The "sunflower" is in the title only because my cake WAS in the shape of a sunflower.
And before anybody begins to think "wow she's a superb baker", let me hasten to add that the shape of a sunflower was entirely and only due to my sunflower-shaped Bundt cake pan, which I bought from the De Cuisine site. They have some really cool cake moulds, and if you go by the descriptions of their wares, you'd think there was nothing better than those since sliced bread!
There are so many things on the site that I'd consider a bit OTT... but I guess if you have unlimited money and a very large kitchen, all them things would be "must-haves". I dont have either of those in abundance, unfortunately, so I have to pick and choose the things I buy. I have to admit, though, that I've bought other items from them before, and the quality is very good. Then again, so are the prices (phew) - of not just the cake moulds but all their items... I can only afford to buy these things one at at time! (I have my eye on their stainless steel Mandolin for my next purchase... it looks terrifyingly efficient!)
Anyhow, on to the recipe. It's really a basic lemon sponge recipe, and if you dont have a sunflower Bundt pan, use a 10" square or round one. Also be warned that this makes a very BIG cake, and if I were to make it again without using the mould, I'd halve the recipe and use a 7" square pan. This recipe makes a very light sponge, not too crumbly and not dry. It keeps well in an airtight tin for 3-4 days. I was really pleased with it - although I do think that a lemony icing or frosting/filling would have made the cake even nicer. This would work with a round or square cake, not my sunflower. Next time...
Recipe for: Lemon sunflower sponge cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tbsp yellow food colouring
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 175C/325F. Grease a 9" square or round pan lightly. (If using a non-stick sunflower mould, no need to grease).
2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl.
3. Beat sugar and butter in a large pan until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
5. Now add the flour mix and buttermilk alternately to the egg batter, beating well between additions.
6. (Omit this step if not using a sunflower mould and go directly to Step 7) Remove 3 tbsp of the batter and mix the chocolate chips with it. Fill the centre of the mould with this chocolate-chip batter.
7. Add lemon peel and lemon juice to the batter and mix in well.
8. Pour batter into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or till a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
9. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
10. Serve with cream or lemon cream and a cup of coffee.