Our old home in Bangalore was nestled in the middle of an unfriendly, barren and desolate land. There was nothing for miles, except the odd liqueur shop, meat stalls, and gloomy cyber cafes. Yet somehow in the midst of this misery, my brother and I grew up in an artist’s paradise.
The house was uniquely designed, with vast, airy spaces, and rooms that did not conform to the standard square or rectangular shape. The porch out front looked like a scene out of a Midsummer Night’s Dream; wild roses blossomed alongside vibrant hibiscus, and creepers stretched endlessly towards the sky. When the wind blew, you almost felt as if the velvety pale pink petals were whispering to each other as they fluttered. The garden was my favourite part of the house. I could hardly believe that such a beautiful place could exist amidst the dreariness of the outside world.
The real treasure though, was at the back of the house-a magnificent lemon tree, giving off a scent only dreams are made of. My love of all things citrus started then, at the age of 8, and everyday after school I’d run to the back of the house, press my nose against the yellow orb, just close my eyes and drift away. Years later I visited the house to find it in a terrible state of disrepair. My beloved lemon tree, and all our beautiful flowers had long withered away, and with them, a little piece of my heart.
This recipe is one of my mothers. Its a soft, delicious cake with a lemon buttercream frosting that I made to celebrate my love for this special fruit, and the lost memories of my childhood. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
DISCLAIMER: My mom is a cake whizz in the kitchen, but she’s not very good with definite instructions. She just follows her heart, throws in a bunch of things and prays to the heavens. The end result is perfect every time. Have no fear!
Sieve the dry ingredients before mixing them together in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients and fold to form a viscous but not claggy cake batter.
Line your cake tray with butter paper and pour in the batter. Place the tray in a pressure cooker and cook for an unforeseeable and vague amount of time. You’ll know that the cake is ready when your kitchen smells wonderful and you can stick a fork inside and have it come out dry. Leave the cake out to cool.
For the lemon buttercream, whisk the butter (should be room temperature) and slowly incorporate the sugar. Continue to whisk until the frosting is creamy and has increased in volume. Add in the lemon juice, zest and food colouring. I loved the subtle hint of vanilla in it too, so don’t forget to put that in as well!
When your cake has cooled down, and the frosting has been chilled simply decorate any way you like, Et voilà! Bon Appétite! 🙂