Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

This week we’re talking about lemons and how they seem to be one of the best ingredients available when it comes to baking. Several weeks ago we made lemon Viennese whirls which were lovely but also gave me a craving for something that I haven’t made in a long while – lemon drizzle cake. Now we all know that I love to include fruit in my baking wherever possible, with the combination of sweet and tart flavours being my favourite and let’s be honest, nobody does this better than the lemon.

Lemon drizzle cake however, does not just have excellent flavour. It also has the most amazing texture with the lemon syrup making it incredibly moist, sticky and just generally amazing. I’m really hyping this up today, aren’t I?

Anyway, lemon drizzle cake is generally a huge favourite in my house and has been requested several times over the past few weeks. So here it is! I did consider writing some recipes for edible gifts considering its Valentine’s Day but thought that 1) this will automatically just annoy some people and 2) that my boyfriend would then know what I’m making for part of his gift. So yes, I’ve avoided that but if you do plan on making something there are plenty of great gift recipes available online at the typical addresses; BBC Good Food, Delicious Magazine, Food Network etc. Yes, it’s a lot easier to go out and buy for example, a box of chocolates but making them yourself just adds that personal touch.

Back to the lemon drizzle cake however, I make mine in a loaf tin because the shape and size of it really allows the syrup to distribute evenly throughout the cake. I’ve made it as a sheet cake before and it was basically just a bit too soggy once the syrup was added. This recipe obviously has the temperature and cooking time appropriate to a loaf tin so I suggest you use the same!

Some final tips before you get started:
  • When it comes to zesting any kind of fruit, the only thing you need is a flat, mini-grater, such as that in the picture above. I’ve used all kinds of kitchen gadgets for this purpose before and this really is the most effective. So if you haven’t got one, invest! It’s worth it.
  • When it comes to lining a loaf tin, don’t bother messing around with trying to get the baking or greaseproof paper to fit all sides of the tin exactly. I just cut out one long strip that just covers the base of the tin and the two short sides. Make sure there is an overhang of paper at each end so that once your cake has cooked and cooled, you can just run a knife along the long edges and use the flaps of paper at the end to lift out your cake. Simple.
  • I use a BBQ skewer to puncture the holes in my cake to let the syrup do its drizzly thing but anything sharp and pointy will do. Just try not to get carried away and tear the thing to shreds.
Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

225g Unsalted Butter, softened
225g Golden Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
Zest of 2 Lemons
175g Self-Raising Flour
50g Ground Almonds

For the Syrup:
Juice of 2 Lemons
85g Icing Sugar

24cm loaf tin, greased and lined

1)      Preheat the oven to 180◦C. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and mix until combined.
2)      Sieve the flour into the butter, sugar and egg mixture, add the ground almonds and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
3)      Spoon the batter into the tin and level the top with a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
4)      Immediately mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a saucepan and warm over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert a skewer into the warm cake to create multiple holes before pouring the lemon syrup over the top of the cake. Leave in the tin to cool completely.


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