Somehow I have been doing this blogging thing for a year now….that’s right, it was a year ago that I clicked publish on my first (atrocious) post (and no I’m not going to link to it, if you want to see that atrocity you have to find it yourself!), though it really doesn’t feel like it has been that long. Back then I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – how to write a blog post, take decent photos, promote it, use social media effectively (still a bit clueless on that one…) or much of anything really. I have learned a vast amount since then, though there is still a long way to go… I have also baked (and eaten) a huge amount, and have hit publish on a total of 91 posts, including this one. I have gotten to know some lovely fellow bloggers, who have been nothing but helpful and supportive, worked with some great brands, and most importantly, have enjoyed (almost) every bit of it – bring on another year! I want to take a moment to thank every one of you who takes the time to read my posts, comment on them, follow me on (deep breath..) PinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+Instagram and to share my work, I appreciate you all.
A birthday would not be complete without cake, I dithered for a while about what to make, thinking that I should go for some some elaborate cake with many layers and several kinds of icing to celebrate the occasion… But to be perfectly frank, I wasn’t really in the mood for it and was just craving something simple and satisfying, so I made a lemon and cardamom sour cream pound cake (and yes I know that I posted a recipe for lemon drizzle cake just last week but you can never have enough lemon cake in my opinion). This decision was mostly based on the fact that I had some leftover sour cream and some lemons that needed to be used up….but the result was truly delicious, soft, moist and flavourful with just the right amount of cardamon and a lemony tang.
I lightened it up a little by using self-raising rather than plain flour – pound cake traditionally doesn’t contain a raising agent, though it still has a close crumb texture; and I replaced some of the butter with sour cream, which keeps it lovely and moist and adds to the tang from the lemon. I love baking with cardamom, and it pairs perfectly with lemon, making the cake a little more interesting than just a plain lemon cake and adding a subtle warmth, it isn’t at all overpowering though. The cake is lovely just as it is, but is also delicious with fruit and a dollop of yoghurt or cream, especially if you cook the fruit a little first to make a compote .
If you can’t get enough of lemon you may want to check out some of these delicious lemony recipes: lovely Lemon ricotta cake from Vikalinka, check out the piping on Patisserie Makes Perfect’s Lemon meringue pie! A very British Earl Grey and lemon bundt cake from Cygnet Kitchen and a gorgeous Romantic rose and lemon cake from Supergolden Bakes.
- 110g (1 stick) softened butter
- 250g (1 + ¼ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 4 large eggs
- 230g (scant 2 cups) self-raising flour
- 130g (4.5 oz) sour cream (full fat)
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- pinch salt
- 150g (1 + ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease an approx. 23x13 cm loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
- Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once you have mixed in all the eggs, sift in half of the flour and mix until it is just combined; mix in the sour cream, cardamom and salt, then sift in the remaining flour and mix until just combined - don't overbeat the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the tin and level the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes until well risen, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. You may need to cover the top of the cake with foil partway through baking to prevent it from browning too much.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth and free of lumps. Pour the glaze over the cake, making sure that it gets an even coating; it is fairly runny so you may want to place a tray under the cake to catch any drips.