So I decided to bake a 'lemon and lime love cake' which has always gone down well in the past. Baking ingredients here are a bit different to the UK. The butter we buy is made from canola oil and is softer and they don't sell caster sugar in the main supermarkets, only granulated. The wheat is also softer and had less protein. I know this through experience at Kellogg's, trying to use American wheat to make the UK products. It's just that it's grown under different conditions and you have to adapt your recipes to suit.
So my baking, since moving here, has been pretty disastrous! My pastry has been awful and cakes have been a big flop. Not that I am a great baker but I could give most things a good go!
But today I left plenty of time to run to the local store if there were any disasters and I am happy to report that there weren't! I used imported Irish (Kerry Gold) butter which I think made a big difference :)
I had a little helper with me, who I am very pleased to say, gets excited about helping to bake cakes and bread. I hope she develops a love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Though it won't be great for her waistline!
Charlotte's choice of outfit for baking: half of her ballet costume and her apron!
Oh to be 4 years old again!
Here is the recipe that I followed:
Under the heading in the recipe book is written the following:
"This tangy loaf is known by lots of different names, but Love Cake is particularly appropriate since everyone who tries it finds it impossible to resist."
6 tbsp/90g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
11/2 cups/175g all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
11/4 cups/275g (caster) sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup/125ml milk
Grated peel of lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated peel and juice of 1 lime
1. Preheat the oven to 325oF/160oC, Gas 3.
Grease and flour a 9 x 5in/23 x 13cm loaf pan (tin).
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Put the butter in another bowl and add 3/4 cup/175g of the sugar.
Beat until pale and creamy, then gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if the mixture shows any signs of curdling.
Gradually add the remaining flour, alternating with the milk, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the lemon and lime peel.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and level the surface.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Invert the loaf onto a wire rack, then turn it the right way up.
4. Mix the citrus juices with the remaining sugar.
Put a tray underneath the rack and spoon the sugar mixture over the top of the loaf, letting it run down the sides slightly.
Allow to cool before slicing.
It went down well tonight I think. The next challenge will be to try and make it with spelt flour which is pretty low in gluten and therefore great for Jeremy.