Despite being closed away in the Eglu the chickens woke me up this morning with much squawking and clucking. Since I was the only person up and I had another doz eggs in my hands (including one lovely warm egg that had just been laid – the reason for all Yasmin’s noise) I decided to make a cake.
Wanting something easy I decided to make the Iced Lemon Traybake from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. I’m using this book a lot at the moment as it is an excellent way of getting a wide repertoire of ‘basic’ cakes, (I doubt I’ll manage to make every recipe in the book though as there’s over 250). The only drawback with deciding to bake first thing in the morning is no softened butter. I cubed it and zapped it in the microwave for 20secs but there were still a few large lumps as I mixed. I hope I didn’t overmix the cake mixture. I needed to zest two lemons so used the new box grater I’d picked up in Tesco – I couldn’t believe how much easier it made it, thinking back I think my old box grater dated from university days, I guess it had got a bit blunt.
This traybake was very easy to make, the top surface wasn’t perfectly smooth (see pic below) and the icing didn’t cover it up completely. I’m still not sure whether I should turn the tray bake over to ice. I should smooth the mixture more before putting into the oven to bake I just worry about overhandling the mixture. The end result was lovely light sponge squares with delicate lemon flavour icing. I only used one of the lemons in the icing. I think with a nice sharp grater to get all the zest I would have been fine with 1 large lemon.
- 225g (8oz) softened butter
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 275g (10oz) self raising flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbsps milk
- grated rind 2 unwaxed lemons
For the icing
- 3 tbsps lemon juice
- 225g (8oz) sifted icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/Fan 160 C/Gas Mark 4
- Grease and line a 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) traybake tin.
- Measure all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the cake has shrunk away from the sides of the tin and springs bake when pressed. Leave to cool in the tin.
- Mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar to give a runny consistency. Spread out evenly over the cake and leave to set before cutting into 21 pieces.