Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake

A lemon drizzle cake really is one of the easiest cakes to bake; the recipe is straight-forward and best of all it keeps very well for days in an airtight cake tin. It's the perfect go-to cake for when friends drop by unannounced as the moistness will keep the cake fresh for a few days. I find one of the biggest mistake to make when baking a lemon drizzle cake is just to place all the ingredients into a mixer and let the mixer do the work. Of course this will give you a cake but not a light, fluffy, delicious lemon drizzle cake which you will get if you take that little extra time and follow the simple steps below.


(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

- 225g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 4 Large Free Range Eggs 
- Zest & Juice 1 Lemon
- 225g Plain Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Lemon Drizzle:

- 2 Lemons
- 100g Caster Sugar

Lemon Icing:

- 250g Icing Sugar (sieved)
- Juice of 1 Lemon (sieved to remove pulp)

Optional: Crystalised Flowers:

- 1 Egg White (whisked)
- Caster Sugar
- Rose Petals


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c (150c Fan) / Gas 4. Brush and line your (8 inch) cake tin or (8 x 21cm) loaf tin very lightly with melted butter (careful not to over grease your tin base). Sieve the flour, with the baking powder into a large wide bowl from a height and repeat twice which will incorporate more air into the mix before setting aside.

2. Cream the butter very well with an electric hand whisk until very light and creamy for at least five minutes before gradually adding in the caster sugar in stages to form a pale and creamy texture. Scrap down the sides before adding in the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of flour with each egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.

3. Fold in your vanilla extract, lemon zest and the juice of one lemon. Gently fold in the sieved flour and pour the mixture into your loaf tin or cake tin. Smooth the surface of the mixture and place in the oven for 40 - 45 mins. Test the cake to see if it is fully baked by placing a skewer in the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean then the cake is fully baked. If not place it back into you oven for a further five mins checking every five minutes until it's baked.

4. While the cake is baking - juice two lemons over a sieve and place the juice in a saucepan with the caster sugar. A few minutes before the cake is baked, place the lemon juice and sugar over a medium heat and make a piping hot syrup. Take the cake out of the oven, pierce the cake with the skewer all over and then pour the syrup over the cake allowing the cake to soak up all the lemon syrup. Set aside for a number of hours before icing (there is no problem leaving the cake there over night in the tin and icing it the following day).

5. Once the cake is completely cool, remove it from the tin and place it on a cake stand or clean board. Mix the sieved lemon juice with the icing sugar (to form a texture similar to the consistency of paint). Then simply pour over the centre of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides by itself.
(Tip: If you are using a round cake tin, sit the cake on a jam jar resting on a clean chopping board).


Crystallised Rose Petals:

If you are looking to decorate your lemon drizzle cake, or any cake with something different, try crystallising some edible flowers, it's ever so simple. Lightly paint the petals using a small artist paint brush and sprinkle with caster sugar, shaking off the excess sugar. Rest the petals on parchment paper for a number of hours in a cool dry place, preferably overnight. The following day, the flowers will be hard and brittle making for a wonderful cake decoration. 


* * *

Photographer: Jakub Walutek
Styling: Dermie's GasMarkSeven

Questions about this recipe? Email me here.