On our recent trip we got fresh lemons from a wayside vendor at Dihangi. It's a village that we cross when we go to Haflong, my hometown. Many of the sellers are subsistence farmers and by way of produce, it's never in large quantities. Multi-coloured corn, hot chillies, herbs, pineapples, bamboo shoots, papayas, amaranth leaves, mushrooms are the usual produce sold during this season. But the fruits and the vegetables are grown without the use of fertilisers and they taste so good.
When I saw these lemons, Donna Hay's recipe of a lemon cake came to mind. particularly because my older son is fond of cakes with citrusy flavours. Only one lemon was used in this recipe but it was enough for the cake as well as the dressing.
For the cake
100 grams butter at room temperature
100 grams caster sugar
140 grams plain flour (sieved with a level tsp of baking powder)
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
Grated rind of one whole lemon
Juice of half a lemon (some people might like to add more...it all depends on personal taste)
For the dressing:
The juice from the other half of the lemon was squeezed out and was mixed with about four level tablespoons of sugar. The dressing was poured when the cake was still warm.
Grease a ring mould and dust it with flour. Keep aside. Preheat the oven. Cream butter and sugar. Break the eggs one by one and beat into the mixture. Add the vanilla essence and the juice and rind of the lemon. Fold in the sieved flour making sure that no lumps remain. Pour the batter into the mould, give it a good tap on the worktop to remove any air bubbles and bake in a 180* oven for about 25-30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the dressing all along the circumference of the cake with the help of a spoon making sure that some of the sugary-lemony mix falls on the sides. The cake tastes best at room temperature. The balance of tang and sweetness made it most delicious!