Nini's Lemon and Mint Cake
Ever since I came back from Jordan I’ve really been craving this drink that I had constantly when I was over there. It was Lemon and Mint juice. Now on a hot summer’s day it was so refreshing to have and now that warmer temperatures are slowly coming back here in Nairobi, I wouldn’t mind a glass of cold lemon and mint. However I am bit sceptical about making it as I don’t want to disappoint myself by making it the wrong way and not having it taste the same. So I decided to make the next best thing, a cake, a lemon cake with a mint and lemon glaze.
I got this lemon cake recipe from someone ages ago but for the life of me I can’t remember who! This is a delicious cake and the secret ingredient is the yoghurt! The cake is far from being dry and I think that it’s because of the yoghurt helps make the cake soft and spongy (unless you over bake it). While the cake was in the oven, I decided to make the lemon/mint glaze. Now this was an experiment, which I wasn’t certain about. My idea was to put the fresh mint within the cake but then I had never read any recipe that puts a fresh herb in a cake so the next best thing was a glaze. It all depends on the ratio you put between lemon, mint and sugar, the lemon gives the liquid and taste component, the mint just gives the taste and the sugar helps give the taste and sweet component. It was tricky trying to balance the sugar and the lemon because there was a danger of the sugar overpowering it. In the end it is a lemon cake.
Anyway here is the recipe if you want a fresh, soft, lemon cake!
1 ½ (180g) cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup (250ml) natural plain yoghurt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence (Or to make it more lemony, a juice of one lemon/lime)
½ cup vegetable oil (sunflower)
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4, Grease, flour and line the bottom of 24cm / 9 ½ loaf pan
Sieve the following into a mixing bowl, plain flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the following, lime zest, yoghurt, sugar, eggs (break into another bowl and whisk a bit), vanilla essence (or lemon juice) and vegetable oil
Beat, but do not over mix. Pour into prepared pan
Bake for 35 – 40 mins ( recipe initially said 50 minutes, however checked the cake at 40 and it was cooked) *In hindsight when there is ten minutes left on the clock for the cake, there is no harm in checking.
As the cake slightly chills, time to make the glaze! Which sadly I forgot to write down so I am basing this off memory
Juice of 3 lemons/limes (I always use the local lemons which are the size of limes)
Four to 5 mint leaves
4 tbsp of icing sugar (or the amount in which you see the glaze is starting to thicken)
Blitz the lemon and mint together in a food processor or if you don’t have a food processor chop the mint very finely and mix it with lemon juice.
Mix the lemon/mint juice together with the icing sugar, until you see a thick white glaze.
I did the mistake of not thickening the glaze enough and poured it over the cake but that was the best decision I did because it dripped all over the cake so each part of the cake had a burst of lemon!
Do you have any lemon cake recipes that are to die for? Leave them in the comment box below....Happy Baking!