Lemon-drizzle cake sweetens the mood

lemon drizzle cake

Getting in the groceries

Here we are in the midst of week 6 of self isolation. What began as an adventure is turning into a drudge. Solace comes in knowing that in comparison to other world disasters people have had to face, this one is fairly tame… as long as you can dodge  COVID-19, that is. Plus, we can use the extra time at home to experiment in the kitchen!

Although flour can be hard to find on the grocery store shelves these days, food in general is in good supply here in Canada. We may have to wear a mask when we go shopping, but we are in the so-called “elderly” category, so we can go at 7 a.m. in the morning when the shelves are newly stocked for shoppers over 60.

My husband is a great provider who goes to the ends of the city to find tasty things for our larder. He has come home with truffle cheese, lobster-filled ravioli, egg custard tarts, filet mignon on sale in a cryopak, humongous crates of eggs, espresso coffee, and fresh fruits and veggies. What we can’t find in the stores we can order on line and have it delivered.

Ordering, though, can lead to surprises. I asked for a handful of candied ginger, for example, and ended up with a good two cups of the stuff. A smidgeon of ginger cut up small to flavor a bowl of yogurt or a cup of herbal tea is delicious… but two cups is enough to last for a year!

lemonade lemons

And when I asked for two lemons to garnish our cocktails, I ended up with a whole fruit-bowl full of lemony goodness. This sort of plenty requires a few inventive solutions.

So I turned to Vinny for help. What he did with the ginger will have to await another post. But I can let you know right here and now how he used one of those extra lemons. He made a cake… a lovely light luscious delectable cake!

My daughter had sent Vinny the recipe for a lemony concoction she likes to serve for company. And she says it is very easy. So to brighten my day this past weekend, alone again, Vinny gave this cake a try and we imagined we were baking it together with daughter and granddaughter by our side.

If you have been lucky enough to stock up on a little flour, like we have, give it a try!

lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake*
About 9 servings

  • 6 ounces coconut oil (or shortening, butter, margerine)
  • 6 oounces caster sugar (spin granular sugar in a blender if you don’t have caster sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces flour (I use whole-wheat pastry flour)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 ounces or 50 milliliters)
  • 5 ounces icing sugar

lemon drizzle cake

  1. Line with parchment paper or grease and flour a square, 8 x 8 inch pan**
  2. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  3. Using a mixer or a hand mixer, blend the oil and sugar for at least 5 minutes until the batter fluffs up. Don’t give up too soon – it’s important that the sugar dissolves
  4.  Add 3 eggs and beat for another 5 minutes on high
  5. Grate the rind from a lemon  and mix it into the batter
  6. Whisk the flour with the baking powder and, using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared pan
  8. Bake at around 180C (350F) oven for about 20-25 minutes (once you start to smell it baking, it’s generally another 5 minutes). Skewer the cake to ensure no crumbs are  sticking.
  9. While it’s baking, mix the lemon juice with the  icing sugar***
  10. Once the cake is out of the oven and while it is still in the pan, poke holes about 2 inches apart  in the cake with the skewer or a  tooth pick, and drizzle the icing/citrus mix, slowly,  all over the top****
  11. When it’s cooled, slice it right in the pan and enjoy. You can also flip the whole cake out onto a pretty plate to serve to a group.

Notes:

*Proportions are 2 ounces of ingredients per egg, so you can decide how much to make depending on your pan.
**An 8 x 8 inch  heart-shaped pan that holds a slightly smaller volume also works for the given amount.
*** The given amount of icing sugar yields quite a sweet cake. You can reduce the icing sugar by a third to a half if you like desserts a little more tart. I will try just 3 ounces of icing sugar next time (350 cals per serving with 26 grams of sugar).
**** The syrup very quickly penetrates the cake, so drizzle slowly to make sure you get to cover the whole surface before it all disappears.

Options:

If icing sugar isn’t at hand, you can make a simple syrup by dissolving 3 ounces of sugar with 1 ounce of hot water and adding the 2 ounces of lemon juice. Bring to a boil and heat until the sugar dissolves.

Alternatively, you can drizzle the cake with 3 to 5 ounces of any kind of syrup you have on hand. I have a nice Saskatoon berry syrup that tastes delicious with cake. Maple syrup also makes an excellent drizzler.

Flavor

If you like your desserts sweet and you can tolerate sugar in your diet, this recipe is a winner. The combination of sweet with the tart tang of lemon is wonderful. The juice and rind of a single lemon was enough to send the flavor profile sky-high.

lemon drizzle cake

Nutrition rating

The fat in the coconut oil has a healthy profile and the eggs and whole grain flour all provide sound nutritional benefits.

Based on cutting the square into 9 pieces, each serving contains the following:

  • calories 376
  • sugar 32 grams
  • fiber 2 grams
  • starch 12 grams
  • fat 20 grams
  • protein 5 grams

For an inactive person, this dessert may be a little rich. It is also heavy on the sugar. Experimenting with just 3 ounces of icing sugar in the drizzle could improve the nutrition profile somewhat (350 calories per serving with 26 grams sugar).

Alternatively, you could cut the cake into 16 pieces. This smaller serving size would then contain 210 calories and 18 grams of sugar.

Ideally, a serving of food contains just 5 grams of sugar. Many desserts can be made with 10 grams of sugar, especially if you use stevia in addition to just a little sugar.

If you serve this sweet cake topped with a sugar-free protein-rich dab of yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, or whipped cream, the sugar would release much slower into the blood stream. And that would be a good thing. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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