Graduation and an amazing Lime Cake

Yesterday I graduated from my degree. Hooray! It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it much more than the graduation ceremony for my undergrad degree. The speeches were short and sweet and I wasnt totally freezing beneath my gown (my last graduation was on a particularly cold April day) so, all in all, it was lovely!

So today, in honour of ending another chapter of my life, I thought I would try a recipe ive been itching to have a go at. The CWA Lime Cake. Given my love for all things citrus, im sure this isnt surprising. I had a few limes that were about to turn and half a packet of almond meal left over from christmas, so this recipe seemed to tie up a lot of loose ends. Until I realised that the almond meal was slightly mouldy and filled with bugs :S ugh! So, instead I tried substituting more flour for the 1/3 cup almond meal required, and added about another tablespoon of lime juice. There was no real rationale for the extra lime juice, other than the fact that I just really love lime!

An hour later and all I can say is yummo! The cake turned out deliciously light and moist with a slight limy syrup sinking to the bottom. I would have liked a tiny bit more limyness but the recipe gave such a nice hint of lime that this cake definitely had me going back for seconds. Very very easy to make, this recipe was a success! One other thing to add, a bonus with this cake is that it was inordinately easy to get out of the tin. often I have real trouble with cakes sticking to the sides and breaking when I try to get them out of the tin, but this cake literally fell out onto the cooling rack when I turned the tin upside down. Amazing!

Lime Cake

Adapted from the recipe by Gwyneth Watkins in the Country Womens Association Cakes Cookbook

Ingredients

180g softened butter

1 cup sugar

zest of one lime

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups self raising flour

1/3 cup self raising flour (Im terrible at fractions and couldnt work out how to add the two)

3/4 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons lime juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius

2. Cream butter and sugar

3. Beat in zest and eggs

4. Fold in sifted flour, sour cream and lime juice

5. pour into 18cm tin and bake for one hour

Milton, CWA and Lemon Curd = Perfection

Or

The Search for the Perfect Sponge

I love a rainy day. I love the smell, I love the temperature, I love how the garden looks greener and I love that I can have my oven on all day and not feel like im about to evaporate. So today, when the temperature dropped and the rain set in, I decided to continue my quest to make the perfect sponge cake.

Now, im going in blind here as I cant really remember the last time I ate an amazing sponge cake, or any sponge cake at all. But after purchasing the Country Women’s Association Cakes Cookbook from a pretty little shop in Milton on the weekend, I felt it was my civic duty to attempt their sponge cake recipes. Notoriously difficult to perfect, its a recipe ive shied away from for many years. However, with four different sponge cake recipes supplied in this cookbook from seasoned bakers all around the country, I felt I was under good instruction. Thus began my quest for the perfect sponge.

Attempts #1 and #2 were marred by sinking centers and much too crunchy crusts.

Today marked Attempt #3.

Operation: Beat Eggs and Sugar Much Longer

Success: Marginal

I was impressed by how much this cake rose after significantly increasing the beating time of the eggs and sugar. However, im still not convinced that this is the best it can be. The cake still comes out with a crusty edge and its a little too dry for my liking. The only super amazing thing about this creation was… no surprise… Stephanie Alexander’s Lemon Curd.

Amazing. Even though it didnt thicken enough to allow me to put a substantial amount inside the cake… the taste more than makes up for that. Just amazing. The Lemon Cupcakes below should take heed.

However, I feel the necessity for Attempt #4 any suggestions for the Perfect Sponge?