Sunday, 21 April 2013
Lemons are something that I always have in my larder . . . a bit bowl filled with them. They are pretty to look at, smell fabulous and I always have a use for them . . . be it the juice or the zest . . . in something savoury, or sweet. They are one of my top ingredients.
Another thing I always have hanging about is chocolate . . . good quality dark chocolate, in large slabs, with at least 70% cocoa solids and also a good quality milk chocolate. My favourite is Green & Blacks Milk Chocolate as although it is milk chocolate it has a dark quality and rich flavour to it. It's not overly sweet. I don't like it when my chocolate is overly, sickenly . . . sweet.
You might be surprised to know that lemon and chocolate are two flavours that go very well together . . . seriously! Fruits that are tart and sour really balance out the sweet qualities of chocolate, and in particular, delicious loaves and cakes . . . where there is just a hint of lemon and a hint of chocolate. Together they are a sublimely delicious combination.
Never more so than in this deliciously moist loaf cake . . . with it's buttery moist batter, enriched with the light tang of plain yogurt and subtle flavour of fresh lemon zest . . . and lucious little bits of creamy chocolate . . .
Glazed while still hot with a tasty mixture of sugar, lemon juice and orange liqueur, giving the outside of the loaf a slight crunch. There is the option of adding toasted walnuts along with the chocolate, which I normally do add . . . but today alas . . . my cupboard was completely bare of the little dears . . .
This is very good . . . scrummily good . . . moreishly good. Rich and moist. Tangy and sweet. Crunchy and soft.
A little bit of heaven right from the first slice, down to the last bite!
This is a winner . . . pure and simple.
*Lemon Chocolate Chip Cake*
Makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf cake
Wrapped well in foil, and stored in a cool place, this delicious cake keeps for about 3 weeks, not that I've ever had it around that long.
4 ounces butter, room temperature (1/2 cup)
7 ounces caster sugar (1 cup fine granulated)
3 large free range eggs
the finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
8 1/2 ounces flour (2 cups)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
250ml of plain yoghurt (1 cup)
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bits (1 cup)
2.25 ounces chopped toasted walnuts (1/2 cup) (Optional)
3 1/2 ounces caster sugar
the juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBS orange liqueur
(Can use the juice of one whole lemon and leave out the liqueur)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 5. Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin. Line with baking paper, leaving an overhang for ease of removal. Butter again. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour into a bowl. Remove 2 TBS and add to the chocolate chips and nuts if using. Whisk the remaining flour together with the lemon zest, soda, baking powder and salt. Add at once to the creamed mixture along with the yoghurt. Beat on high speed for several minutes. Fold in the chocolate and nut mixture. Spread into the prepared pan, leveling the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes while you make the topping.
Place all the topping ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour this slowly over the hot cake, allowing it to soak in. Lift out and allow to cool completely before cutting into slices to serve.
When I was going through my pictures I found a little glimpse of this "wee one" of ours peering on in adoration of the lemon and chocolate. I just could not resist showing you. Sadly this cake, because of the chocolate, is one that she must resist as much as it would charm and entice her . . . quite depressingly out of bounds!