My aunt recently gave me a copy of Annabel Langbein's latest cookbook ' Free Range Cook in the City'.
It was a such a delightful gift because most of the ingredients can be sourced locally and are not complicated to follow. Mostly recipes are simple but produces great food that you can prepare with a few basic ingredients that does not take too much cooking skills to prepare. I never enjoy baking as much as some people that I know. I was determined to rid of the lack of confidence when it comes to baking. And the only way to do so is to keep trying until I succeed. I am not joking when I say I can't bake. I've even failed to bake a simple banana cake.
Back to this recipe, the mentioned prep time was 5 minutes. Thought to self 'sweet, I just do this while waiting for my coffee'. I was so wrong. It took me 30 minutes. Firstly, I have to juice and grate zest of 4 lemons which took me more than 5 mins. Second speed bump was it was not mentioned how big the food processor that should be used. Mine is a standard size 1500ml capacity. I bet Ms Langbein's must be an enormous one because I could barely close the lid after pouring in 3 cups of flour and has to clean up some spillage and pour the remaining cup using the chute. If you have a bigger food processor this recipe will work in 10 minutes. But all the frustration was well rewarded when I saw the end result of a moist and zesty lemon cake.
I decorated mine with orange, lemon, lime slices and a handful of pomegranate. The cake retained its moisture after being in the fridge for 2 days thanks to using oil instead of butter ( as I was told by a very good cook). The cake calls for a 28cm cake tin but I only have a 24cm so I left it in the oven for extra 15 minutes. I brought some to a friend's afternoon tea and they enjoyed it. I will definitely make this again but next time I will only put half the ingredients and make a smaller cake instead.
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
1.5 cup unflavoured yogurt
3 cup sugar
4 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup dessicated coconut ( Use the coarser type if you like the texture in your cake)
2 cups neutral oil ( I used rice bran oil)
a pinch of salt
Cream cheese frosting:
75g butter , softened but unmelted
250gm cream cheese
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
Bake at Fan Bake for 1.5 hours at 160c. I baked mine at 170 because the seal of my oven is a little loose and loses heat. If you are an amateur like me, please resist getting the cake out of the tin while it's hot. Let it cool down on the bench and it will shrink a little and you will not have broken bits like mine.