Saturday, 23 June 2012

Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake


Rain, rain, rain. It's enough to get even the happiest girl down. We did have a brief flirtation with summer at the start of the week - not paddling pool weather, no, but warm-ish and sunny-ish and pleasant. But the rain and wind have returned with a vengeance. Many areas nearby have been flooded, although thankfully where we live is quite high, so we are ok.

You've got to make your own sunshine when it's this gloomy. On Thursday night, it was my turn to host book group. We had read The Great Gatsby and, to recreate some Gatsy-esque decadence, (and while laughingly pretending it was summer) we drank Pimms and then Prosecco.

Yesterday, after getting soaked on the school run, then sitting damply through school assembly while Angus misbehaved, I got home and made a pot of coffee and two lemon syrup loaf cakes*, from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I must've baked this recipe a hundred times. It is quick, easy, always works and, most  importantly, always tastes good. Everyone likes it. If baking is required for some event or stall or fair, I always make one of these. I adore the smell of lemons when you zest them. 

And this morning I made a butternut squash, spinach and spaghetti bake. It is a brilliant recipe but one that requires your full attention and every pan in the kitchen. I made two, one for us and one for a friend. Remember how when someone has a baby we organise a meal rota? Well the pasta bake and one of the cakes cake is for a lovely lady who, after many years and a long hard journey, has a son (they also have a beautiful six year old daughter). I am so happy for her. I am off now to take the food round and hopefully say hello to the new addition to their family. What are you all up to this weekend? 

Oh look, it's just rained on my washing.

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*The full recipe is on Nigella's website here.

36 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos, again! I make a similar cake, a lemon drizzle cake (recipe from Afternoon Tea, a lovely book by Susanna Blake.) I'm a sucker for anything with lemon in it, and I also collect books on afternoon tea, which is and always has been, my very favourite meal. Well, it can't really be considered 'a meal' can it? It's a luxury! It's totally unncessary if we all eat sensibly, but who wants to eat sensibly all the time, hence afternoon tea being a luxury! I was inviting friends to afternoon tea long before it became currently fashionable (mind, I've never offered anyone a cupcake in my life - they're American, not English!)
    Margaret P

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    1. Thank you! I will look out for that book, I do like cookery book recommendations, and would much rather bake a cake than cook dinner any day of the week! I agree, afternoon tea is a wonderful tradition. A few months ago I had a "proper" afternoon tea in a London hotel. It cost a fortune but was worth every penny, a fabulous experience.

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  2. Book groups are enjoying something of a revival, are they not? I belonged to such a group in the late 1970s/early 1980s, it was an off-shoot of NWR. No, that is not a railway company, but the National Women's Register which started life as the National Housewives Register in 1960 (the term Housewife being dropped a long time ago, though.) It was great fun. Book groups often are!
    Margaret P

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    1. I think the book aspect just gives us an excuse to meet monthly and drink wine. The book is generally only discussed for ten minutes, but I suppose that is better than nothing! I have never heard of the NWR, it sounds a but like the WI, which I have toyed with idea of joining a few times.

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    2. I was a member of the NWR years ago, great organisation :D

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  3. Yum yum yum, that looks delicious! I also baked one of my favourites today: an apple spiced cake. Thanks for your lovely comment - it really cheered me reading everyone's messages :-) x

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    1. Apple spiced cake - that sounds delicious and autumnal. I have a recipe for brown sugar spiced apple cake that looks amazing, I really must make it! (Glad you are feeling cheered up! xx

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  4. I make Nigella's lemon drizzle cake too, it's delicious. Mmmmm, I'd like a slice right now!

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    1. We ate all ours. In under 24 hours. That may be a household record!

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  5. Lemon drizzle is a favourite of mine either nigella or Hugh F- W. In NZ it was common practice to take a meal around to a new mum. I benefitted from it and it was wonderful.

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    1. It's such a nice thing to do and to receive. I love baking for new Mums as it gives me a legitimate excuse to turn up on their doorstep hoping for baby cuddles!

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  6. I love lemon drizzle cake, but not as much as carrot cake which is currently in a tin in the cupboard. I'm trying, unsuccessfully, to be good and give it a wide berth.

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    1. Mmm, carrot cake. I haven't made one for a while, I love it, especially with cream cheese frosting. I don't think that lemon cake even made it into the tin, it's all gone now!

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  7. I have a recipe very similar that is a firm favourite to bake too. I love your photos in this post...very sunshiny!
    xxx

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    1. Thank you Lyn, I was hoping they would be sunshiny! I felt in need of some yellow to brighten up my kitchen. x

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  8. It looks delicious! I make a lemon loaf cake by Barefoot Contessa that sounds very similar to this recipe! It's such a great summer dessert! And I agree with Lyn, your photos are so bright and lovely!

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    1. I LOVE Barefoot Contessa. Sometimes her shows are available over here. I think I love her house as much as her cooking!

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  9. Love the 'making your own sunshine' ;-)

    What a delightful delicious looking recipe.... printed & saved, this is a keeper!!

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    1. Oh good! I hope you like it. Sorry it's in grams - I didn't have time to convert it to ounces or cups...

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  10. NWR was and is a great organization. It started from humble beginnings in 1960s when a housewife was lonely and needed company for mental stimulation, as she was at home with her children all day, unlike today when most women go out to work regardles of looking after children. Soon a whole nationwide organization sprang up, with local groups all over the country, each group being autonomous but belonging to the whole, so to speak. It was a means of meeting what was referred to then as "like-minded women", a means of getting to know people when you moved to a new area and didn't know anyone. It wasn't really like the WI or the Townswomen's Guild because the members met (and still do) in each other's homes, and to keep it from becoming a I-can-cook-better-than-you affair, all that was required was tea and coffee and biscuits. Members organized their own programme of meetings, speakers (if required), outings, book groups, and so forth. They democratically elected their Local Organizer who didn't exactly run the group, but was the person that new members might contact, the go-to person on the list of organizations in the local library and places like that. I was the first Local Organizer for our local group, and it was great fun, I loved every moment of it. Perhaps it's something that young women don't need today - there are so many groups for them to belong to, mother and toddler groups, and so forth. In 1960 a lot of women felt very isolated if they had children, had given up work (sometimes a professional career), and had perhaps moved to an area different from where they had grown up. Look up National Women's Register on the internet. That should tell you more about it.
    Margaret P

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  11. What a lovely friend you are x
    and ooooh that cakes looks good....yummy
    stay dry
    love jooles x

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  12. what a lovely friend you are x
    and ooooh that cake looks yum
    stay dry!
    love jooles x

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    1. Thank you Jooles. I'm not really, just returning the favour. That same lady turned up at mine with moussaka and lemon meringue pie when Angus was two weeks old! x

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  13. yum...cake... splendid - your friend is very lucky!

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    1. Thanks. Cake is good in all situations, I find!

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  14. I laughed so hard when you said "Oh look it just rained on my washing."

    The cake looks delish!

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    1. Oh, the rain... I seem to do so much washing, some days I feel like my life revolves around the washing basket and the weather forecast!

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  15. Yummy looking cake! I'm with you, baking is much better than cooking dinner. I shall give this one a go :D

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    1. Annie, I keep meaning to try your Ovaltine loaf cake - I need to actually print it out and put it in the kitchen so that I remember to make it. That cake keeps popping back into my head at random moments, tempting me.

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  16. looked so good can u believe that it is 22:00 pm and while writing you these words my lemon cake is in the oven :) you made me very happy and by the smell in my kitchen i'm about to become happier! so thanks...
    sharing with you a funny link on youtube about lemon drizzled cake-
    http://youtu.be/O0IgXpZtqbc
    hope you enjoy it,
    sharon.

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    1. That video made me laugh so much! Thanks for sharing. It's ages since I watched any Little Britain. "The lemon drizzle cake contains...no nuts."

      I do hope you enjoy the cake. It smells lovely while it's cooking - you can't beat the smell of lemons. And definitely nut free! ;-)

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  17. this looks sensational. i actually bookmarked it the other day to bake with our own homegrown lemons. i just forgot to comment when i was here thinking too much about how good it would taste. xo

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    1. Homegrown lemons!!! I am fantasising about living in a climate where such things exist...how lovely. Hope you like it. x

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