The weather’s been so odd lately.
Guess what - Mother’s Day is this weekend.
You’ve been reminded.
A light cake goes well with anything, whether it's a formal meal or a barbecue.
Speaking of Mothers and cake, I just remembered a cake that Ma surprised us with one Spring day.
She told us that the clipping said that it had a sweet tart flavour.
I forget who started it, but we started to tease her about making a sweet heart cake.
Well, you know how family jokes go… from then on we called it Ma’s Sweet Heart Cake.
And we enjoyed it every time she made it.
Actually, that name suits it.
It’s delicious and uses up whatever you have in your fruit bowl.
In my book, anything that is that accommodating is a sweet heart of a recipe.
You can line a greased regular loaf pan with parchment paper leaving about a 2 inch overhang on the sides, so that you can remove it easily.
This is a cake that is open to suggestions.
You can use 1 Tablespoon each of your favourite three from the following: orange zest, lemon zest, lime zest and grapefruit zest, finely grated, instead of 3 Tablespoons of just one type of zest.
Or you can use half and half, or two to one. Your choice. It’s your cake.
Zest is a handy thing to have. You can wrap zest in plastic wrap or aluminum.
You can also place it in a small freezable bag or container.
It stays good up to a month.
Instead of the orange or lemon extract you can use 2 Tablespoons of any citrus juice or vanilla extract in the cake.
You can also top the cake with a Simple Syrup:
Place in a heatproof measuring cup or bowl
3 Tablespoons water
Heat water in a microwave until hot.
1/4 Cup sugar
Stir to dissolve.
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon lime zest, finely grated
Allow simple syrup to cool to room temperature.
Brush the simple syrup over the completely cooled cake.
Let the simple syrup soak into the cake before serving, at least 15 minutes.
About the syrup…
instead of the lime juice and zest, you can use orange, lemon or grapefruit.
If you’re in a rush, or Mom prefers a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, that works, too.
Like I said: it’s your cake.
Your Mom prefers banana pound cake? No problem. Make
Sweet Heart Pound Cake
Heavily grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
Sift together in a medium bowl
1 3/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Combine in a small bowl
1/4 Cup sour cream
1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract
3 Tablespoons of orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit zest, finely grated (or see hints)
Preheat oven to 350º F
Place in a large mixer bowl
1 Cup butter
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add, one at a time, beating well after each addition
4 large eggs
Add half of the dry ingredients into the large mixer bowl.
Blend on low speed until just combined.
Add in all of the sour cream mixture. Mix until well blended.
Add in the remaining dry ingredients. Blend just enough to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place into the preheated oven.
Bake for 70 to 75 minutes.
A toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Remove from oven and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around, between the cake and the cake pan, to loosen the cake.
Carefully remove the cake from the pan.
Place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When cooled, place the cake on a pretty serving platter.
While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting:
Place in a medium bowl
3 Cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
1/4 Cup water gradually, beating until the glaze is smooth.
Spread the frosting over the cake.
Sprinkle over the top
3 Tablespoons of lemon or orange zest, finely grated
About the sky, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…
Look to the southeast after dark to see Jupiter, shining at magnitude -2.5 in Libra. The king of the planets reached its opposition to the Sun on May 8th, so it’s up practically all night this month. Jupiter is edging slowly westward toward from the 2½-magnitude star Alpha (α) Librae (Zubenelgenubi) nearby.
May 15 - New Moon, 7:48 a.m. In this phase, the Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight and is completely invisible to the naked eye.
May 17 - Look to the west-northwest sky at dusk to see the slender crescent Moon, 9-percent illuminated, to the left of the brilliant planet Venus. Venus hangs at practically the same height, moderately low in the west-northwest during twilight all through the month of May.