The seasons are changing. It's been a good monsoon in my little corner of the world and I can now sense it's retreat. And this year, I have accepted every bit of the monsoon, without a word of complaint. I love the rains but there have always been spells before, when I said, enough, the rain need to take a breather. But, not this year. Not after that absolutely horrific and brutal Summer we had to endure.
So, yes I have accepted every mood and every spell of the rains. From days, when the sheer excess of it swept away all that it came in contact with to the day when, it teased us with a little drizzle with the promise of more to come. I have enjoyed seeing the landscape turn from that dried-out, parched shade of brown to that playful, vibrant shade of light green that speaks of revival to that dark, saturated shade of verdant green that tells you that the monsoon has kept its promise. Little, white flowers whose scent were a Summer evening's only retribution have made way for rich, vibrant flowers, all in time for the upcoming festive season. So yes, its been a good season and the seasons are now changing.
But, whatever be the season, there's always time for some cake. And this time, it's a lemon cake. For no other reason, that all my recent posts after the Summer have been chocolate based and that needed to change.
This is a lemon and yoghurt cake, baked in a ring tin and then topped with a lemon, sugar drizzle. The recipe is by Donna Hay and it can't be simpler. You literally have to bunk all the ingredients in a bowl, stir and then put it to bake.
And no, you cannot ignore that drizzle. I know my photographs don't do it photogenic justice, but trust me, you can't leave it out. That's what ups the lemon quotient and leaves that twang in your mouth, the kind you are left with after say, a lemon tart. But learn from me and let the sugar dissolve, just a wee bit so that the juices release and its a more spreadable consistency.
I've used demerara sugar as I now do with most of my baking and is the reason why my crumb is that shade of brown as opposed to a white crumb, if I had used regular sugar. Use whatever you have at home. I have used a bundt cake tin, but this cake can also be baked it a regular cake tin or even loaf tin.
Goes without saying, bake this cake only if you love lemons. Else, you are better off baking another cake.
I have called this cake a 'ciambella', that's Italian for a bundt cake. I could have called it a bundt cake but for some reason, I found the word ciambella (pronounced cham-bel-la) so evocative. You can just imagine the whole scene. One of the little villages along the Amalfi coast with its pastel coloured houses and the boats bobbing in the sea. The air is perfumed with the scent of lemons and while the catch of the day is being unloaded, you sit with your journal with a cup of coffee and a slice of this lemon ciambella. What a lovely way to start the day. Ohh..indulge a girl and her arm chair travels!
Have a beautiful weekend, wherever you are, all you lovely people!
Lemon and Yoghurt Ciambella
Recipe : Donna Hay, minimally adapted
Makes one 24-cm fluted bundt cake. Serves 8-10
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup thick, natural yoghurt
- 1 3/4 cups superfine (caster) demerara sugar (you can use regular white sugar)
- 2 cups self-raising flour*
- For lemon frosting:
- 3/4 cup regular, white granular sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and dust a 24-cm fluted bundt cake tin.
- Place the oil, eggs, rind, lemon juice, yoghurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Sift over the flour and stir until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm fluted ring tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- While the cake is still hot (wait for 5 minutes after you remove the cake from the oven), remove from the tin and place on a plate.
- To make the lemon frosting, gently stir together the sugar and lemon juice. You want the sugar to dissolve a little in the lemon juice to create a slurry but you still want the sugar granules to maintain their crunch and not dissolve completely.
- Spoon over the cake and allow to set. Serve warm.