The last days of September ended with a swirl of grey cloud and starred nights. With a feeling that every warm day could be the last of the year, I wanted something that would bring zing and warmth into the kitchen and our stomachs.
Lemons ,the colour of the sun in a children’s drawing, and limoncello, an Italian liquor made from lemon zest, were combined to make a cake that’s both sweet and sour.
You can make this without limoncello easily, but if you do, you’ll have an incredible cake, but also be able to have a strong drink while it’s baking.
The cake is adapted from a simple sponge cake- so its easy enough with equal weights of flour, sugar and eggs.
For the cake
180g self-raising flour
160g caster sugar
lemon zest from four lemons
For the drizzle
juice of 4 lemons
a good shot or two of limoncello
Beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy, and then beat in the eggs bit by bit. I add a little flour with each egg to stop the mixture curdling.
Grate in the lemon zest and then fold in the flour with a large spoon. Spoon into a loaf tin and bake in an oven heated to 180C.
While the cake is baking, juice the lemons and pour in the sugar and limoncello.
After around half an hour, when the cake is baked, pour over the zesty, punchy drizzle and then sprinkle with a little sugar. This will form a sweet, sharp crust above the soft sponge.
After a dinner shared with the grandparents, I tore up a handful of thyme over the cake, and sliced through the sugar studded crust and lemon soaked crumb.