Confession: I used to have no idea how to cook. When I first moved out when I was 17, I used to subsist mainly on toast and I thought that putting every vegetable I had in the fridge in pasta sauce was a good idea. I could just about manage to make misoshiru.
I lived in town in a huge and dirty warehouse that I’m surprised wasn’t condemned and if you leaned out the window of the living room, you could always amuse yourself with the latest drama; one memorable time a woman was so drunk that when she tried to drive out of her (parallel) park, she merely went back and forth, bashing loudly into the car in front, then behind, over and over again.
The enormous pile of dishes in the barely functioning kitchen was no incentive to improve my skills either, but sometimes, a girl’s gotta have cake. At 3 am. While I didn’t know the basics of cooking, I could read and follow instructions so I tried this lemon and yoghurt cake recipe I got from Leon of chocolate picnic fame’s) mum.
Since then I think I‘ve probably made it more than 100 times. I still make it today. It’s my go-to cake.
When did you learn to cook?
Lemon and Yoghurt Cake
This is such a forgiving cake. I’ve used limes instead of lemons, fruit yoghurt instead of plain, overbaked it and underbaked it and beat it for not long enough and each time, it’s still been a delight and garnered lots of compliments. The syrup is what gives the lemony flavour, you pour it over the still hot cake.
For the cake
The zest of 2 lemons
225g grams (1 cup) caster sugar
250 grams yoghurt
125 grams (1 cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 150 celsius (300 fahrenheit) and grease a loaf tin.
Beat the eggs, lemon zest and sugar together until light.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, then fold in the yoghurt.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out not completely clean but not completely sodden.
For the syrup
The juice of the 2 lemons
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water
150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
Boil together until reduced to about 1/3 of the original volume and pour over the hot cake.