Sunday, May 15, 2011

Learning the German Language, Take Zwei

I've discovered that I get really outrageously excited when I manage to fool someone into thinking I can actually speak German, even if it's only rather briefly. For instance, the other day an elderly woman asked me (in German of course) "am I at the bus stop?" and I was able to delay my great feeling of euphoria at understanding what she said for long enough to enthusiastically say "Ja!" It was almost as good as getting a like on my facebook status which needs to happen frequently otherwise I can't sleep. Let's just hope she really was at the bus stop.

Anyway, this is actually a recipe post, FOOLED YOU! Because I think I told you before (right! over here) that I was reading a book called The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which I have now finished and it's not that good but it did make me want to eat a lemon cake. Now one thing about Germany is that aside from being totally shit at speaking the language, I also hate all the food. I mean I don't hate the groceries that you buy at the supermarket, but I do hate sandwiches with butter on them, beer, disgusting greasy sausages that smell like a pig's very recent death, and schnitzel that is like as thick as my entire body, which means that 1) I am not very fun and 2) I am making a lot of things myself. So I made a lemon cake.

If you are a person from North America who has attempted to bake a cake in Europe or vise versa, you will be aware of the majority view that says you need a metric conversion chart and a Ph.D. in quantum physics to convert between grams and cups. And if you are a person from anywhere at all that has attempted to bake a cake in your own kitchen, you will be aware of the majority view that says you cannot approximate the quantities of ingredients in baking the way you can in cooking.

Well to both of these majority views: no, say I! I attempted to follow this recipe by a British celebrity cook person called Delia Smith so if you want to do it right you can try that one (although I didn't bother with the icing or the layers or any of that nonsense which I believe is for people who have someone to impress and are not just making a cake to eat by their lonesome selves). Here is what I did and it worked like a charm. You will need:

1 regular sized teacup full of flour
a spoonful of baking powder
a shit ton of butter (like a stick or two, depending on how big they are)
bit less sugar than flour (that would be 1 regular sized teacup full minus like a bit)
3 eggs
1 lemon

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 170 degrees Celsius. Then melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave and let it cool. While you're waiting, zest the lemon into a big bowl (for detailed instructions see here), then cut it in half and squeeze both halves into the bowl too. Add all the other ingredients, including the butter once it's cool, and mix together with a spoon. Pour into a pretty small greased cake pan and pop it in the oven for like 20 minutes.

Now when I say this worked like a charm I mean it came out looking like this:

But it tasted nice, ok? What are you expecting from me anyway, airtight professionalism? Good, I didn't think so.


  1. uh uh, how completely misguided my restaurant recommendations have been!! come on, get out there and expand your culinary horizons a little :D

  2. I'll try your recommendations, I promise. What I really meant to say was "I'm not so into that crap they have in the biergartens."