This heavenly cake is taken from Lucas Hollweg’s Good Things To Eat book. He has a very easy, approachable style and straight-forward utterly delicious recipes so it’s definitely a book that will get dog-eared and stained through regular use. This cake has a moist, crumbly texture with a tart lemon and subtle cardamom back-note. I held back slightly on the cardamom as it’s a potent spice and I remember ruining a white chocolate and cardamom mousse with heavy- handed use of it. I think next time I’ll be a bit bolder and add a touch more, as per exact recipe, as I love cardamom and it works surprisingly well with the lemon. A cup of tea is an essential partner.
30 minutes preparation, 40 minutes cooking
1 tbsp green cardamom pods
175 soft butter, plus extra for greasing
175g light brown sugar
4 lemons, zest, and juice of 2
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g granulated sugar
- Pre-heat oven 180C / gas 4 / 350F. Grease and line a 21cm x 10cm (900g) loaf tin with baking parchment. I find one strip of baking paper that covers both ends and base is all you need.
- Cut the cardamom seeds open and shake out seeds. Put in a pestle and mortar and crush to a coarse powder (or chop with a knife).
- Put the butter and sugar in a bowl with the cardamom and zest of 2 lemons. Cream together with an electric whisk until smooth. Beat in the eggs gradually, adding 1 tbsp of flour if it starts to curdle. Sift in the flour and baking powder then fold in until smooth consistency. Beat in the juice of 1 lemon.
- Tip into the loaf tin and smooth the top. I’ve got a small palette knife that is great for this but a back of a spoon works OK too. Bake for 40 minutes, until its set and the top has turned a lovely golden brown.
- While the cake is still hot, spike the top about 20 times with a skewer. Mix together the juice of 1 lemon and the zest of 2 then quickly stir in the granulated sugar. Spoon it over the top of the cake immediately so the sugar doesn’t dissolve too much and it retains its crunch. Leave to cool in the tin before sitting down and eating a slice with a huge smile on your face. Thank you Lucas!