Happy anniversary to Chris and Vicky! C&V hosted a super barbequeue on a wonderful sunny Saturday, and Alix and I decided that we’d shamelessly hijack it with a vintage “cake-off”. I brought the below, from the Female Cookbook 1978 FEATURING Ellice Handy Recipes. This is in fact a Singaporean cookbook sent to me by lovely Janet (@j4) which has a brilliant mix of 70s margarine based treats like “golden swans” cheek to cheek with pulot hitam, pickled blimbings, Lancashire Hotpot (hurrah) and curried beef schnitzel. Love it. What’s a blimbing? Where can I find one in London? Hilariously it calls for the blimbings to be dried in the sun for a week of good sunny days, before pickling. I don’t think this translates to a London cook Anyway. I chose to make lemon butter cake – less exotic but no less tasty by any means. I have a few more things to come from this book! The more Malay/Singaporean dishes may require more researches and trips to dusty Chinatown back rooms in lieu of the Serangoon Market….
LEMON BUTTER CAKE
155g caster sugar
1tbsp grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks and 2 whites (beaten together)
250g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
cream butter and sugar well, then add lemon rind and salt. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating in well. Lightly fold in the flour. Alternate with the milk and lemon juice, ending with flour. Pour cake batter into 2 small sandwich cake tins which have been greased and lined on the bottom with greased paper. Bake in moderately hot oven for about half an hour or till cake is done. Allow to cool after removing cake onto cake cooling rack and sandwich together with Lemon Filling.
1.5 tsps grated lemon rind
2 tsps lemon juice
2 egg yolks well beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps cornflour
1 tbsp butter/marg
1/2 cup boiling water
In a small saucepan mix cornflour, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice. Add boiling water, stirring onstantly. Put pan on low heat and stir til mixture thickens. Remove from heat, cool a little and then add very slowly the beaten egg yolks, stirring all the time. Put the saucepan back on low heat, cook til mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Cool slightly befre using as filling to sandwich together the two cakes.
Item! everyone at the party said nom!
Item! I had a total fail in making this tbh so I’m amazed it turnd outwell. First of all. Self raising flour, I don’t DO. However… I forgot to add the raising agents until the very end so the cake, um… didn’t rise that much? Yet! The cake was still quite light despite aesthetically looking more like two huge drop scones. I added 3 tsps baking powder but should have used four AND put them in at the beginning, but that’s just absent mindedness.
Item! Unwaxed lemons are the ones you want for lemon cake (for anything involving lemons, really – but definitely so for stuff like this whch requires lots of lemon rind.
Item! When I was making the filling? I forgot to put in the SUGAR. Whacked it in at the end and it was fine. But srlsly. Forgetting the SUGAR?! WHere was my head.
Item! you’ll see the filling calls for butter. But then it never says where to put IN the butter. This book is crazy bizarre for doing this! No matter though, didn’t feel like it was lacking anything.
Item! this was baked with the aid of delicious masala tea, Justin Timberlake, Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop on a slightly unco-operative resonance.fm stream (never mind), Hikaru Yaotome and Kota Yabu’s white day skit, delicious organic lemons and IKEA hand-cream.
I RECOMMEND THIS LEMON CAKE. One of the lovely side effects of the filling not being very thick is that it oozes down the sides of the cake so there’s a lovely sticky lemony bonus glaze on the outsides which went down very well with some merry eaters. Give it a go, don’t balk at the amount of eggs it requires – eggs are good for you… ne?
Forgetfully baked by Sarah.