I made this recipe fro the first time a few months ago and I think that since that moment, it has been the recipe I have used the most ! It´s a really delicious lemon cake, where the acidity is balanced by a good amount of sugar (no ! don´t run !). The texture is really perfect. You can easily remplace lemon by orange and have an equally perfect orange cake (which is a bit more surprising than a lemon cake !). The recipe comes from La Cuisine de Bernard (in french) and here is my version of it :
For one delicious cake
– 200g sugar
– 1 packet vanilla sugar
– 120g melted butter
– 3 big eggs
– 150g flour
– 100 ml lemon/orange juice
– the zest from a lemon or an orange (bio is better)
– 1/2 cc baking powder
– a pinch of salt
The recipe is quite simple. Mix and add, in this order :
– the melted butter, the sugar, and the vanilla sugar (don´t overwhip it, just mix it a bit)
– the eggs
– the floud, baking powder and salt
– the lemon/orange juice and zest
There is one thing to pay attention to if you want to obtain the right texture, which is thick and moist (but not too much either) : don´t whip too much, specially when mixing together the butter and sugar.
I usually put a bit more lemon juice than the original recipe. I don´t always have the time to zest the lemon/orange, so I sometime don´t put any in the recipe (although then, the cake can taste a bit too sugary, so I put more lemon juice).
It´s really good when you replace the lemon juice by orange juice, but the taste is a bit less pronounced. So I use sometimes Grand-Marnier (an orange liquor) : 80 ml of GRand-Marnier and 20ml of lemon juice (for acidity).
I recommend using a round pan, and not a rectangular one : with the round pan, the cake will be flatter and will bake more evenly, when the cake will most probably be overbaked in some parts in the rectangular pan. I use a 28 cm diameter form and I bake the cake for 35 minutes at 170°C.
When the cake has cooled enough, pour some topping on it :
– 130g icing sugar
– 25 ml lemon/orange juice or Grand-Marnier
I use sometimes lemon juice for the topping, sometimes orange juice, sometimes liquor, to vary the flavors. You can totally use a lemon topping for an orange cake, it will be delicious !
You can decorate with some thin zests, candied orange/lemon …