So after three weeks of back to back holidays, I have a huge amount to write, but I’m taking my time, settling back home, attacking the Giant Washing Mountain of Buckinghamshire, and doing a bit of nesting.
I love our house and, although I’ve loved every minute of gallivanting about on the med, it’s just been wonderful to come back to English Towers, find my slippers (although one was populated by a spider of epic proportions that prompted much hopping about and squealing), dig out my jimjams and kick back with a cuppa and a magazine. I’m having a bit of a magazine crisis at the moment. I’ve gone off my old favourite so I’ve been buying a few different ones to try them out. This one is really good. One of my Instagram friends described it as a ‘lovely cosy warm jumper’
But most of all it’s been lovely to get back in the kitchen and baking again. On Sunday, we had a Moroccan chicken pilaf (an easy, one-pot wonder) and then lemon drizzle cake (which seemed somewhat apt as we sat at the table and watched the drizzle in the garden):
Lemon Drizzle Cake
170g golden caster sugar
170g self raising flour
3 large free range eggs (duck eggs are fab for baking if you can find them)
2 large unwaxed lemons
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
So it starts off just as a normal ‘pound cake’ really. Weigh everything out first, then cream the butter and the sugar until it’s really pale (preferably with an electric whisk – this should be really light).
Break the eggs into a bowl and add the juice and finely grated rind of one of the lemons, then it’s easy to just dribble it into the butter and sugar mixture, beating all the time.
If, when adding the eggs, the mixture starts to curdle, just add a tablespoon of the flour – this will bring it back together. Now stir in the flour until it’s just combined.
Pour into a buttered loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees/gas 4 for about 30 – 40 minutes. Check to see if it’s done by popping a skewer into the centre. It should come out clean. If not, put it back in for 5 minutes.
Bring it out of the oven. Put the zest and juice of the second lemon into a bowl and whisk in your sifted icing sugar, then carefully take the cake out of the tin and spoon the lemony liquid all over the top of the cake. Serve at once with lots of cream or ice cream. Or leave to cool and scoff with a cup of tea. Either way, it’s divine.