Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oranges and lemons

It’s orange and lemon season here in Portugal, so here is a recipe to try out.

If you are using oranges just replace them where I have put lemons.

For the cake
Zest of 3 lemons (from your local tree or supermarket, whichever is closer)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Splash of vanilla extract
6 ounces butter at room temperature (sorry when baking I work in ounces)
6 ounces of light brown sugar
3 medium eggs (from your local hens or supermarket, whichever is closer)
6 ounces self raising flour
For the syrup glaze
Juice of 3 lemons
4 ounces of white sugar

Line a loaf tin.
Put on oven at 180 degrees.

Check out the size of this lemon
Cream together (in a food mixer) the butter and sugar, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the vanilla extract.  Finely grate in the zest of 2 or 3 lemons (more zest more zing to the cake, but I wouldn’t use more than 2 orange zests). 

Add the eggs one at time and mix together.

Add flour and mix (don’t over mix, just do it until it looks like all the flour has mixed in)
Pour into your loaf tin and put in the oven for 25 to 30 mins (check after 25 mins, insert skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean it’s ready, if not then try again in 5 mins).  Don’t open the oven in the first 15 mins of cooking or your cake will sink.

Be careful if you taste it, it'll be hot
Meanwhile, make your syrup glaze,  juice your lemons and put in a saucepan with the sugar.  Heat gently until the sugar has disappeared and the mixture is slightly thicker – so it coats a spoon – bring it to a boil and watch it that it does not boil over.

 Once the cake is cooked bring it out of the over and stick a skewer in it lots of times.   

 Bring over your syrup glaze and pour slowly over the cake, it is amazing how much the cake will ‘drink’.  If  the cake cannot ‘drink’ anymore, leave for a couple of mins for the syrup glaze to soak in and then go back and pour some more over (any left over syrup would be lovely in a vodka and tonic).

Leave the cake in the tin for 20 mins then lift out using the paper to hold it together onto a wire rack.  The cake should have a lovely sheen to the top and be very moist inside.  Serve warm with a cup of tea or posh it up a bit for a pudding with some crème fresh and lemon zest.



  1. Just saw your tweet. Glad I topped by - this looks absolutely delicious!

  2. whoops that should be stopped by...
    too much vinho!