the square cake

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I bought a new baking tin.

Of course I already own some baking tins … you’ve met them whenever I’m baking (springforms & loaf tins, a Bundt cake pan, tart forms …), but nevertheless you always stumble across a new product. Since several months I’m intrigued by simple flat cakes – rectangular shaped – which can be cut into nice small pieces. A baking tray is too big & too low … so I decided to buy a square baking tin.

I laid my hands on a 20 x 20 cm form because there are mainly the 2 of us … Any larger baking tin is not convenient. (Even when having a dinner event this baking tin will produce enough cake for a dessert for 4 or even 6 people.)

For the record:
I’m not a hoarder concerning baking tins or any other cooking/baking equipment or any kitchen equipment in general. My kitchen is small & space is limited. So I only store things I really use … I found – years ago – that you only need a rather small basic set of things for creating a lot of food. (I assure you that I haven’t got any boxes filled w/ things in my cellar … just in case.)

My 1st adventure w/ this baking tin: I opted for a lemon cake out of Helen Goh’s Sweet (co-authored by Yotam Ottolenghi). I made some adjustments e. g. concerning the amounts of ingredients, because it should nicely fit w/ my new baking tin. (I did also w/o poppy seeds because I don’t like poppy seeds.)

It is a soft cake, fluffy, airy … however not dry! The lemon icing invaded the cake & makes for a nice crunchy top. I cut 16 pieces out of the square & each is just fine when having an espresso or when you like to have some sweet finish to your dinner.

Let’s start!

This is my new baking tin. It’s non-stick, however, I added some oil & baking parchment – just to be able to lift the cake easily after the oven session. The oil is just applied because so the baking parchment sticks nicely to the bottom & the sides.

What do we need?

  • fine sugar
  • eggs
  • butter
  • cream
  • all-pupose flour & baking powder …

… & organic lemons!

The butter has to be melted; then just leave it for cooling down.

The zest of the lemons has to be grated. (Also squeeze the lemon juice – you’ll need it for the icing.)

… & another to do: Preheat the oven to 160° C w/ fan.

Grab your handheld electric mixer & whisk the eggs & the sugar until almost foamy. Add the molten butter & whisk until well incorporated.

Add the flour w/ the baking powder & whisk … add the cream & whisk.

Finally fold in the lemon zest & pour the mess into the prepared baking tin. The tin marches in the oven for about 30 min. (Make the famous test w/ the wooden pin …)

… ready!

At once prepare the lemon icing:

  • lemon juice
  • icing sugar.

Yes – the cake has just left the hot oven & the icing will be applied at once.

To encourage the soaking you may make some holes in the hot cake.

Just pour the icing all over the hot cake … & let it cool down to room temperature. Then lift the cake out of the baking tin & remove carefully the baking parchment.

Voilà!

I cut the big square into 16 small squares.

My better half & I liked it very much. So I decided to give it – 1 week later – another try.

What did I do?

  • I substituted a big orange for 2 lemons & worked w/ orange zest & orange juice.
  • I added some vanilla sugar.
  • I decided that a hint of chocolate might be fine w/ the orange flavor. So I prepared a chocolate icing out of 2 tbsp cream & 30 g dark chocolate which I distributed all over the top w/ help of a brush (last step).

Once again: voilà!

Enjoy!

the square cake
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings: 16 pieces
ingredients:
  • 200 g fine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g butter (molten)
  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (heaped)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 120 ml cream
  • 1 tbsp zest of lemon (2 lemons)
for the icing:
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
equipment:
  • handheld electric mixer
  • square baking tin (20 x 20 cm)
  • baking parchment
how to:
  • Preheat the oven to 160° C w/ fan.
  • Melt the butter & set aside to cool down.
  • Line the bkling tin w/ baking parchment; add some oil to the bottom & the sides to allow the baking parchment to stick appropriately.
  • Grate the lemon zest & squeeze the lemon juice.
  • Whisk the eggs & the sugar w/ your handheld electric mixer until foamy.
  • Add the molten butter & whisk until well incorporated. It's rather liquid.
  • Mix the flour, the baking powder & the salt. Add the liquid mess & whisk until incorporated.
  • Add the cream & whisk …
  • Fold in the lemon zest w/ a spoon.
  • Pour the mess into the prepared baking tin & bake for about 30 min.
  • Make the famus test w/ the wooden pin …
  • For the icing mix the lemon juice & the icing sugar w/ a spoon until creamy w/o tiny lumps of sugar.
  • Distribute the lemon icing all over the cake as soon as the cake is out of the oven. If you like you may pierce some little holes w/ the wooden pin to enhance the soaking.
  • Let the cake rest until it is at room temperature before removing the baking tin & the baking parchment.
Notes
Prep Time: includes the icing activities!
Servings: You may also try 25 pieces (i. e. 5 x 5), however, the cake is very soft & likes to crumble although moist! As well you may cut 9 big pieces (i. e. 3 x 3).
You may store the cake on your kitchen counter (covered) for at least 2 days.
You may store the cake in your fridge (covered) for almost a week. The cake will set in the fridge.
You may also substitute a big orange for the 2 lemons & work w/ orange zest & orange juice. (Add some vanilla/vanilla sugar to the cake.) For the icing you may – on top – add some chocolate layer made w/ about 30 g dark chocolate & 2 tbsp cream. (Heat the cream & melt the chocolate in the cream & stir until you get a fine soft chocolate icing.) It’s a very thin chocolate layer, but full of chocolate flavor which will work fine w/ the orange flavor.

(information on equipment)

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