Olenna Tyrell: “Shall we have some lemon cakes?”
Sansa Stark: “Lemon cakes are my favorite.”
Olenna Tyrell: “So we’ve been told.”
Oh Sansa Stark. I like Sansa Stark. Not many people find her interesting, but I’m at that point in the books where I’m all “HOW IN THE–WHY ARE YOU STILL ALIVE??!!” I mean, it’s like Samwell Tarly all over again. Except Sansa’s way prettier. And a girl.
On the outside, Sansa may seem like nothing but a vapid, pretty face with unrealistic notions of Westerosi chivalry. I can tell you that underneath she’s much, much more. Underneath she’s a vapid, pretty face with unrealistic notions of Westerosi chivalry. Oh. Wait.
Well, she has one hell of a “p-p-p-poker face.” Oh, Joffrey is her one true king? Oh, you don’t believe her? Well, newsflash. You may think she’s lying, but that’s what she wants you to think. Or is it? You wouldn’t know unless you read her thoughts, which occasionally you did. If you read the books. Yeah.
But this isn’t about Sansa, it’s about the lemon cakes that she seems to love so much.
Once again, I took a trip down to A Feast of Ice and Fire to pluck out another recipe to try. As the recipe of the medieval lemon cake stands, it’s not so much a cake as a cookie, though compared to the modern lemon cake, I preferred the lighter medieval one, so I opted for cookies after all! (Plus, I mean, come on. Lemon cookies with tea. Yes please!)
They put the recipe with their changes here (though I used the book version, so that differed somewhat).
The cookies/cakes: Of course I also made my changes, because I’m not a big fan of using lemon zest for, well, anything. I know it has its uses, but there is still that bitterness that drives me crazy, and the texture isn’t my favorite thing in the world. So, in this case, I used a teaspoon of lemon extract, a bit of lemon juice, and lessened the sugar content by one cup. The whole thing ended up being too dry, so I did add some more water and a bit more lemon juice just until the dough was, you know, actual dough, but not too sticky.
The iced drizzle: The cookbook actually suggests a bit of a confectioner’s sugar and milk drizzle on the top, which, I suppose, makes sense especially with my cutting the sugar content already. While the lemon cakes themselves are pretty darn good without the drizzle, I thought it added a bit of gumption onto it. Especially when I also put a wee bit of lemon extract into the icing. Omnomnom.
And did I mention tea? Partaking in a Sansa-inspired lemon cake snack is not complete without tea! Tea with lemon and honey! Yes, that’s a lot of acid, but since I currently have a sore throat, this works wonders, I tell ya.
Verdict: It’s no wonder these are Sansa’s favorite treats. Lemon cakes or cookies or, well, almost every lemon-anything has just the right amount of sweet, soury, refreshyness that makes it appropriate for any season, occasion, or location. Heck, King’s Landing nobility might revel in tea and lemon cakes, but let’s not forget that Dorne is probably Westeros’ main lemon-producing import partner (suuucks for King’s Landing if you sever all ties with Dorne!), so you can count on the Dornish to make as much lemon cake as they like. Even the Sand Snakes and their whore-mothers probably get them.
But now I’m digressing. Lemon cakes are delicious.