Good afternoon to my 7 readers (an increase from last week’s three)
Last week I asked my colleagues what they wanted to appear in the work kitchen come Monday, and the legend that is Jessica Smith suggested the humble Lemon Drizzle Cake. Hell yes, Jess, hell yes.
Mary Berry had a lemon drizzle cake recipe but I only tested one of other bakes a couple of weeks ago, so I chose Raymond Blanc’s recipe. I compared this to a recipe I found on a blog called ‘The Londoner’. The bitch that writes this blog proper slagged Starbucks off so I was down with her. Fucking overpriced bullshit.
After acquiring my ingredients, and pretending I didn’t read the bit where old Ray said I needed a cooking thermometer (times are hard, economy isn’t great), I set out to bake the citrus goodness.
I started with the pro recipe as I read that this motherfucking cake was going to take nearly AN HOUR in the oven. Christ. I weighed and sorted all the ingredients I needed and realised that, like last week, I had to figure out what the fuck a pinch of salt meant. A couple of shakes ought to do it (aye aye sailor).
The first step was to grease a loaf tin. I couldn’t believe my luck when I opened the cupboard to find we had not just one, but TWO loaf tins. Fucking winner. If you have read my previous posts, you will have seen that releasing my bakes from their moulds has proven difficult, until Mary Berry taught me that greasing the tin, lining it with baking paper, and greasing again was the way forward. Now, I know I’m meant to follow these recipes exactly, otherwise what the fuck is the point, but I am going to be greasing my tins like this from now on so the fuckers don’t fall apart and we can actually eat them.
After I greased and lined this tin, I cracked on with the mix. I had to zest a few lemons, and if there is one thing I hate more than anything else when baking, it’s zesting fruit. It is a nightmare. I don’t know if zesting tools actually exist so I can give my poor cheese grater a break, but I might start searching for one. After saying goodbye to the skin on my fingers, I made the rest of the cake mix. This was….actually pretty simple. Bordering boring. Essentially beat all the fucking ingredients together, then add the sifted flour and eggs. FIVE MOTHERFUCKING EGGS. This blog is going to bankrupt me. After doing so and ending up with a lovely lemony mix, I started ‘spooning’ it into the tin. That was taking far too bloody long so I just poured the stuff in. I also realised at this point that perhaps the tin was a touch too small, as it was nearly overflowing. In any case, I flung it into the oven and set my timer for 45 mins, so the incinerator wouldn’t have a chance to burn it to a crisp. (On that note, I did turn the temperature down 20 degrees as not only is it a fan oven and Frenchie didn’t give me a fan oven temperature, but also because this cunt of an oven will absolutely ruin food if you don’t check on it 10-15mins prior to taking it out.
In the meantime, I joined Lee and watched Chelsea V Spurs (1. Go fuck yourself, Spurs. 2. That was an extremely tense game. 3. Go fuck yourself, Spurs.) He screamed so loudly at Chelsea’s second goal I nearly shat myself (and I mean literally, I had seafood the night before.)
When my timer went off, I returned to the kitchen and took a peek into the oven. That cake looked near on perfect. I took it out to insert a skewer into the middle to make sure it was done….and the inside was fucking liquid. I mean it was barely warm. Now, because I am a culinary genius, I know that when this is the case it’s best to wrap the top in tinfoil and return it to the oven. I did so, and thought that 10mins was a good amount of time. 10mins later, I opened the incinerator door and I was greeted by a face full of fucking smoke. That cake was cooked alright, and the top was black. Great.
I lifted it out of the tin and peeled away the paper (barely a crumb stuck to it) and placed it on the wire rack to cool. Once it had ample time to do so, I took my knife and carved away the fucking charcoal. It wasn’t too bad of an attempt and the thing didn’t actually fall apart whilst I was doing so. I was placing a large amount of faith on the glaze and drizzle being able to hide the mess.
I then heated the apricot jam (fucking disgusting stuff) and brushed it over the cake whilst both were still warm, and afterwards started on the drizzle. 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to a shit tonne of icing sugar. I mixed it over a low heat and things were looking good. I dumped it on the cake and placed the whole thing back onto a baking tray to sit in the oven for a few minutes. I didn’t think this drizzle was going to dry but Frenchie McFrenchFace knew what he was talking about, as when I took the cake out it looked relatively normal. I placed it on a plate on the side to completely cool whilst I started the next cake.
This recipe was all of 5 sentences long. I mean, you could put some fucking effort into your blogs like I do. 5 bloody sentences, what fucking cheek. Again, a pretty simple process – beat the life out of the ingredients, pour into well greased tin, bake. I had to zest yet more fucking lemon, any skin that remained on my fingers was now well and truly gone.
The cooking time on this cake was 30-35mins, so again, I checked on it at 25mins. Again, the cake was baked on the outside and fluid inside. I just cant fucking win with that oven. I wrapped the top in tinfoil and threw it back in for 5mins (hoping this time it wouldn’t catch fire like the other cake seemed to). When I went to check, it seemed halfway done so I left it in there for another 5mins. When it was time, I took it out. Praying that the cake would be ok. Ultimately, there were a few crispy bits on the corners but honestly that’s to be expected. The rest of the cake looked good, so I turned it out and started on the drizzle. The recipe called for the juice of two whole lemons, which I thought was a bit much. And boy was I right. That amount of juice did not thicken at all when I added the powdered sugar. I knew it wasn’t going to end well, but I closed my eyes and drenched the cake. I hurled it back into the oven for 5mins in the hope that it would dry out, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. At least the drizzle would taste sour, I thought. I love lemon juice to a point where I drink it straight, which would cause heartburn in most people but I don’t actually have a heart and my soul is bitter as fuck anyway.
After leaving them both to cool and making dinner, it was time for the taste test.
Yet again, Lee is doing the blind taste test. Yet again, couldn’t find the fucking mask. The first sample I gave him was the the Frog’s cake. Firstly, he said it was ‘good’. That doesn’t make for an interesting blog post, so after forcing him to tell me more and he had a few more bites, he decided that actually it was pretty fucking amazing. Nice and moist, with a delicious glaze. He couldn’t tell there was apricot jam on it so I thought I might give it a try as well, and he was right, I could barely taste it. The lemon drizzle wasn’t particularly sour but there was enough sharpness in it. He also couldn’t really tell from taste that the incinerator had worked it’s fiery magic on it. Overall, a good fucking cake.
When he took a bite of The Londoner’s cake, he said it was ‘good’. I did nearly hit him but in this day and age women can actually get in trouble for dishing out some domestic abuse, so I thought better of it. I forced what little information I could out of him, and he finally said something useful – this cake was more fluffy and the drizzle was certainly more lemony. Not a huge shock seeing as that drizzle was 80% fresh lemon juice.
He guessed which cake was which correctly (always annoying) and his opinion didn’t change when he opened his eyes. He did comment on how the Garlic Lover’s cake did look a bit singed but quite frankly if he doesn’t like the fucking look of the bakes then he doesn’t have to eat them.
I took 60% of each cake into work on Monday and the entire fucking lot was gone in about 30 mins (greedy bastards). The most important audience was, of course, Miss Jess Smith…and she fucking approved! Thumbs up, Jess, thumbs up. I will indeed be taking more suggestions for her as I think this bake has been the most successful so far. I will also be taking suggestions for what I should bake this week (if anyone really fucking cares that much), but remember that as it’s the last weekend of the month, it will have to be a dessert from a foreign culture.
- Difficulty: 4/10 – the only true difficulty I found was being able to crack 5 fucking eggs without getting shell in the mix.
- Presentation: 7/10 – if you could ignore the remaining charcoal
- Taste: 9.5/10 – Perfect, again if hadn’t been burnt
- Difficulty: 1/10 – I mean, seriously, who puts that little effort into a recipe
- Presentation: 8/10 – Same with the burnt edges, and the drizzle didn’t really look like a drizzle
- Taste: 8/10 – could have been better, blame the drizzle issue
The Final Word
The world may feel disdain for you, you snail-eating-surrender-monkeys, but you have finally actively contributed to (and won) a war. The war of the bakes.