We aren’t even half-way through August and already my recipe book collection has grown by two this month.
I confess that I have a book habit. I love buying books. I’d say all kinds but really it’s mostly fiction, cookery / baking and craft related tombs. It’s getting such a problem now that I am running out of space to put them. Pretty soon I think they are going to have to start becoming items of furniture themselves rather than being put on items of furniture.
Some of my older fiction books are in boxes in the loft and garage (because the loft is tiny), but I can’t do that with cookery / baking books. Because I never know when I might want them. Plus it would take away the pleasure of pulling a random one off of the shelf and discovering a recipe you had no idea existed, because you haven’t looked in said book for ages. There is comfort to be had in having them near and close at hand. I simply can’t box them away. It’s unthinkable.
So I’m just going to have to start being creative with where I put them. I’m not going to stop buying them. That is also unthinkable. Especially when I stumble across magical books that I know I will use for the rest of my life vastly reduced in the sale. I absolutely love it when that happens. There I am, minding my own business, rummaging through the sale rack when I come across a book that looks pretty and after a quick flick through, looks like it would be useful as well. Oh, and look at that, it has 75% off!!! I decide to get it, because at that price I don’t mind if I only get two recipes out of it. But when I get home and settle on the sofa in order to give it my full attention, I find it is a real gem of a book and that my £6 was money well spent.
And what goes well with sofa settling and book reading?
A mug of tea.
And what goes exceptionally well with tea?
Yep, that’s right. Cake.
I know that last week’s recipe was for a lemon based cake as well. But where as that one jumped up and gave you a big lemony kiss, this one is much more subtle.
I think the honey mellows it out a bit.
The recipe comes from Bake Love Nourish; by Amber Rose, my latest purchase. It’s a fascinating book because none of the recipes contain refined white sugar or refined flour. Which means that a lot of them are nut based, or else buckwheat, rye or spelt. Whilst I realise that rye and spelt are no good for those of us who can’t have gluten, I think I can easily adapt them using other flours instead. And the pictures are purty.
The original recipe has lavender in it. Lavender is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. I hate it. Even though we have lavender growing in the garden that doesn’t smell like stinky old lady soap at all, I decided to err on the side of caution and leave it out. We had guests. I didn’t want to have to either control the expression my face was pulling or spit out the cake in disgust. If the person who made it does that, it tends to put you off.
If you would like to include the lavender, then add 4 fresh or dried heads to the sugar before creaming it with the butter. I shall leave it to your discretion.
Lemon & Honey Cake
- 50g unrefined golden caster sugar
- 50g rapadura sugar (or you can use 100g golden caster sugar)
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g ground almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 75g honey
- 110g polenta (fine cornmeal)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 20cm diameter round cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugars together either by hand or using a mixer.
- Add the ground almonds and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
- Add the lemon juice and zest, polenta, honey, baking powder and salt and gently fold in.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the middle is firm to the touch and a tester comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Have you bought any new books this month – cookery or other wise? Let me know. Also, please tell me I’m not the only one with a book habit? Maybe we could start a support group.