We watched the final of the Great British Bake Off last week, rather grudgingly I might add - but more of that later. I was shocked and saddened to see the tribute to a former contestant, Luis Troyano, appear in the credits at the end. I instantly remembered who he was, a gentle giant of a man who produced exceptionally good bread during bread week. He was a finalist in series five in 2014 and was only 48 when he died of cancer just a few weeks ago.
As so many of the contestants do, he produced a book after that series finished and I bought it a while ago. Until now the only thing in the book I have made is his pumpkin pie, which was, in fact, divine. You can see that if you go here.
48 is no age at all. Amidst all the trials and tribulations that this year has thrown at us, the perpetual fear of impending doom, the worry, the isolation, the pandemic waistline and brain fog, the intense longing for normality, it's frightening to realise that all the other things that normally get us are still out there as well.
A sense of my own mortality set in and with gay abandon I took up Nick's offer of an early birthday present. My birthday is only a couple of weeks away anyway but what if I didn't make it that far? You just never know.
I already own a Kenwood Chef which resides in France. I took it there thinking that that's where I would do most baking and for a few years that was the case. Oh but how I have missed it this year! And how thrilled I am to now have this retro styled baby Kenwood! I christened it without delay by baking my own little tribute to Luis, the recipe for a lemon and sultana Bundt cake that's in his book.
So this cake was my tribute to the gentle and talented Luis Troyano. There are lots of other really lovely recipes in his book which I highly recommend. I shall bake my way through a few more and no doubt write about them.
His recipe for this particular cake includes a glaze made with limoncello but I thought the cake looked quite beautiful without it and turned out to be amply lemony enough as it was. Definitely a cake I shall be making again. R.I.P. Luis.
225g softened butter (I used Tesco Butterpak Spreadable)
500g caster sugar
4 large eggs
380g plain flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
170g sultanas (tossed in a little flour to prevent sinking)
zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
Prepare your Bundt tin by buttering generously and dusting with flour or using this method here. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 170 fan / gas mk 5.
Using your brand new Kenwood mixer (ahem!) or a hand held electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add and beat in the eggs one at a time along with a spoonful of the flour to prevent curdling.
Add all the other ingredients and beat until well combined. Pour into the tin and level the top, remembering not to fill by more than three quarters. Give the tin a few sharp taps on the worktop to ensure there are no air gaps and bake for about one hour. Cover with foil after 45 minutes and check for doneness after 50 minutes.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Depending on the design of your tin, cuts into 15-20 slices.