Cake rusk (or as we call it in our house, rusk cake – I don’t know when this reversal happened) is the perfect dippable accompaniment to tea or coffee. It’s basically biscotti, a twice baked cake with a very light lemony flavor. We almost always have a store-bought pack at home sitting on top of the fridge (my two year old just learned its location and often points up there on the off chance that we are in the mood to give him one) but I thought I’d try my hand making them at home!
Note: Recipe sort of in progress; I got this recipe from the famous Dalda Cookbook (Platinum Edition) and followed it pretty much exactly (substituting lemon zest for lemon essence, and I don’t really do food coloring), but the end result was still cakey, not crispy. Even after an extra 30 minutes at low temp in the oven, it wasn’t quite there yet, so I’m going to be playing around with temperatures to fix it.
However, even if it wasn’t quite there, it was really delicious, like a toasted pound cake. My daughter especially loved it and keeps asking me to make it again, so I thought I would go ahead and share!
Adapted from The Dalda Cookbook, and will be tweaking a little more in the future. However, if you make this version you will not be disappointed, just expect more of a toasty cake than a biscotti
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup ghee
- 6 eggs
- zest of 1 small lemon
Heat oven to 400° and prepare a 9×13 pan (I didn’t this time, but next time will probably use parchment paper so I can easily remove and slice the cake). Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat sugar and ghee until white and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in lemon essence. With a spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined. Spread into a pan and bake for 15 minutes.
At this point reduce the heat to 300° and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut down the center lengthwise, then into 1 1/2 inch strips. Transfer to a baking sheet.
This is the point where I’m going to play around with temperatures; the original recipe says to bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes, which I did. This achieves a nice golden crust, but the center is still cakey. I baked it at 300° for another 30 minute, which did crisp it up a little.
Next time the plan is to reduce the ghee, then bake the second time at a low heat for a long time, and flip in between. Will report back!