When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you flour, butter, sugar and eggs, preheat the oven.
One of the advantages of occasionally working at home is that at lunchtime you can decide that the time is right to make a cake, get up from your desk, and get started. I was thinking this yesterday after a busy morning at my desk and then I came across a post from a gorgeous blog called Bliss in images, titled “For goodness’ sake let’s eat some cake” . It expressed just what I was thinking – it’s cake o’clock – and I couldn’t help myself. Out came the ingredients and 45 minutes later there was cake.
The best thing about this cake is that it can be eaten almost straight from the oven – there’s no icing, just a tangy, sour-sweet syrup that gets poured over the hot cake and soaks in, making the cake moist and citrusy and delicious. The next best thing about this cake is that it is prepared in a food processor and takes only a few minutes to go from ingredients to mixture to oven. The only bad thing about this cake is that it disappears far too quickly every time.
Make a 20 cm round cake and serves 8 – 10
100 g pecan nuts, finely chopped
150 g butter
1 cup sugar
finely grated rind of 3 limes
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or paste
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons verjuice
3 tablespoons sugar
juice of 3 limes
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20cm, deep, round cake tin and line the base with silicon paper. In a food processor, combine the butter, sugar, flour and lime rind. Process together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla, egg, milk and verjuice and process until a smooth batter is formed. Don’t overdo the mixing or else a tough cake will be the result. Gently mix in the pecan nuts with a wooden spoon or spatula. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and the cake springs back when pressed gently with your fingertips. Meanwhile mix together the lime juice and sugar and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. When the cake is cooked, take out of the oven and after 5 minutes, carefully turn out onto a serving plate. Drizzle over the lime syrup, a little bit at a time, so that it soaks into the cake. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or a dollop of greek yoghurt on the side.
Sounds wonderful, but I have never heard of Verjuice before – google suggests lemon juice might be a good substitute, do you agree?
Yes, lemon juice would work fine. Verjuice is just a little gentler in flavour but lemon is often substituted if verjuice is not available. I use it a fair bit at the moment because my family, knowing I love it, bought me a couple of bottles for Christmas. The best is Maggie Beer’s verjuice. Happy cooking. margaret
I absolutely love citrus in cakes. Lime is a huge favourite (in all areas of cooking!), so can’t wait to try this. When I do, I’ll make it gluten-free so I can indulge. The kids and their friends have been loading up on the last cake I made. Good to see that beast moving out of the kitchen! X
I hope you like it. I was only saying to my oldest that next time I make it it will be gluten free so he can have some. I think a straight substitution of gluten free flour would be fine with this cake. Sometimes that doesn’t work at all for me when adapting recipes, but in this case, with the nuts and the syrup I don’t think the end result would be too crumbly. Let us know how it goes. margaret
A like the idea of lime instead of lemon!
For this case the lime instead of the more usual lemon was driven by lots of limes in the fruit bowl from our lime tree, which is having a really good crop this year. But the slightly less tart flavour of the lime seemed to me to be a better combination with the pecans. It was delicious! margaret