Our boys like a piece of cake in their lunch box for afternoon tea and, considering how much running around they do and that they have fruit and a wrap packed as well, I figure it's a little bit of comfort from home. So with lemons in abundance it is time to use them in as many dishes as possible. I have a real thing for citrus at the moment. It is a nice zingy contrast to some of the heavier slow cooked tomato based stews and roasts we are drawn to in the cooler months. Adding lemon peel to a stew is a good move too. Here's a lovely recipe for Lemon Yoghurt Syrup Cake, torn from The Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living (October 19, 2010). And it reminds me to plant a lemon and orange tree. What cheer and colour their foliage and fruit bring to winter gardens, and what zing they bring to our cooking.
Lemon yoghurt syrup cake
Ingredients: 125g butter, softened, 250g castor sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 tsp pure vanilla essence, zest of 2 lemons, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 400g self-raising flour (I used spelt flour), 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda. Syrup: 1 cup castor sugar, 1 cup water, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 lemons, finely sliced.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin with removable base. Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until combined. Add yoghurt, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and mix. Add flour and bicarbonate of soda and gently fold through. Put mixture in cake tin and smooth the surface. The mixture will be quite firm. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake is cooked through. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Add lemon slices and simmer for 10 minutes, to soften the lemons. Set aside. When cake is cooked, remove from oven and poke all over with a bamboo skewer, to make lots of small holes.Slowly pour the lemon syrup over the hot cake until it is all absorbed. Place the lemon slices decoratively on top. Allow to cool, them remove from tin.