Some weeks are just disastrous in our house. I love cooking, but some days my baking exploits turn out a right shocking mess. Sometimes they are strokes of genius, but sometimes they go crazy wrong. A lack of sleep and a pile of papers to complete and I’m a bit of a blubbering (cake needing) mess. It was about two weeks ago now that I had my heart set on making this gorgeous cake I’d seen on a blog that I love. I’d received my organic veg box and I was sure I had all the ingredients. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Emma Dean, and to see her Rhubarb cake featured on Hello Lunch Lady‘s Same Old Crap, I knew that the pairing of these two great minds was definitely something that I had to try. These ladies know good, simple, family food.
It seemed all was well, but then something happened. As it turns out my rhubarb was not rhubarb at all. It was rainbow chard… which was a bit palm in my face funny at the time, and in hindsight it is hilarious. Luckily I realised before I’d actually started baking. I took it out to chop it up and I looked at it and I thought… oh crap! I was that vague that day that I sat for fifteen minutes comparing pictures of rhubarb and rainbow chard on a Google images search trying to figure out whether or not I was right. I confirmed my suspicions pretty quickly.
I had a problem, I didn’t have the main ingredient for a cake I really wanted to bake.
Then, I remembered the handful of beautiful organic lemons that I’d picked from the tree at Bo’s bush school.
I’ve had limited success with adjusting recipes from other peoples blogs and things… I’m much better starting from scratch and making something totally new. But this one worked. It is a cake that I have made (and eaten) three times since this first magic day and I’ve got to say the recipe is pretty amazing. Lemons are in season now and in my area there are trees fruiting all over the place…
This cake is an adapted version of Emma Dean’s beautiful Rhubarb Cake – which I’m sure would be AMAZING, should I be able to get my hands on some locally grown rhubarb… in the mean time, I’ll just keep eating one of these every week.
Eat Cake. Feel the love.
LEMON + RASPBERRY CAKE
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 cups of rapadura sugar (coconut sugar and raw sugar both work really well)
1 tsp vanilla extract or organic vanilla powder
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
300g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
250g sour cream
Zest and juice of one lemon
3-4 lemon slices
1/4 cup thyme sugar (fresh thyme + rapadura)
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Line a 22cm round cake tin with grease proof paper.
Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until the mix is thick and creamy.
Add the sifted flour and baking soda to the mixture and combine thoroughly. Gently fold through the mixture the sour cream, raspberries, lemon juice and lemon rind. Go slowly and gently as to not break up the raspberries too much – if you do the cake will go a bit of a funny colour, but don’t worry, it’ll still be delicious.
Top the cake with thin slices of lemon, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and the thyme sugar (rapadura sugar with 2-3 sprigs of thyme leaves mixed through).
Bake in the oven for about an hour and twenty minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire pan. Top with fresh sprigs of thyme, plenty of fresh raspberries, a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar and just try to resist – or don’t bother and just dig in, it is irresistible.
We tend to eat half as soon as it comes out of the oven, it’s good at room temperature, but it’s particularly spectacular when it’s fresh and warm.
You know, life get’s busy and hectic and crazy and there are lots of things that happen to us that we don’t have a lot of control over… but there is one thing that we always have control over, and that’s the way that we react to the strange and sometimes difficult things (and people) that walk in and out of our lives. We can always always treat ourselves with respect and love and to be kind first, not only to ourselves but to our kids and to everyone around us…
Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for ourselves, or for those around us, is just to bake a big warm cake that says everything you’ve been meaning to say…
Because a big slice of warm fresh cake, can really turn a crappy day around (but maybe not if it’s made with rainbow chard…)