>> Saturday, March 13, 2010

I love eggs. They seem to radiate a sense of peacefulness and calm. A promise of good things to come.
Seeing a half dozen jumbled into a white bowl makes me happy. (It doesn’t take much. I’m a fan of the ‘little things’.)

After we moved to London, I discovered a whole array of different varieties of eggs I’d never been able to get a hold of easily in New Zealand. Muted shades of pale turquoise, watery green, soft honey and tan. A multitude of creams.

And seeing these eggs sitting quietly in our kitchen, I just had to bake a cake. A cake with six eggs and a hefty quantity of butter.

This recipe for Sour Cream Lemon Cake was discovered by my mother, Maeva. It is featured in a cookbook called "Best Recipes” by Annabelle White* which she bought several years ago. Something you should know about my mother; she loves recipe books, cook books, cooking magazines, interior design magazines and magazines in general. She has piles around the house, and boxes and boxes of them dating back to the early 80’s in storage. I love this about her (though it frustrates my father no end, who can’t understand why she needs so many….). Every time I was bored and wanted something to entertain or inspire me, I would pick up a magazine from the pile in the lounge and settle into the couch and read; flicking through the recipes and beautiful photographs. It is probably safe to say that her obsession with buying magazines and cookbooks helped to start my own obsession.... Like mother like daughter.

This recipe is described by Annabelle as “the ultimate lemon cake”. And I think she's right. This is the only lemon cake recipe we use in our family. It’s pretty much fail-safe as long as you make sure to cook it slowly until the centre is just firm and a skewer comes out completely clean.

It’s light and dense at the same time. Has a wonderful, subtle lemony perfume and always looks impressive.

It’s the perfect accompaniment to a milky cup of hot tea but equally wonderful served slightly heated with lemon curd and softly whipped cream for an elegant and simple dessert.

Sour Cream Lemon Cake
(slightly adapted from Best Recipes by Annabelle White)

250g softened butter
2 cups sugar (can use castor, though regular white sugar is fine)
6 lightly beaten large eggs
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons sifted baking powder
1 cup sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup castor sugar

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and lemon rind, blend well.
Fold in flour and baking powder alernately with the sour cream. Mix gently until smooth and pour into a well greased 20 cm round tin.
Bake at 160ºC for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes away clean when tested.
After baking, leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes, pour on the glaze. Leave until mostly cool and then remove from the pan.

*Annabelle White is a New Zealand cook who writes good, solid traditional recipes from a kiwi perspective.


Anonymous,  October 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM  

Absolutely fabulous cake served warm with lemon curd and greek yoghurt.However, I found the cake require 90 minutes baking.

natalie October 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM  

I'm so glad you liked it! Yes, because this cake needs to cook slowly and is so large, I find the cooking time can vary depending on the oven.

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