Lemon Buttermilk Cake Sans the Drama

November 2, 2010

One thing I love about my mum’s cooking style is that she is serenely fearless. Mum will throw herself in and try a new recipe without a second thought. She has a great natural instinct in the kitchen and is a well-seasoned cook, which helps to promote her peaceful performances. Whatever she seems to make, it just works.

Mum has the ability to sense when something may be a little off, and will adapt accordingly sans any stress or meltdown. She remains cool and calm, completely and utterly enjoying the process. She just loves to cook, and I think that comes across in the always special finished product.

Mum’s kitchen manner is something I try to embody myself. I put on some French tunes (perhaps Madeleine Peyroux, Carla Bruni or the Amélie soundtrack), and endeavour to cook and try new recipes without fear, without pressure and without drama. The latter is something I am still working on… I may or may not be prone to dramatic outbursts. This is one of my fundamental culinary aspirations, along with owning a Kitchen Aid Mixer and a Smeg oven – to be able to channel mum’s cheerfully calm and creative cooking style.

A few weeks ago I went down to Red Hill for a family catch-up, and was greeted with this beautiful cake. If I were trying out a new cake recipe for a special occasion, you could probably have banked on me being a little stressed – hoping it rises properly and tastes ok. Yet mum tried out two new recipes, ever so serenely and fearlessly, and provided us with a delicate sponge-like cake and a robust citrus zing in the crunchy glaze. Mum used a different glaze than was recommended in the cake recipe, as she had long been wanting to try David Lebovitz’s Crunchy Lemon Glaze. We were all very pleased with the glaze, and I just adored the subtle flavours and light nature of the cake. I will request mum makes this cake again and again. And I will attempt to make it myself, sans any dramatic outbursts if my glaze doesn’t quite work 😉

Recipe links:

Sally Sampson: Verdi’s Double Lemon Cake with Fresh Lemon Zest Glaze * Note: mum used buttermilk rather than yoghurt, and she didn’t use this glaze recipe.
David Lebovitz: Crunchy Lemon Glaze

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

    What a beautiful and light cake. And I love that cake stand too! So elegant 🙂

  • Hannah November 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

    That looks divine – and I'm a sucker for any lemon-flavourewd dessert. I'm also ABSOLUTELY with you on dreaming of a kitchen aid! One day, one day… 🙂

  • Chanel11 November 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I always play the Amelie soundtrack when I bake, as even if everything goes wrong, somehow I can't get angry or upset when that music is playing, and I do have a tendency to stress out if things aren't turning out right, like curdled custard…

    How did the cake taste? I was actually hoping to make a lemon cake/loaf this week.

  • Heidi November 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    It was lovely! Very light & moist. Not too sweet or strong of a lemon flavour. The lemon glaze was necessary imo. It was the kind of cake that made you feel happy & summery after eating it, rather than "urgh" 🙂 & quite a simple texture nothing too fancy.
    Heidi xo

  • Leah November 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    This looks so lovely, ill be making it very soon. I know what you mean about wanting a kitchen aid, it has been on my wish list for a while now!

    And I too love listening to french music in the kitchen while I bake, love the Amelie soundtrack!

  • heysugar November 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    That's gorgeous! 🙂 I too try to emulate my mum in the kitchen but I daresay I'm much more calm than her. She tends to overstress when she's hosting although she has a cornucopia of dishes rather than my much more simple fare. But I think we both have mothers who anything they touch tastes amazing and have you swooning. I can never replicate my mother's dishes even if I had the exact recipe on hand; somehow hers just tastes better!

    I'm going to back you on the KitchenAid fantasy. It's one of my favourite things in my kitchen!

  • KittyCate November 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Ohmygoodness that looks simply amazing! Definitely have to try that one out this weekend xx

  • Kath November 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Wow, your mom seems to be a gifted in cooking and baking! I love when people do such things with so much easy and aplomb!

    I love the Amélie soundtrack. 🙂 The pieces are fun to play on the piano, quite simple, but very beautiful.

  • Anna Johnston November 3, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Aaahhh yes, baking music & music to cook by…, its a must have I reckon 😉 Nice cake recipe this one.

  • Michelle Chin November 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I listen to classical music when I'm cooking. Or else, I always have my sister practicing in the background. Quite calming in a way. Nonetheless, for me, cooking is a calming activity on its own.

  • bird brains November 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    aaah! a blog of yummy treat recipes! God himself must've guided me here!
    thank you for sharing! i'm so excited to subscribe and see if i can conquer some of these recipes myself!

  • penny aka jeroxie November 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    oh YUm! What a beautiful cake. there is always confidence in a seasoned cook. 😉

  • The InTolerant Chef November 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Looks so lovely, and your mum has exactly the right attitude. Ingredients can smell fear!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Whenever I see a bundt cake I always immediately think of a lovely afternoon tea cake! 😀

  • thanh7580 November 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Heidi, nice to meet you at the bloggers picnic.

    I like to pop on music when baking too, so relaxing. I'm sure you'll channeling your mum's cooking style in no time.

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