In A Song of Ice and Fire series, Sansa Stark’s favorite snack is lemon cakes. After devouring book after book, my craving for lemon cakes has grown to huge proportions. I’ve been dreaming about them for weeks. Not having cup cake pans prevented me from baking them, but a trip to 久光百货 (Jiu Guang) remedied the situation and lemon cakes were baked and devoured.
Today family has their own chocolate chip cookie recipe they prize, so I thought Westeros lemon cakes would be similarly varied. Chilly Winterfell demands a heavier cake that is both tart and sweet. Balanced by tea or coffee, it is a satisfying snack. I can see how they are Sansa’s favorites. I will be making a lighter version for King’s Landing.
Ina Garten’s Lemon Cakes juxtapose tangy lemons with a sugary syrup, and are covered with crisp lemon and confectioner’s sugar glaze. Her cakes are dense, yet light enough to eat 2 or 3 in one sitting. Topped with fresh fruit, these are incredibly addictive.
Sansa Stark’s Lemon Cakes
adopted from Ina Garten
227 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
500 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons, about 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375 grams (3 cups) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
180 ml 3/4 cup buttermilk
100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
120 ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
240 grams (2 cups) confectioner’s sugar
1/2 juice of one lemon
Fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.
Cakes: Cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time. When completely mixed in, stir in lemon zest and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl mix buttermilk and lemon juice. (As buttermilk is hard to find in Shanghai, I used milk that was a few days too old to drink.) Alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixtures to butter. End with flour.
Pour into greased cup cake pans. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 20 – 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Syrup: While lemon cakes are cooling, make syrup. In a saucepan heat 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 lemon juice over low heat until sugar is melted. Make sure to use low heat and stir often. Remove cakes from pan and spoon syrup over them. Allow lemon cakes to cool.
Glaze: Combine lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar together. Drizzle over lemon cakes.
Top with berries.