Saturday, 25 April 2015

lemon drizzle loaf

I think of lemon drizzle cake as a reliable, no fuss, what you see is what you get kind of cake. It might not look particularly pretty, but it tastes beautiful. The cake would be delicious without the addition of drizzle, but going the extra mile and pouring lemon juice and sugar over the top of the cake once it has baked, adds just the right level of moisture to this cake. It is so very good.

Lemon Drizzle Cake
ingredients
200g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
zest of three lemons
50g full fat natural / Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp / 30g lemon curd (I make mine - here's the recipe)
juice of 1 lemon
75g granulated sugar

method
1) Pre-heat oven to 150C (fan) / 170C / gas mark 2 / 300F. Grease & line a 2lb loaf tin.
In a large bowl, weigh out the butter and sugar. Add the lemon zest. (I can highly recommend investing in a microplane zester if you don't already have one. They are utterly brilliant.) Beat together until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy.
2) Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3) Sieve in the remaining flour and baking powder, then beat until every thing is combined.
4) Add the yoghurt and lemon curd, then mix.
5) Scrape the mixture into your prepared tin, then bake for 40 mins. After 40 minutes, cover the cake with some foil or greaseproof paper to prevent burning, then bake for another 20 minutes. Check that the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes away clean, the cake is baked and ready to come out of the oven. Place on a wire cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 - 10 mins before drizzling..
6) Make the drizzle by juicing one lemon and stirring in the 75g of granulated sugar. Pierce the top of the loaf with a fork so that the drizzle can seep through the holes into the cake. Pour on the drizzle, then leave the cake to cool in the tin.

baking notes
+ By beating the lemon zest in with the butter and sugar, you release the oils in the lemon zest, which gives an even greater citrus flavour, than if you were to stir in the zest at a later point.
+ If you don't have granulated sugar, you can use caster sugar for the drizzle. The main difference is that caster sugar is finer, and people often love the greater crunch effect you get when you use granulated sugar on a lemon drizzle cake.
+ It helps to leave the cake to cool slightly before pouring on the drizzle, otherwise you will find that the cake is very soft. So, when you pierce the cake with a fork, if it's too warm, you're likely to crack the cake.

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