Wednesday, 13 June 2018

RB’s Lemon Cake

Many people have bucket lists consisting of adventurous or highly dangerous activities like skydiving or eating at a restaurant on its opening day. But I have a bucket list of cakes. I'm much happier that way. Here's one I've just ticked off on that list.

Many of the recipes that I publish on this blog are not particularly well known or are hard to find elsewhere. (My theory being that at least I'll know where to find them when I want them next time). This cake is an exception. It's really well known (at least, it is in the UK). You might have seen it on TV, on a recipe site, in blogs, in a book, in a magazine or you may have been lucky enough to try it yourself. I've made a lot of lemon cakes over the years but, despite my best intentions, I hadn't made this one until now.
RB's Lemon Cake
Many years ago Raymond Blanc began making and serving this cake to guests at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire and it's still made and served there today. It's actually a pretty easy cake to put together. The only tricky bit is getting the glaze just right. That's a bit of a faff, but it does give the cake a lovely finish and I'm convinced it's worth the effort.

You can find the recipe here or here (and probably quite a few other places too).
RB's Lemon Cake
I've heard this cake described as the ultimate lemon cake by some but also as a madeira style of cake with extra lemon and not really that special by others. So, is it the best lemon cake you can make? Well, sat here paying bills on a cloudy afternoon in Surrey it's unquestionably an extremely pleasant cake to lift the gloom and, yes, it's a little like a light madeira cake in texture.

On the other hand, if you happen to be whiling away a sunny afternoon on the lawns outside the Manoir after playing an incompetent and farcical game of croquet, would this be the best lemon cake you could imagine? Oh yes, very probably.
Le Manoir

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I was so excited to think that Blogger might actually publish my comment this time that I missed the typos!.....
      I remember seeing him make this cake on TV and thinking how wonderful it looked. There is nothing like a lemon cake to lift the spirits on a grim day or enhance a better day even further. Yours looks lovely.

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    2. I'm sorry that Blogger is misbehaving but I'm glad you got there in the end. I think RB has tried to make this cake into a modern classic and, actually, he's made a pretty good job of it. This cake does have a very satisfying, traditional texture.

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  2. Phil, I would definitely enjoy a slice of this with afternoon tea following a rather unathletic and uncompetitive game of croquet at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire. I just compared the recipe to my Lemon Drizzle Cake (loaf cake) and found Raymond's cake has an extra egg but far less butter than mine. I shall probably give it a try on a day when I want to make a cake but am low on butter. The glaze does sound a bit of a faff, but I'd do it because that's my idea of adventure!

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    1. The glaze does sound as if it might not be worth the effort but actually it does make the cake just that bit different without too much stress. It's worth trying.

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  3. I've seen him making it on tv too. I love lemon cakes, so must try this one, as I have 3 lovely ripe lemons ready to use from my tree! Would love to be at Le Manoir one day...... aah!

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    1. I half expect my bucket list cakes to be a disappointment but I did really enjoy this cake. It's definitely worth trying in my questionable opinion. I'd love to say that I used lemons from my own tree but I'd be lying.

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  4. You're my best resource for difficult to find cakes or ones I've never heard of before, but I'll forgive you this lemon cake as lemon cake really is a wonderful thing. I won an overnight stay at Le Manor many years ago, but I never got to try a piece of this cake.

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    1. Well, I've still got one or two obscure cake recipes in the vaults somewhere that I really must get round to blogging but there are a few less obscure cake recipes that I just had to get around to trying and lemon cake would always be high on my list. I suppose it's similar to the classic books that I always intend to read one day.

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  5. I happen to love most anything lemon (even in my morning tea...please forgive me for that) and your cake definitely sounds like a good one to try.

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    1. There's nothing at all wrong with lemon in tea - it's refined and subtle. Sadly, I'm neither of those things. However, I can confirm that this cake is excellent with refined and subtle teas. I tried it that way when a rare hint of refinement hit me unexpectedly.

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