Sometimes I feel embarrassed to say that I read a lot of cozy mysteries. Cozy mysteries are a subgenre of crime fiction in which gory details of the crime are never described, the detective is usually a woman next door (they are often female entrepreneurs or independent contractors such as journalists) turned amateur sleuth, and the crime takes place in a tea shop, B&B, eatery, etc in a small town.
Now that I got that out of the way, “cozies” are brain candies. And I hate to admit that I consume a lot of them! I love reading them at night to put me to sleep, or during a cold, quiet afternoon at home while under the covers. HOWEVER, I also read more serious literary genres at the same time in order to feed my brain substantial brain food. LOL!
The recipe for Sticky Lemon Cake was from one the cozy mysteries that I just finished. I was excited to find a recipe that seemed easy enough to make. And sure enough, it was and the cake was delicious as well! I gave a slice to my co-worker who raved about it and wanted more! By the way, the recipe came from Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea.
What is great about this recipe is now I know what to do with extra lemons that often would just go to waste. I do not always use lemon in my cooking but sometimes I find myself buying a bag but really needing just one lemon. My neighbors also sometimes put out a basket of lemons in front of their house from their trees for people to take home for free. Here is the recipe that has been adapted from the book, Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea:
STICKY LEMON CAKE
- Citrus squeezer
- Grater or zester
- 8 inch square metal baking pan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zests (or zests from two large lemons)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter or spray with non-stick spray an 8 inch square metal baking pan.
- Cream the butter, sugar and lemon peel in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in 1 egg then add half of the flour.
- Repeat with the remaining egg and flour.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan.
- Bake about about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Take the cake out of the oven and put on a rack.
- Poke holes all over the cake.
- Pour the lemon syrup all over the cake. Make sure that the syrup soaks in.
- Cool the cake completely and serve with powdered sugar or served with whipped cream, jam or lemon curd, if you want.
ABOUT AUNT DIMITY COZY MYSTERY SERIES:
If you are curious about Aunt Dimity cozy mystery series, Aunt Dimity books are well-written and follow a very unique plot that is different from typical cozy mysteries. (As I have mentioned, settings for cozies are often in small town bed and breakfasts, tea shops, bake shops, art shops, boutiques, etc.) Aunt Dimity books star Lori Sheppard, an American ex-pat living in the Cotswolds with her lawyer husband and toddlers. Her husband came from old money while Lori inherited hers from Aunt Dimity who was her deceased mother’s best friend during the war. Aunt Dimity herself was already deceased. HOWEVER, she communicates with Lori from the “other side” through an old blank diary. Lori talks to her while Aunt Dimity responds through writing using an old-fashioned cursive. Sounds like fun, right? Despite the supernatural aspect of Aunt Dimity’s presence, it is not creepy at all. The town itself is full of characters — the vicar, gossipy women, tea house proprietor, art collectors, herbalist, equestrian owners, butcher and of course, when in England, there is the local pub that everyone frequents. There are 24 books in the series. I have read most of them. They took me places from the magnificent castle atop a tumultuous Scottish sea to summer Renaissance Faire or just “hanging out” with the townspeople in Cotswolds, England. They were fun and provided me a safe escape akin to a literary hug on a chilly fall or winter afternoon (although I read these books year round!).