The Pressure is on the Lemon Drizzle Cake

Baking has always been one of my weaknesses. And for someone like me who absolutely loves cakes, I should be able to make one for myself. But I am not very keen on following recipes as I don't like measurements, so I deleted baking on my list of things to learn. Needless to say, I have tried baking banana bread once before but guess what? I failed miserably. This is the reason why I was convinced that I couldn't bake.

Until last week when J asked me if I could bake: 

Me: NO?!
J: C'mon, I'm sure you can. Every week, we have a meeting and everyone brings cake baked by their partners and wives. I'm the only one who hasn't brought anything yet and I said I would bring some next week. (then he hugged me)
Me: Can you just bring Vietnamese summer rolls? 
J: (he laughs) It should be a cake.
Me: Damn, really? I can't bake.
J: C'mon. Just try. 

And so I did, only because I was pressured. I couldn't think of anything to bake apart from my favourite, that is the banana cake. My friends who bake have always told me that banana cake is one of the easiest things to make. So I went on google and found this easy to follow recipe- or so I thought. Basically the measurements on the recipe were in g, but the kitchen scale I have is in kg and lb. I almost immediately gave up when I realised that I had to convert the measurements. I hate metric conversion as it reminds me of my failure as a student, but I am not even gonna go there. As much as I was hesitant to bake at this point, the ingredients were already out and the bananas were already very ripe, so I thought I'd do it anyway. Luckily, I found a conversion table that helped me get through this challenge. And in less than an hour later, I came up with my first proper banana cake ever.

I know it's not perfect, but at least it looked and tasted like a banana cake this time. Ah, the huge difference following a recipe can make. 

J said my banana cake was good but he is more keen on lemon drizzle cakes so he asked if I could make it instead. As I was still on high following the success of my banana cake, I accepted his challenge. So the other day, I was back at it again. J and I went to buy a new kitchen scale and some other baking utensils over the weekend so this time, baking was a bit more organised.

For the lemon drizzle cake, I followed BBC Goodfood's recipe for the only reason that it didn't require baking powder. 

First of all, I hate making a mess in the kitchen, so I carefully organised my ingredients like a proper OCD.

225g unsalted butter (but I used salted butter)
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
finely grated zest 1 lemon
225g self-raising flour

And then I mixed the butter and the caster sugar well (while pre-heating the oven to gas mark 160C).

Then added the eggs one at a time, mixing it well each time. 

I was losing confidence at this point as my batter looked like scrambled egg. Then I watched the video and was relieved when the Miriam said that it's actually okay if they separate at this point.

Because once the sifted flour is added, they will stick together again.

And then I added the lemon zest, however I forgot to take a photo of it.

When I knew that I have mixed it well, I put the mixture in a greased tin lined with baking paper. If you watch the recipe video, Miriam actually has a good tip on how to line the baking tin. Suggested baking time is 45-50 minutes but mine took just over an hour.

While the mixture is in the oven, I prepared the drizzle topping:

juice of 1 1/2 lemons
85g caster sugar

I didn't realise that we have a juicer, so I had to squeeze the lemon manually and then strained the juice afterwards and then mixed them together.

My favourite part is when I inserted a skewer in the middle of the cake to check if the cake was done.  Apparently if the skewer comes out clean, then the cake is cooked. 

Afterwards, I pricked the cake all over and poured the drizzle. 

But J has a different idea on how a lemon drizzle cake should look like, so he suggested that we add some more drizzle topping.

And the end result was quite good. J said that he could definitely bring my lemon drizzle cake to work. And for him to say that, I guess I must have done a good job.

And so the pressure is on to bake another lemon drizzle cake for ten people this Thursday. I hope and pray that this time it will be better. Thanks Miriam for the easy recipe.

tintin x


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