It's largely been a slow summer for me. I've spent months looking for a job to no avail and, as I can't drive (and there's very little in terms of public transport in Cumbria), I'm stuck at home a lot. It's very depressing. The solution as I see it is to eat my way out of it, which means BAKING.
I made these initially for Mum's work to sell (all proceeds to Macmillan Nurses) as part of the Eden Food and Farming Festival a few weeks ago, and they went down a storm. Sadly this meant we at home were limited to half a cake each (not even joking, Shannon was NOT impressed). So I made more.
Ingredients (makes 20):
For the cake
- 200g unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 250g self-raising flour
- ½tsp baking powder
- juice of 1 lemon, made up to 100ml with milk
For the drizzle topping
- 100g caster sugar
- juice 2 lemons
- zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grab yourself 20 muffin cases. It obviously works best if you can put them in a muffin tin for support, but they do fine free-standing on a normal baking tray so don't worry.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then beat it some more. My Grandma used to say this was the most important part of making a cake, so pass the bowl around the house until everyone's arms are tired. This will also make you feel less guilty about eating the cake afterwards because it's basically a work-out, right?
3. Add the eggs and lemon zest and mix together, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold it all together slowly (mostly so you don't get flour everywhere), and when that's incorporated add the lemon juice and milk mixture and stir again.
4. Fill the muffin cases with the mixture so they're about two thirds full. Make it all as level as possible, then bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
5. While the cakes are in the oven, make the drizzle topping: you literally just mix everything together in a bowl so it makes a runny sort of glaze.
6. As soon as the cakes are out of the oven poke a load of holes in them with a cocktail stick, then add a generous teaspoon of drizzle to each one (you may have to do it half a tsp at a time to give them time to absorb it a bit), and voilà. Let cool, sprinkle with a bit more sugar for prettiness and enjoy your lemony flavoured clouds. They definitely banish the black ones.