So yes, my parents came to visit.
They brought me a little red friend. I took me about a month to decide which cake was to have the honour of christening such a thing of beauty. It had to be something to remember. It had to be something that would need maximum kitchenaid usage. It had to be something that didn't disappoint. So when my Mam mentioned this cake that a friend brought into work and was proclaimed by her colleagues to be 'the best cake they'd ever eaten', I decided I'd found 'the one'.
I'm not sure how I managed to just sit there and drink so much tea with my very own kitchenaid staring at me looking all offended because I hadn't used it yet. I tried to be polite as my parents had just arrived after an overnight ferry trip and all but I could barely sit still. My leg was twitching with excitement and my nails were all but gone. The only two words going through my mind were cake, baking, cake baking, baking, and cake. So after a couple of hours enough was enough. I left my Dad with John and my Mam and I got the baking underway.
I think I had a little too much fun but the cake certainly didn't disappoint. It's so deliciously moist and tasted super duper. Cooking the blueberries brought out their flavour and the lime syrup glaze added a really lovely zing. Definitely a winner. It lasted for days without drying out so this was dessert for every night they were here and we weren't complaining. I sent my Mam off with the two leftover squares which she said she was going to have with ice cream. A very fine choice I would say. And while you're at it, why don't you try it with cream. Or custard. Or creme fraiche. Or simply enjoy with a a good book and the best cup of yorkshire tea that you've ever had. (Because my wonderful parents brought us a box full of British goodies to keep us content for the next few months).
I think all the things that I make in the near future will be chosen for how much they need the kitchenaid. If they only require the use of a spoon and an arm then I'm sorry, you're off the list.
Cuts into about 16 squares
I have absolutely no idea who should be given credit for this recipe. My Mam got it from her friend who doesn't know where she got it from either. So thanks to whoever this belongs to!
One word of advice though. I stored the cake in a tin container but I noticed when I came to wash it that the acid in the cake had started to erode the surface slightly. So I reckon you'd be better off with a plastic storage box.
For the cake
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g self raising flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 2 limes
30g ground almonds
1-2 tsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
For the lime syrup
finely grated zest of 1 lime
freshly squeezed juice of 4 limes
125g golden caster sugar
You will need
a 20-23cm square cake tin, butter and lined
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. (Or use the beater attachment on your kitchenaid!). Gradually beat in the egg, adding a little of the flour at the end to avoid curdling.
Toss the blueberries in 1 tbsp of the flour and set aside. Beat the lime zest into the cake mixture, then fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds. Fold in 1-2 tsp of lime juice to give you a good dropping consistency - the mixture should drop easily from the spoon when tapped.
Fold in most of the blueberries (about 150g) and spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface, then sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top. (They will sink as the cake rises). Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until firm when gently touched in the centre.
While the cake is cooling, make the lime syrup. Put the lime zest and juice in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar and heat gently, stirring continuously. Do not let it bubble - just heat slightly, leaving a slight graininess.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer, then spoon over the syrup. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Cut into squares and serve.