Monday, March 28, 2016

Sweet Lemon Bread - Estonian Sidrunikeeks

A friend of mine recently injured his knee while snowboarding. I promised some cake as appropriate mood raiser and "medicine". This sweet lemon bread is based on an old Estonian recipe from an old book of baking recipes by Ida Savi.  Most food bloggers in Estonia have made it and published their versions of it. Its popularity speaks for itself. It is moist and carries a noticeable taste of lemon.

To the international audience who is wondering which colour lemons to use, here is a reminder about the difference of green and yellow lemons and how a simple lemon can cause a whole lot of misunderstanding. I have made this recipe many times with yellow lemons, the type we know as lemons in northern European.

Even though there are many more words in the English language than there are in Estonian there is one word that we have and English doesn´t. It is "keeks". In English it seems the type of sweet cake baked in a rectangular form is often called bread. Like banana bread has typically this shape. In German this type of baking form is called either "Kastenform" or "Brotbackform". We even call this form "keeksivorm".

Sweet Lemon Bread
200g butter, at room temperature
200g sugar
200g flour
5 eggs
peel and juice of 1 yellow lemon (use bio lemon or wash the lemon carefully)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and fit a baking form with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer until soft, fully combined and the mixture turns into lighter colour.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites.
Add the egg yolks to the butter-sugar mixture and combine.
Add the flour and mix again.
Beat the egg whites into a hard foam and add into the mixture. Make sure to combine well without too much mixing especially with the dough at the bottom of the bowl.
I noticed that when I was pouring the dough into the baking form there were some small parts that were not fully mixed with the egg whites. That created the darker bits in the cake that you can see in the picture.

Pour the dough into the baking form and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Check the readiness with a wooden match in the middle.
When ready leave it in the form for 10-15 minutes to cool down, then take it out of the form to avoid the "sweating".
A light touch of powder sugar adds a little extra before serving.