My daughter aged 14 (for the next 5 weeks) uses baking as a form of stress relief. She comes home after a bad day in the classroom, grabs her mixing bowl, her flour and wooden spoon and she bakes. Not cooks, bakes. There is something about mixing and cooking something sweet and treat-full that helps her to get rid of her stress.
Of course, this does lead to a real dilemma. Do I help her with her stress, or create more of it to get more yummy cakes, biscuits and treats?
When she first started baking to relieve her stress she was very much a beginner. She wanted to bake alone, and I had to source some simple but good recipes for her. I invested in the Great British Bake Off Learn to Bake book, by Linda Collister. She worked her way through it and, even now, will go back to it for a basic recipe like cookies or Victoria Sponge.
One of her favourite starting recipes actually isn’t that basic. It’s a lemon drizzle cake, which she has made so many times but still never kept alive for two days. We love it as warm as we can handle, with the drizzle still seeping into the cake, but I have heard that if you can resist for a couple of hours the cake is even better!
For a heart shaped cake size 7 inches across and 5 small cupcakes you will need;
200g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
2 unwaxed washed lemons
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100 ml milk
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so that you can beat them altogether!
Preheat the oven to GM4 and grease the tin. We use a silicon heart tin from Home & Bargain.
Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, zest of the two lemons and baking powder until there are no lumps and the mix is smooth. Put in the tin or tins. Small cakes will need 15 min, the large cake will take 30 to 45 min. Check using a skewer every so often.
In the meantime, squeeze out the lemon juice and mix with 100 gm more of caster sugar. As soon as you take any cake out of the oven for good, use a cocktail stick or skewer to make lots of little holes all over the top and pour spoonfuls of the lemon juice mix over to make a lovely sticky surface on the top and to soak into the cake. Leave it alone to cool, if you can.
Serve sliced with a nice cup of tea.
If hygge truly does come from the same root as hug, then basically this is a hygge hug.Double hygge whammy. And delicious.
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