These moist, sticky cake bars are a slightly more solid version of a lemon bar, with a chewy ginger addition. I’m not usually the biggest fan of lemon-flavoured baking, but I felt inspired to use the bright summery flavours in these zingy bars. In search of the perfectly dense, heavy (in the best way) lemon cake possible for the top layer, I realised a brownie texture was exactly what I was looking for. After some digging and a lot of help from Google translate, I stumbled upon the perfect formula on the Norwegian baking blog “Det søte liv” (https://www.detsoteliv.no/oppskrift/lemonies) – thank you, Kristine! Resting thickly on top of a crunchy ginger shortbread base studded with chewy stem ginger, the result is a pleasing combination of fresh, moist and luxuriously dense.
for the ginger shortbread base
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g granulated sugar
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 balls stem ginger
Pinch of salt
for the lemon brownie
300g caster sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
175g butter, melted
75ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g plain flour
- Heat oven to 175°C. Grease and line a 9″x13″ baking tin, leaving enough paper to rise up the sides of the tin.
- In an electric mixer or with your hands, rub the butter into the flour to form rough, doughy lumps. Add the sugar, salt and ground ginger and continue to mix until combined into large crumbs. Chop the stem ginger into small chunks and mix in.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and press in with a rubber spatula to form an even base in the tin.
- Par-bake for 20-23 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- For the brownie mix, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined, but do not overbeat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, and mix until well combined.
- Pour over the biscuit base, and place tray back in the oven for 20-25 minutes.