This is the fourth and final post in my mini series on baked goods using condensed milk - the others are double chocolate blueberry cookies, brown sugar chocolate cake and blueberry and cranberry condensed milk oat cookies. It's also another in my 'Marked and Made' series - all of the things that I've had bookmarked either physically or on the t'internet as being things that I should really get round to making at some point. That point has arrived!
Dan Lepard (who else!) first published this recipe for Lemon butter cake in August 2006. Wow, I really am digging into the archives aren't I!
I followed the recipe pretty much as given here, but I don't think I had quite enough lemon juice - I think that some of the volume of my lemon juice was made up with lemon segment bits, so next time I'd add the full amount of lemon juice for even more tang. I can't link to Dan Lepard's forums on this cake at the moment because he's doing maintenance on them (hoping to have them back soon, as they're an invaluable source of hints and tips!) but Suelle at Mainly Baking has made this cake (before she started blogging!), and mentioned that she had trouble whisking the egg white to the required consistency. I was unsure what to do about this, but decided to go with Dan's instructions as I had an electric hand whisk to do the hard work (which Suelle didn't have) and I think that they turned out ok - see pic below:
I haven't done much work with egg whites, but these are fairly shiny and probably soft peak stage? I'm not sure if that is correct, but the cake seemed to work well. The only other change I made was to cook the cake a little longer (if you look carefully you can see it's a little overdone on the edges) and I omitted the lemon juice in the icing topping. I really wish that I had used it though, because I think it really would have added to the overall lemon-yness of the cake.
Such a lovely, lovely cake. I wish I hadn't waited this long to try it for the first time. I will certainly be making this one again. The cake has a close crumb, and wasn't really what I was expecting - I suppose I was expecting it to be similar to the lemon syrup cake I often make (a Nigella recipe) although there's no reason to think it would be. The lemon flavour is beautiful - not absolutely in-your-face, but very definite and almost builds in intensity as you chew the cake, going back for one mouthful after another. I think that a lemon icing would have just finished this off and I'm very annoyed at myself for having not used lemon juice in my icing. A real success, and a great use of condensed milk! I think that overall, the two cakes I made with condensed milk were more successful than the cookies, but then I'm not great at making cookies I guess!