I love a good citrus recipe. When i was a kid i always asked my Mum to make an orange cake for my birthday, but as i have gotten older i tend to prefer the tartness of a good lemon cake. Before i started baking my way through A Treasury of New Zealand Baking, this lemon cake recipe was probably the most baked cake in my repertoire.
The recipe in my hand-written collection is titled "Katie Tuck's Lemon Yoghurt Cake", as i tend to name my recipes after whoever passed them on to me. However i'm pretty sure this is an Alison Holst recipe. The lemon syrup poured over the top at the end is my own addition - it helps make the cake deliciously moist, and the sugar goes a wee bit crusty on top (make sure the cake is still really hot when you pour the syrup over - straight out of the oven is best), which contrasts nicely with the moist interior. This cake is great to take if you need to provide a dessert - it is delicious served with some plain yoghurt, and i have yet to meet someone who did not enjoy it.
On a completely different note, you will see in the photo below (which i remembered to take at the last moment before i consumed the last piece of cake!) that i've been reading a Western lately. In fact i've been reading several Westerns, which is not a genre i traditionally gravitate to. However Larry McMurtry won the Pulitzer Prize for his Western Lonesome Dove, so i decided to give it a go, and it went straight into my "Top 10 Favourite Books of All Time". As the blurb on the cover of Lonesome Dove says, "if you read only one Western in your life, read this one". Comanche Moon is the prequel to Lonesome Dove (there's a series of 4 books), and having enjoyed Lonesome Dove so much, i went on to read the whole series. So if you are looking for some reading for the upcoming holiday season, try Lonesome Dove - i highly recommend it (and it goes really well with a cup of tea and a wedge of lemon cake!)
LEMON YOGHURT CAKE
Probably by Alison Holst!
1 & 3/4 cups white sugar
Rind of 2 lemons (can be peeled with a vegetable peeler, but try and avoid including too much white pith)
1 cup of oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of plain unsweetened yoghurt
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups self raising flour
3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius.
Lightly grease a 23 cm cake tin.
Put the sugar and lemon peel in a food processor and process until well combined - the peel should become very finely blitzed, so that it looks like you have yellow sugar. Tip the sugar into a bowl and add the eggs. Stir vigorously until well pale and creamy looking, then add the oil and salt and stir until well combined. Add the yoghurt and juice and mix some more. Sift the flour over the mixture, and then stir gently until just combined.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 min, or until golden on top and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, combine the lemon juice and the sugar. Stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
Immediately the cake is removed from the oven, drizzle the lemon syrup over the top of the cake. Let the cake cool in the tin.
Serve with plain yoghurt.