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My lovely lemon trees are producing lots of flowers at the moment.  I did wonder if this was normal – flowering in the depths of winter, but the very nice people at Victoriana Nursery assured me that it was, and advised me on how to keep the trees happy (lots of light, no drafts and not too much water).  Given the size of my trees and the Yorkshire climate, a lemon harvest seems unlikely any time soon, but you never know…

Lemon flower 2

I’ve written before about my love of lemons, although I think a lot of this is down to a love of the kind of climate lemons thrive in.  A couple of years ago, we spent a week staying on a lemon farm in Sicily.  Waking up each morning and opening the shutters to see the rows of lemon trees in the sunshine was just the perfect way to start the day.

Lemon farm

… and a breakfast of fresh bread, cake and coffee, sitting on a terrace overlooking the trees was a pretty good way to continue the day.

Breakfast terrace

It’s not just growing lemons either, I use a lot of lemons in cooking too.  This lemon cake is a variation on my favourite chocolate cake recipe.  The texture of the cake is really good, so I wanted to see if it worked with other flavours – and it does.  I should really tell you where the original recipe came from, but if you’ve read many of my recent posts you’ll no doubt be sick of me citing the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook as a source of great recipes, so I won’t mention it again – not for a while anyway!

Lemon cake

Lemon Cake with cream & blueberries

3 eggs

250ml Greek yoghurt

200g plain flour

75g potato flour

11/2 tsp baking powder

425g caster sugar

165g unsalted butter

zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

for the filling and topping –

100ml fresh double cream

a good handful of blueberries, washed and dried

icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180oC, 350F, gas 4.  Grease and line the bases of two 20cm round sponge cake tins.

Whisk together the eggs and Greek yoghurt in a small bowl, then set them aside.

Sift the plain flour, potato flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.  Add the sugar and butter and mix everything with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until well combined and the mixture is creamy.  Add the yoghurt and eggs in three batches mixing well between each addition.  Stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.  The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cakes are cool, whisk the cream until it’s thick and standing in peaks.  Spread the cream over the bottom on one cake and sprinkle with the blueberries.  Place the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar.

Lemon cake 2