This is my boyfriend’s favourite cake and a really easy one too! It comes from one of my most loved cookbooks: A second helping by Alexa Johnston. I bought it as a souvenir on holiday in New Zealand. We went there for a month so we only could pack the absolute essentials. That also meant we couldn’t buy any heavy souvenirs as we had no extra space. So we left our Belgian chocolate with our friends over there and came back with the cookbook instead. The book includes traditional recipes all with a story attached and they are all equally delicious! This cake has an intense lemony tang and it’s not too sweet.
Preheat the oven to 160 C and lightly grease a medium-sized loaf tin (about 22 cm x 11 cm). Cream 115 g softened butter with 150 g sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the zest of 2 lemons (you need about 2 tsp, but if you love lemons as much as I do, a bit more will never hurt). Then add 2 eggs, one at the time, beating well after each addition. Use a spoon to gently fold in 180 g of self-raising flour in about three lots (or use plain flour and add 1 tsp of baking powder – I never bother to sift my flour, this is a lazy recipe after all). Alternate it with adding 110 ml milk, also in three lots.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 min. until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake will have a long crack running along the tops and should be just pulling away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin.
Combine 70 g of sugar and the juice of the 2 lemons (you need 2 tbsp, again, more can never hurt) and spoon this mixture over the top of the still hot cake. It will soak in a little and run down the sides, leaving a thin crust of sugar on the top. Finish cooling in the tin. If you want, you can freeze the cake: wrap it well in waxed paper and tin foil first. This cake will easily last you the best part of a week, so you have your daily dessert all ready! If you can avoid eating it all at once that is… Enjoy!