Little known fact: my husband can actually cook. He likes to say he can’t, but that’s crap. He does great Mexican (not Tex Mex, actual Mexican), can throw together an amazing bowl of olive oil and roast veggie pasta, and can do steak and mashed potato better than any pub I’ve ever been to. Baking, however, has never really been his thing. Until last year, when he was looking for something to do, and decided to try baking a cake. We’re really not lacking in options when it comes to cookbooks, but we needed something basic and easy for the first attempt, to up the odds of a successful bake, and therefore the odds of it happening again!
The good old Country Women’s Association Classics came to the rescue; if you’ve never cooked from one of their recipes, you’re missing out. They’re all tried and tested, super simple, and rarely require ingredients that you probably don’t already have handy. But it’s a bloody enormous book, around 850 pages, so there are a LOT of options. Husband settled on a lime cake, with only 8 ingredients and a few short steps, it seemed pretty do-able. And, it was – the first attempt turned our perfectly! Somehow both dense and light at the same time, I hate the word, but it was moist and fresh, and the lime hit was fantastic. It was eaten pretty quickly, and a few days later, I arrived home from work to find another one on the table – buoyed by the success of the first attempt he went again, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Nope, perfect again!
Now, it’s his cake, and he made a lemon version of it the other night for mum’s birthday (because she loves lemon cakes), and it was every bit as good as the lime. He wasn’t real keen on the idea of writing a guest blog post on the recipe because “I just did exactly what the book told me,” but if this recipe was good enough for mum to ask for, I figured it was good enough to share here, too 🙂
– 180g butter, softened
– 1 cup caster sugar
– finely grated zest of one lime (or lemon)
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten
– 1¼ cups self-raising flour
– ⅓ cup almond meal
– ¾ cup sour cream
– 2 tbsp lime (or lemon) juice
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and grease an 18cm square cake tin (though husband prefers to line it with baking paper so as not to risk it sticking to the tin).
2. Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the zest and eggs.
3. Into that mixture, fold in the sifted flour, almond meal, sour cream and juice.
4. Pour into the tin, smoothing over the surface with a spatula, and bake for 1 hour or until cooked through (check with a toothpick or skewer).
5. Cool in the tin until it’s cool enough to handle, then remove, slice and serve! A bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream goes really well with it, too.
* Keeps for around 2 – 3 days in an air-tight container. If you can make it last that long. Good luck with that, though, because it’s a damn good cake!