) I'm in the process of making them now, sans the ice-cream, too much for work since I don't have an ice-cream churner. I shall post up pictures once I have them done, hopefully. :)

It's amazing what wonders employment can do to my cooking and blogging productivity... I managed to finish baking the syrup cakes, take decent-ish photos (thanks to X for taking my camera, I have to rely on my 3.2 mega-pixel Sony Ericsson W890i), and post up the adapted recipe AND photos. I feel so accomplished...

Lemon and Orange Syrup Cake

140g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
150g caster sugar
Grated rinds of 1 lemon and 1 lime
3 eggs
290g self-raising flour, sieved
200mL milk

Lemon and orange syrup:
200g caster sugar
150mL lemon juice
Rinds of 1 lemon and 1/2 an orange, thinly removed using vegetable peeler


1. For the lemon and orange syrup, slice lemon and orange rinds into thin strips. Blanch rinds in boiling water, drain, then combine with other ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until rind strips are translucent (about 1-2 minutes). Cool.

2. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celcius, fan-forced. Beat butter, sugar, and lemon and lime rinds until mixture is pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then add milk, fold in flour gradually until well-combined. Divide among 8 1-cup capacity dariole moulds (fill up to 2/3 full). Bake until golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed (25-30 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes in moulds, then turn onto wire rack placed over a tray. Using a skewer, pierce several holes in tops of cakes. Drizzle with syrup while still warm, decorate with strips of rinds, and serve immediately with vanilla ice-cream.

The cake on its own is quite light and fluffy, not too sweet, with a hint of lemon. I would have preferred the lemon flavour to be a bit more pronounced, perhaps the problem was that most of the grated rind was stuck onto the grater... it's time to invest in a good-quality microplane, eh? :P

I haven't tried the finished cake yet, was too busy writing up this entry instead. The cakes would be our breakfast tomorrow. ;) If they're good, I might give some to Mr. and Mrs. C. We shall see...

Much much later:

I have to say that the cakes were very nice! Moist and not too sweet, with a very lemony kick from the lemon orange syrup.... mmm...


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