Firstly, thank you so much for your encouraging words about starting my blog. I’ve read blogs for a while but always been too nervous to comment (why?!) – my ‘do one thing that scares you’ task for the last week has been commenting on other people’s blogs and everyone has been so responsive and welcoming. Thank you!
If you could see into my mind right now, you’d see static; y’know, the white noise fuzz that appears on tv if it isn’t tuned properly? That’s how my head feels. So much anxiety about jobs, health, accommodation… it feels never ending. I’m trying super hard to live more mindfully during this scary time of my life and stop panicking about what might happen next week/month/year/in 5 years time. Just this morning my wonderful yoga instructor emailed me with a mindfulness link and it came as a timely reminder to stop and just appreciate right now.
I was also able to stop with mum yesterday during her day off for a cuppa and catch up. Can you actually beat a cafe where your tea comes with a bumblebee tea cosy? I think not.
Like I’ve said before, baking is one of those things that helps me really clear my mind. I think it’s because I have to concentrate or I’ll weigh the ingredients wrong or add something in the wrong order. Other activities that have a similar effect for me are using my mindful colouring book, practising yoga and skiing. For my first post on here, and for a lovely, easy recipe that never fails to make me smile, I decided to turn to Mary Berry herself for inspiration. Can’t beat a bit o’ Berry.
Easy as anything Lemon Traybake
Use a 12 x 9″ rectangular tin – turn it over and mould the aluminium foil around the tin. Flip the tin up the right way, slot the foil in and lightly grease it so you have a sort of ‘tray within a tray’
For the sponge:
- 120g (4 1/2 oz) margarine
- 120g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
- 175g (6 oz) self raising flour Oven at 180°C/160°C fan oven/ Gas 4
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- zest of 1 lemon
For the lemon topping:
- 100g (4oz) caster sugar (or granulated for an extra crunchy topping)
- juice of 1 lemon
Simply measure all the sponge ingredients into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer (or a wooden spoon if you feel energetic) beat it all together until it looks smooth, so about 2 minutes. It really is that simple.
It will take about 20-25 minutes for the cake to bake; stick a toothpick in it when it looks brown and is springy to touch, and if it comes out clean you’re done.
Leave the cake too cool a little for 5-10 minutes, then mix together your sugar and lemon juice. Brush or spoon it over the cake, trying to get an even spread of topping; it’ll sink in a bit and vanish, but when it dries it’ll leave a lovely crunchy glaze. Lift it out of the baking tray in it’s foil wrapper and leave to cool completely on a wire wrack before storing in an airtight container.
Enjoy hot, enjoy cold – it’s a classic.