I often joke with my friends that I live in the middle of Sticksville Suburbia – about a 20 minute drive from my home and you encounter paddocks of sleepy-eyed sheep and horses grazing side by side, and there’s an entire strip of road with small-scale farms all side by side selling things from fresh bok choi to bags of apples for eating and juicing.
About every second Saturday, I take a trip to these green pastures to stock up on juicing apples and carrots, but also to check out any other produce that may be available, sometimes grabbing bargains on bags of Chinese greens, cabbages, potatoes and other assorted produce.
Mini Sponges Cake Recipe
Last week’s trip, we stopped off at one farm to check out their carrots, when I happened to spot a giant wagon out the front with bags of limes, $1 per kg! Can I get a WOOT WOOT?! Limes are ridiculously expensive at the supermarkets here, so though the limes in this bag were a bit pale and a little scarred, this was absolutely no deterrant as I grabbed a bag and held it lovingly to my chest without another moment’s hesitation!
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I held it to my nose and sniffed the limes, then cradled them as I cooed softly to them of all the yummy things I would use them for. At that moment I heard someone chuckle, and looked up to see the girl behind the counter looking at me with a huge grin, so I decided to stop fondling my newly acquired citrus till I got it to quarters that were a little more…ahem…private.
After a bit more shopping (i.e. the trunk of the car could not fit another bag!), we set off home, with me behind the wheel of the car and barely able to keep it straight with the excitement of knowing that I had an entire bag of limes with which I could do whatever I want! To be honest…I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to do with ‘em, but I figured I could sort that out later.
Finally, after driving for what seemed like an eternity, we pulled up in front of the house and I bolted like a bat out of hell with the limes held safely in the circle of my arms. I was about to disappear into the house when…
I stopped mid-jump and turned around to spot my mother standing rather irritated by the car.
“Wha? What? What’s wrong?”
“Aren’t you forgetting something??”
“No…? See? I have my limes!”
As soon as I uttered this last line, I thought my mother’s eyes were about to pop out of her head.
“You idiot! How about the trunk full of shopping that I CAN’T BLOODY GET TO BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE CAR KEYS?!”
I grinned sheepishly and replied “Oh! No no no, I didn’t forget about those! I was…uh…just gonna open the front door so that we could bring them in easily….”
Ma rolled her eyes and I trudged back down the stairs, keys in hand, and unlocked the boot of the car. 10 minutes later, once all the groceries had been brought inside the house and packed away, I finally got to sit down and contemplate my fruits. So, I had an entire kilo of limes at my disposal…what to do?
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I took the bag with me down to my room, and held it in my lap as I gazed upon my bookshelf and the many many cookbooks in my collection. My eyes wandering up and down, they finally settled on Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a domestic goddess”.
Yes, this felt right. It had been awhile since I had declared my love of Nigella, so perhaps it was about time that we rekindled that fire. I took the book off the shelf, relishing it’s worn and stained covers, and flipped to the index to browse what she had listed…and I found these adorable little mini lime syrup cakes, with the most beguiling photo.
I smiled and set off to the kitchen, limes in one hand and book in the other, and set about mixing up this batch of little cakes. For the amount of effort that is required, the end result was fabulous, scented beautifully of lime and with a little tartness offset by the sweetness of the cakes.
They’re probably a bit too homely looking for a dinner party, but I’d suggest that they would make the perfect snack to accompany a cup of tea in the afternoon. Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear? Nigella, I still love you 😉
Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges Cake Recipe Ingredients
(from Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess“)
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten together
- Zest of 1 lime
- 175g self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp milk
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- Zest for 1 lime
- 100g icing sugar
How to Make Sponge Cake Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, and butter a mini loaf tin and lightly dust with flour and set aside.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar, then slowly add the eggs and lime zest, beating well after each addition.
3. Fold in the flour and salt, then the milk, then spoon into the loaf tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck. Once baked, remove from the oven, set onto a cooling tray and prick all over with a toothpick/skewer.
4. Once the cakes have left the oven, prepare the syrup by putting the zest, lime juice and sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently till the sugar has completely dissolved. Boil for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and strain out the lime zest.
5. Carefully place the lime zest on each of the cakes, then use a tablespoon to pour syrup evenly over each of the cakes to soak each one through. Leave to sit for about 5-10 minutes or till the syrup has been completely absorbed by the cakes, then remove and place onto a piece of baking paper inside an airtight container (but remember to save one to enjoy while still warm, hehehe!)