December 30, 2004

Nigella's Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges

Mini Lime-Syrup Sponges
Makes 8

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lime
1 cup plus 2 tbsp self rising cake flour
pinch of salt
4 tbsp milk
8 cup mini loaf pan, buttered very well

For the syrup:
4 tbsp lime juice (of 1-2 limes), plus zest for decoration (my limes didn't produce anywhere near that much, I had to resort to bottled lime juice. gasp.)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350f.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and lime zest, beating them in well. Add the flour and salt, folding in gently, and then the milk. Spoon into the mini loaf pan and cook for 25 minutes.

3. While cakes are cooking, prepare the syrup. Put the lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently so that the sugar dissolves (duh Nigella).

4. As soon as the sponges are ready, take them out of the oven and prick them with a cake tester all over (I used a small knife). Pour over the syrup evenly. Try to let the middle absorb the liquid as well as the sides, then leave it to soak up the rest. Don't try to take the cakes out of the pan until they have cooled slightly and the syrup looks like it has been absorbed, but be aware that if you leave these to cool completely they might be very difficult to get out of the pan. So, after an hour or two, turn them out onto a rack and grate some lime zest over them before serving.