I love a chocolate egg as much as anyone – I swear, chocolate always tastes better in egg form – but this year Easter weekend will bring three extra things: Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead finale. It’s a big TV weekend for nerdy people, and I for one am excited.
Game of Thrones is the biggest one: season 3 is the season that everyone’s been both looking forward to and dreading slightly, especially the show’s producers (no spoilers but oh my god, huge changes. Huge events.). I know a lot of people are pretty dubious about it, shying away from it because it’s fantasy. But it’s honestly a brilliant read, as well as having been adapted to make a great show, and once you start you’ll be hooked.
So, where does lemon syrup cake come into all this? Well, part of what makes the world in these books so rich is the attention to detail, with every little bit of life explored. It’s not just the sights and sounds in various lands across the continents: it’s smells and tastes too. There are enough food descriptions that an entire Game of Thrones cookbook has been made, chock full of medieval-inspired recipes. But what’s always called out to me in the books is the frequent mentions of lemon cake. I can’t read those two words without wishing there was some lemon cake on hand.
This recipe is adapted from a stained recipe ripped out from a magazine probably as old as me. It lives in an old-fashioned, faded folder, tucked away in a cupboard and full of scraps of paper – the way of storing recipes before Pinterest existed. Almost every time I go home, I photocopy it. And every time I come back, it gets lost somewhere in my flat. I’ll always go back for it again.
Lemon Syrup Cake
Makes one loaf
For the cake:
2 medium eggs, beaten
4 tbsp milk
150g self-raising flour
Rind of 1 lemon
For the lemon syrup:
1tsp lemon thyme
2/3 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2tbsp icing sugar
Raspberries, to serve
1) Preheat oven to 160C and line a loaf tin. Set aside.
2) Cream margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and milk until well combined, then fold in the flour and lemon rind.
3) Bake on the middle shelf for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden and a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4) Around 5 minutes before the cake will be done, heat the syrup ingredients in a medium pan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm but not scolding when you dip a finger into it. Remove from the hob and strain to remove thyme leaves.
5) Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes in the top using a fork. Spoon the syrup over the top liberally and leave to cool.
6) Remove from the tin when cool and serve with raspberries, which balance the sharpness of the lemon well.
The cake will be even better on its second day – if it lasts that long!