Friday, May 20, 2005

SHF#8 - Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake

Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Pucker Up with Citrus!
It was almost 7.30am when I shrieked and basically scrambled into my tiny kitchen. What had caused such a stir was AugustusGloop's Lemon Sour Cream Cake post. *yikes* I didn't realise it's time for another Sugar High Friday! Hosted by Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox, the theme for this month's Sugar High Friday (originally created by Jennifer) is Pucker up with Citrus!

I seriously had no idea what to make. The first thing that popped into my mind was serving a layered dessert of lemon curd, ricotta cheese and some toasted muesli. But dear oh dear, it was a chilly morning and I didn't fancy a cold start for the day. I was thinking of a hot lemon pudding but hmm, I don't have a recipe on hand and it's too late to start searching on the net now. It just happened I borrowed a copy of baker from the library last night and hoorayyyy! There is a recipe of this gorgeous looking old-fashioned lemon tea cake in the book.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 20 May 2005
Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
So I quickly sprung into action and started to check up on the list of ingredients:
Lemons. Check. Plain flour. Check. Eggs. Check. Sugar. Check. Natural Yogurt. Uh-oh!
No worries. Maybe I could just substitute with milk instead but hey! Wait, I have a small tub of buttermilk in my fridge. Great! All equipments out and Pinkcocoa was all set for yet another baking session!

♥ Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
from baker: the best of international baking from Australian and New Zealand professionals, by Dean Brettschneider & Lauraine Jacobs
This particular recipe is from Peter and Pamela Schneider of Patterson's Cakes in Melbourne's Chapel Street. I didn't actually follow the instructions from the book because I made the fatal error of not reading the recipe properly before proceeding. I had used the creaming method instead. Anyhow, the cake turned out fine. I am including the original recipe for your reference.

Lemon Syrup
lemon rind strips (made by peeling 1 lemon with a potato peeler)
1 cinnamon stick
250ml (1 cup) water*
150g (3/4 cup) sugar

  1. Place lemon strips, cinnamon stick, water and sugar in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Allow the lemon strips to sit in the sugar syrup to infuse with the cinnamon.
  4. Cover and reheat when required.

Cake Batter
85 g butter, softened
85 g plain flour
10 g lemon zest from one lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
110g (2) eggs
170g caster sugar**
65 g natural yoghurt***

  1. In a mixing bowl fitted with a beater, on medium speed beat the butter, flour and lemon zest until well blended. The colour and consistency of the batter should be light but not too light and fluffy (this should take approximately 3 minutes on medium speed). Be careful not to over-beat the mixture as this will result in a dry cake.
  2. Using a wooden spoon mix the eggs, sugar and yoghurt together in a separate bowl and then add to the butter and flour mixture. Beat well but do not beat too much - approximately 1.5 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Divide the mixture into two empty fruit cans (100mm or 4 inches diameter)**** lined with baking paper on the bottom and sides. Alternatively, use greased springform tins.
  4. Place both cakes in a preheated 190c (375F) oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
  5. As soon as the cakes are removed from the oven, pour approximately 75-100ml (1/3 cup)***** of the hot syrup onto each cake. This must be done immediately otherwise the cakes will become soggy.
  6. Once the cakes have cooled, carefully remove from the tins.
  7. Glaze the top of each cake, if desired, with a thin layer of apricot glaze (see recipe for Mediterranean Orange Cake, use half the amounts) and immediately place strips of lemon rind on top (from the infused lemon syrup) or dust with icing sugar and place a lemon twist on the top.
  8. Tie a wide lemon-coloured ribbon around the cake for extra eye appeal, if desired.

For the cake batter, I creamed butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add in half of the flour. Mix. Add in half of liquid. Mix. Add in remaining half of flour. Mix. Add in remaining buttermilk. Mix. Add in remaining flour. Mix.
* I substituted with a mixture of lemon juice and water by juicing 2 lemons and add water to make up to 250ml of liquid in the syrup for a more sharper zesty flavour.
** I halved the sugar and added about one tablespoon of honey at step 2.
*** Substituted with buttermilk.
**** I used a 17cm removable-bottom cake tin, greased and base-lined.
***** I used about 150ml of syrup and found that the cake was basically drenched in the syrup when I removed the cake from the tin. So I guess round about 100ml would be enough and I can save up leftover syrup for other uses!

Lemon Twist & Flower Confetti on Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Lemon Twist & Flower Confetti on Lemon Tea Cake
For a quick and easy way to decorate cake, I cut out a paper template, placed on cake and sprinkle with icing sugar. I also added flower confetti for a cute finishing touch! And I didn't forget about the lemon twist! Ta-daaaaaa, a delicious lemon tea cake for a friday afternoon. *yay*

Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Shiny Zesty Tangy Flavoursome Lemon tea cake!
I was worried at first that the cake might be too soggy because I didn't pour syrup immediately onto the cake when the cake was done. There was also the fact that the cake seemed to be overly-soaked in the syrup. I had lots of syrup dripping out of the cake tin when I removed the cake from the tin.

A slice of Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ A slice of Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
The cake was in fact a little wet from the lemon syrup on the outside, and dense and slightly sweet on the inside. The tangy lemon syrup adds a zesty zing to the cake, making it perfect for afternoon tea. I feel like it's summer with every mouthful of the cake! I bet it would taste so much better with ice-cream!

♥ Coming soon:
Check out on a wrap-up of mouthwatering citrus entries from around the world at Alice's!