It’s a clichéd food blog trait to write a preamble about why you made a certain recipe. These are usually long and overblown, maybe a bit saccharine, maybe including a mention of the weather. I’m as guilty of these as anyone else – well, apparently it’s poor form to just say ‘I made this and it was great,’ – so, here are some reasons to make this cake.
Because it’s Sunday.
Because you feel like it.
Because you’ve had an orange and a lemon sitting in your fruit bowl for over a week.
Because you want to do something with them which doesn’t involve gin, or vodka or campari.
Because you’re hungover.
Because you’d been out dancing to techno until 3am two nights in a row.
Because it’s something to do which doesn’t involve Twitter.
Because you’ve got deadlines coming out of your ears and you’re procrastinating.
Because you want to show that baking isn’t just something done by posh twee girls in posh twee kitchens.
Because you fancy some cake.
Because life is always better with cake.
Because a lemon scented sponge covered in an orange scented glaze is always a delicious prospect.
Because this St. Clementines Cake tastes like the last gasp of summer.
ST. CLEMENTS CAKE
You will need:
- 3 medium eggs
- 125g unsalted butter
- 170g caster sugar
- 170g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (fat) lemon, juiced and zested
- 4 tablespoons milk
For the glaze
- 140g icing sugar, sifted
- The juice and zest of an orange
- Grease/line your cake tin (I used a medium sized springform tin, but this also works well when baked in a loaf tin), and heat your oven to 325°F/170°C/Gas mark 4.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, and mix well, before adding the lemon juice and zest. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly curdled. It will all come together once you add the flour.)
- Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk, and combine until you get a pale, smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture into your tin, and bake for 30 minutes. To check it’s done, insert a skewer into its centre for 4 seconds. If it comes out clean, it’s baked.
- Make a syrup by combining the orange zest and juice with the icing sugar. You want the glaze to be runny enough to get into every nook and cranny of the cake, but not so liquid that it runs right off. When you’ve taken the cake out of the oven, leave it to cool for ten minutes before pricking it all over with the skewer and pouring the glaze over it.
- Leave the cake to cool, and remove from the tin. This goes really well with creme fraiche, greek yoghurt or double cream.