I have no idea why I got this book. I've never used it and when I flipped through it looking for a recipe to try, nothing really inspired me. The cakes that were pictured were beautiful so maybe that's what sucked me in during my more-acquisitive period. This also reads like a book made more for an international audience. A majority of the recipes call for using self-rising flour and the nomenclature used is usually the kind I see in cookbooks originating from Canada or Australia. Self-rising flour is available in the United States but it's more commonly used and more widely available in Australia, going by what I saw on the grocery store shelves when I was there. If you don't have self-rising flour, no need to go out and get a 5-lb bag as you can "make" your own. For every cup of self-rising flour called for in the recipe, the typical conversion is 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
The pan sizes are also generally different than the common pan sizes in the US. To find a comparable pan size, multiply the length and width to get total square inches then find a comparable pan. For instance, this calls for making in a 9" x 12" pan. In the US, the 9" x 13" pan is more common. But if you multiply 9" x 12", you get 108" in which case a 10 x 10 pan would probably be a close enough approximation to the original pan size. In this case, I actually used a 9" x 9" pan. It made a slightly thicker cake than the recipe called for but once I had mixed it up, I didn't think it was an inordinate amount of batter and I'd rather have a thicker cake than a thinner one so I went with the smaller pan.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good cake with a great cakey texture, perfect for a light, fresh-flavor dessert in the summer. I used lemons from my mom's lemon tree and the cake was bursting with lemon flavor without being too tart. The lemon-sugar glaze on top was a perfect complement in terms of taste and texture. Pair this cake with fresh, ripe berries and enjoy a refreshing summer dessert.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup granulated sugar
3 medium eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 2/3 cups self-rising flour, sifted (or 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, sifted
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven and preheat to 350˚F and butter a 12 x 9 x 1 ½-inch baking pan (I used a 9 x 9).
2. Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and beat together until pale and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, then add the milk and beat until creamy.
3. Gradually add the flour and baking powder through the funnel with the motor running, the incorporate the lemon zest.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smoothing the surface, and bake for 30 minutes until golden and shrinking slightly from the sides, or a skewer comes out clean from the center.
5. Run a knife around the edge of the tray and prick the cake with a skewer at about 1-inch intervals. Combine the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a bowl, stirring to evenly distribute it, then spoon over the top of the cake. Let it cool, allowing the juice to sink into the cake. The surface should have a lovely crystalline sheen. Cut into serving-size portions.