Last Saturday it was my friend, and flatmate, Lauren’s birthday. About two months ago I had asked her what her favourite cake was; I thought I’d give it a while so she wouldn’t suspect anything and without hesitation she answered “Lemon drizzle!” So, early on Saturday morning I snuck out of the flat, bought eggs, almost forgot to buy lemons, and rushed back to bake. Sadly, she woke up before the cake was all done, but she was not allowed into the kitchen until it was all ready.
I found this recipe on the BBC GoodFood website but I decided to revise it slightly, using plain flour and baking powder and making it a little extra lemony for Lauren, whose famous motto about lemons is “the more, the better”. This recipe is easy to remember, as butter, sugar and flour are all the same quantity, and the final result is very lemony but not sour, as there is quite a lot of sugar in the drizzle.
One thing I’ve learnt is that, even though recipes suggest you to heat the oven first thing, that’s not a great idea. Anyone who tells you that a cake preparation will only take 10 minutes is living in denial. What about the weighing? How about the chopping, melting, washing and grating? Liars. By the time you are ready to stick that cake into the oven, you’ll have wasted a good 20 minutes of gas – feel free to call me stingy. It doesn’t take that long to heat the oven, mine is old and dreams of holidays in the sun, but it takes less than 10 minutes to heat up. Just turn it on when you know you’re 5 to 10 minutes away from being done with the preparation.
Without further ado, I give you… Lemon Drizzle 61 Revisited.
What you’ll need:
For the cake
- 225 gr unsalted butter
- 225 gr caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225 gr plain flour
- 12.5 gr (2 and ½ spoons) baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
For the drizzle
- Strained juice of two lemons
- 115 gr caster sugar
Wash the lemons very thoroughly, dry them and grate the zest finely. Set it aside. In the meantime soften the butter until very soft, but not hot! Combine the butter with the sugar and beat them with an electric whisk until they have become a soft, pale cream. Add the eggs one by one and keep beating the mixture until everything is well combined. Now preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160C/gas 4. In a different bowl mix together the flour and baking powder, making sure the powder is well distributed. Now sift that into the cake mixture and add the zest, mixing all thoroughly. Get yourself a loaf tin, grease it with butter and coat it with flour. Pour the mixture into the tin and then flatten it evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake for about 45 minutes (try the wooden toothpick trick – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready). While the cake is in the oven, get working on the drizzle. Squeeze the two lemons and sieve the juice into a bowl with the sugar. Mix well. When the cake is ready, prick it all over with the same toothpick and then pour the drizzle over the entire surface area, letting it sink into the holes. Let it cool and then, with a flat, butter knife detach the sides of the cake from the tin, being careful not to scratch the metal if you are using a non-stick tin. Remove the cake from it, place on a plate, slice and eat eat eat!