21 March 2018

Lemon & Blackcurrant Stripe Cake

If there were ever a cake that embodied my mum, it would be Ottolenghi's lemon and blackcurrant stripe cake. Bright, striking, curious, bold and beautiful – inside and out. I had to make it for her.

I knew this was my mum's cake the moment I saw it – about six months ago when I left my last job and my colleagues gifted me Ottolenghi's Sweet. It's a book that evokes joy in me through the simple flicking of its pages, catches of colour and thoughts of who I'd bake for popping into my head.

I went back to Abergavenny in Wales last weekend to celebrate Mum's 62nd birthday (I know, wow). After an evening stuffing my face with chilli cheese fries and drinking prosecco with my eldest sister, Sarah, I woke up early on Saturday – something I like to do on weekends to warrant the pursuit of a nap later on in the day – and spent the morning working through this recipe

The result: a punchy pink cake! As I rolled, iced, poured and sprinkled, I thought about my mum, how she loves blackcurrant and lemon, and how pleased I was for creating this cake without making a single mistake (seriously, how?) I couldn't wait to serve it for her birthday lunch the next day – mainly because I wanted to see the stripes on the inside – but also to taste it, and see what everyone else thought.

It was worth the wait, basically.

This cake reminded me of rhubarb and custard sweets – fruity, sugary deliciousness. Its appearance in Sweet is apt, but with the blackcurrant puree poured over the top (and some extra left over) the balance of sweet and tart balances nicely. Serve with tea, coffee, whatever you like, but – and this is important – serve only to your very favourite people. 

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