See, it works. Sensational headlines that aren’t 100% accurate will always lure suckers who wouldn’t read the post otherwise.
I saw this cake at Cooking from A to Z. Kaykat gave it rave reviews. She had tweaked the “Greek Honey Lemon Cake” from Rosemary Wilkinson’s Ultimate Dessert Cookbook. I was about to make her recipe, when I remembered a similar cake in Low-fat Baking by Linda Fraser. That one’s called “Greek Honey Lemon Cake” too. It had stuck in my mind ‘cos I’d never seen margarine in a Greek recipe. I opened that book, and lo and behold, there’s the exact same recipe with the exact same ingredients in the exact same proportions. Who lifted whose recipe? Or did both of them get it from a third source? Not that I care, really.
This one’s “Not Greek” ‘cos it has oats, coconut and other random stuff.
I made it once using Kaykat’s recipe, tweaks and all. It tasted fantastic. However, I noticed that if you overbaked this cake even for a couple of minutes, it tended to dry out. So I made a few changes the second time.
1. The first time I replaced the margarine with butter, the second time I used extra virgin olive oil. It gives a wonderful fruity flavour and complements the lemon nicely.
2. I replaced the whole wheat with oat flour, coconut and whole grain cornmeal. Whole grain oats have less gluten than whole wheat and yield a much lighter cake. The coconut gives it flavour and some moisture. You can use ground up nuts like almonds instead. The cornmeal gives it a little texture.
3. In lieu of 2 egg whites, I used 2 whole eggs and reduced the quantity of milk.
4. I added brandy to the glaze.
The cake turned out very moist and lemony. I made it both times in a square pan and baked it for 21-23 minutes. This cake doesn’t rise very much. I recommend using a loaf pan as Kaykat did for a taller cake and increase the cooking time (as stated in the recipe below).
**A note about lemons: If you are zesting them, try and get organic lemons. If they are not organic, wipe them well with vinegar to remove the wax from the surface, then scrub and wash them well with a drop of dish soap. You can also make this with limes – the smaller green ones that are called “lemons” in India.
NOT GREEK HONEY-LEMON CAKE
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a loaf pan with foil overhanging on all sides, or grease it very well.
The dry ingredients:
3/4 cup whole grain regular rolled oats
1/4 cup dry dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
**or chopped almonds
Grind them to a fine powder in a spice grinder. You may get slightly more than a cup of flour total.
Add and mix together
1/4 cup whole grain coarse cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsps baking powder
a big pinch grated nutmeg (about 1/3 tsp)
The wet ingredients:
Separate 2 eggs.
Beat the yolks until creamy.
In a measuring cup, first pour
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil,
3 tbsps honey
3 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 cup organic low fat milk
zest of one organic lemon (the yellow part, not the white – about 1.5 tbsps)
Add the oil first to the cup allows the honey to slide right off.
2 egg whites
until they form soft peaks.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the beaten egg whites. Mix it gently just until there are no lumps.
The batter may be a tad bit runny. That’s okay. Put it in the loaf pan and tap a couple of times on the counter to level.
2 tsp sesame seeds (we use unhulled)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. It will get fine cracks on the top and start turning golden. Check with a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brandy (I used Cognac)
Drizzle on top of the hot cake. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then cut and serve.
This lemony entry goes to Meeta for Monthly Mingle: Spring Cakes @ What’s For Lunch, Honey?
It also goes to Ivy for Celebrating Mother’s Day at Kopiaste.
I dedicate this song and this cake to the memory of my mother, who loved the flavour of brandy. She let me have some mixed in warm water when I was sick as a kid, but not tea or coffee. Her rules didn’t always make sense, but that was her prerogative.
Singer: Aruna Sairam
I assume she’s saying:
I can see folks gnashing their teeth
and screaming …
“How can you
feed stuff with braaaandeeeee to baahhhbiiiieeees ???”
Where do these freaks come from?
O lord Muruga ….
Kids need strong stuff …
to perk them up from time to time
… and brandy tastes better than Benadryl.
That Lakshmi mami who claims otherwise …
is such a sadsack,
she wouldn’t recognise a good time
if it whacked her upside the head.
Show her the light,
O lord Muruga …
**Don’t quote me, though, ‘cos I don’t speak or know Tamil.
In the interest of full disclosure, it would only be fair to mention that my mom would’ve ignored Mother’s Day. She thought all Hallmark holidays, weddings and religious events weren’t worth the trouble they entailed. “The food had better be good”, she would say if she felt the need to attend one. She only celebrated and acknowledged birthdays.
Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success. ~ Fran Lebowitz