Baby Lemon Bundt Cakes

I found the best ever score at Pak n Save yesterday. Mini bundt tins with a gorgeous pattern to them and at only $7.99 for a pack of three. I bought six. Best purchase ever. I don't know how I am going to get all my new tins and books back down to Dunedin. It is gonna be a heavy ride. Who needs shoes and a hair drier when you have cake tins and cookbooks? I swear half of my luggage allowance is dedicated to bakeware.

Anyway, my good friend Cara bought me Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess for Christmas. It was an essential book and I just had to have it! What I love about this book is the way she writes. It isn't a sterile cookbook. She puts the time and effort into explaining things and reassuring you that the products of your adventures in the kitchen don't always turn out perfect and that's ok. She even points out the flaws in the pictures features, like chunks of cake missing as they stuck to the tin. The introduction is highly amusing and well worth the read. It is probably the best written cookbook I have come across. Each recipe has its own well thought out blurb recalling where the recipe came from, misadventures she may have had when making it as well as a few useful tips.

You should get it.

I had seen the mini bundt tins a few weeks ago but I withheld the purchasing of them, convincing myself that I didn't need them. Whilst flicking through Nigella I found a recipe where she used the mini tins. I was sold! So off to Pak n Save I dashed and immediately purchased the tins!

It wasn't until I was scooping the batter into the tins this morning that I realised that one of the tins was missing and had been left behind on the shelf. Ooops! So while I only made five mini cakes today I recommend making six as they kind of overflowed a bit and were a bit larger than I had hoped. Luckily I went back this afternoon and explained what had happened and the lost tin was reunited with its brothers in my kitchen drawer.

I actually made these little cakes for my brother to take two of them on a romantic sunset picnic with his thing/girlfriend (I have no idea of their official status!) this evening. I am also making Jack some mini bacon and egg pies to also take.

He owes me one.

Anyway I went to go and weigh out the ingredients when I discovered that our electric kitchen scales were deciding to have another crazy day and refused to weigh anything properly (they don't sit on a final value). I tried banging them against the bench, taking out the batteries but alas! I was just going to wait this one out. They will sort themselves out eventually. It always happens when I plan on getting up early to bake something.

I ended up having to google the weight to cup conversion for all the ingredients. Luckily it was only the flour and sugar that needed converting (the butter was from a new pack for I could estimate using the guidelines).

I'll give you both values below just in case you don't have decent kitchen scales (which you should have!!).

This recipe is so easy to make. You don't need a beater, just a spoon. There is no creaming of the butter and sugar involved, just mixing.

So great.

If you don't have mini bundt tins you could try mini loaf tins and I guess muffin tins as a last resort. Try serving the muffin versions with the icing on the bottom side of the cake (as in turn the muffins upside down to serve). It makes them slightly more interesting to look at.

I also sprinkled a bit of sugar over the top of the batter just before they went in. This gave them a lovely crunchy base which I think is great.

Baby Lemon Bundts
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess
Makes six little cakes

125ml (1/2 cup) plain unsweetened yoghurt
75g butter, melted
2 large eggs
zest of one lemon
150g (1 1/4 cups) Plain flour
125g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

For the icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sieved
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease and flour the baby bundt tins.

Sieve together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.

In a separate jug or bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and yoghurt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix until no more flour clumps can be seen. Try not to overmix as this will result in a dense and chewy cake.

Fill the tins until just below the top of the centre tube (the inverse of the bundt hole), sprinkle over a little white sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean or and cakes bounce back when touched.

Leave to cool a little before removing the cakes form their tins. Soft, freshly baked cake is delicate and if the cakes are too hot when they are removed they can fall apart. Also don't leave them to fully cool in the tins as this can result in them sticking to the tins.

leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

To make the icing, use as much of the lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but still drippable mixture. If it is too runny the icing will just run off the cake and only the bench creating a very sticky mess to wipe up later.

Decorate the cakes with a few long strands of lemon zest if you wish (I would have done this but my lemons were ugly and speckled).

Nigella says you can vary this recipe by using limes or oranges instead of the lemons. I think I might have to give them a go. This would also work really well as a syrup cake recipe. Instead of making the icing, make up a lemon syrup with say half a cup of caster sugar, the juice of a lemon and a splash of water. Simmer in a saucepan until a syrupy consistency is reached then pour the hot syrup over the cold cakes.