Thursday, 22 July 2010

Lemon Drizzle Cake

My love affair with lemon drizzle cake began one day as I was browsing through my housemate's old Somerfield magazines.  I had a few lemons that needed to be used up along with this disgusting light sunflower spread I stupidly bought one day.  The recipe popped up as a feature for easy to carry picnic treats and I read the recipe without much interest believing it would require a long list of ingredients I didn't have - but alas my eyes locked on to the one ingredient which convinced me I needed to give it a try: sunflower spread.  A good way to use mass quantities of horrible goop and hopefully turn it into a yummy tea time treat.  So I set to work, and was happy to discover I had all that the recipe required, I just had to half the quantities as I only had a 1Ib loaf tin at the time.  Just before pouring, I had to admit the mixture did not look promising - the sunflower spread had liquified itself in the mixing process and I was slightly sad to think I had wasted an egg and lemons, but what's done is done and the oven was set so I shoved it all in anyway.  Boy was I glad I did.  As if a pixie was in the oven working some magic, the mixture doubled in bulk and turned out to become an amazingly light and delicate sponge.  I drizzled the lemon syrup on thinking my luck would run out and the syrup would collapse the damn thing but lo and behold, a perfect lemon drizzle cake came into being.  The kettle went on and tea for two was promptly made, and carrying our plates and tea into the lounge, we cautiously took a forkful worried that the whole thing would just taste of lemon flavoured sunflower spread.  All my fears were for nothing, my first mouthful was a spectacular burst of lemony goodness and needless to say that the poor cake did not last the day.

Since then, I have made the cake frequently and it has also found its way into my mama's heart.  She recently came home after surgery to treat her cancer but I'm happy to say she is on the mend and her first request to me when she got home? Yup.  Lemon drizzle cake please.  I was more than happy to oblige.  Since the sunflower spread days, I have moved on to butter as I refuse to buy the stuff again.  The result is a richer sponge and I would say I prefer it, but butter in anything agrees with me.  At my parents' home I use a tray of eight mini loaf moulds which is equivalent to a 2IB loaf tin.  We bought the tin on an impulse when browsing the baking section in TK Max and truely I thought it was one of those things we'd never use but once again I happily admit my error.  The tin makes the perfect individual sized cakes, perfect with a cup of tea.  Oh lemon drizzle cake, how I love thee!
 
 
  
Lemon Drizzle Cake
(Serves 8)   

Ingredients:
(For a 2Ib loaf tin)
  • 100g/4oz Margerine/butter
  • 150g (5.5oz) Caster sugar
  • 5ml/1tsp Baking powder
  • 175g/6oz Self-raising flour
  • 2 Large-ish eggs
  • 60ml/4Tbsp Milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 25g/1oz Flaked Almonds
  • Juice of 1 lemon 100ml
  • 50g Granulated sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F then grease and line your tin 
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in the eggs then fold in the flour, baking powder and zest plus milk 
  4. Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake looks lightly golden and springs back when lightly pressed and beginning to shrink from the sides.
  5. Whilst the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup which just involves mixing the juice and granulated sugar together until mostly dissolved. Pour the syrup slowly over the cake as soon as it leaves the oven (I like to poke holes with a fork or skewer to allow the syrup to really sink in) and allow to cool the tin before removing.

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