I own a lot of cookbooks. I’m talking over a hundred. Actually that’s a conservative estimate. That was at last count, months ago, before the last spree.
Here’s the thing -I rarely cook from them. I use them as some form of relaxation reading. They sit in stubby piles by my bed and in precarious tottering piles on the dining room table. I guess you could say I have a habit and it’s one I’m in no rush to quell.
Here’s a rare recipe I have actually tried from a beautiful book. I can’t vouch for the recipes in the rest of the book as it’s all just food porn to me. I can vouch for the zingy cover, the typeface and the injection of Anglo-French lifestyle chatter.
From Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery
- 250g soft, unsalted butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of 1 lemon
- grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 rounded tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50g ground almonds
- 280g plain flour
And for the glaze:
- juice of 1 lemon and about 150g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to Gas 4 and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl until very light and creamy. I use a handheld electric mixer to do this. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract and do the same. Then the lemon juice and zest. If the mixture curdles, worry not. Just carry on regardless.
Mix the baking powder, flour, almonds and salt and then fold this into the buttery egg mixture. Pour into the tin and bake for, well the book says 35 ish minutes. Mine took longer until a skewer came out clean but I suspect my oven is crap. The buttons on it have melted. A classic sign of a crap oven.
Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack. Once cool, remove from the tin, mix the glaze ingredients together and pour over the cake. It makes you feel most like a Brit living the Gallic dream if you let the glaze drip down the sides in a carefree fashion.
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