10 March 2013

Mother's Day: Lemon Loaf Cake

My mum loves lemon drizzle cake. Like, really loves it. I've never known anyone love it so much.

I think she has a point though, there is something refreshing about the tang of the lemon cutting through the softness of the sponge that is lighter lasting than my favourite coffee cake. So this Mother's Day I got up early and made her a lemon loaf cake for breakfast. Its a recipe by Raymond Blanc that I saw him make on his tv series 'Raymond's kitchen secrets' ages ago and have made once before a few years back.

The plan was to take a large slice of cake to her for breakfast in bed accompanied by the tiny puppy wearing a bow, but the universe conspired against me and my electronic scales ran out of battery before I realised, mid-bake, that we didn't have any bicarbonate of soda! Saved, not for the first time, by the co-op in the next village (the deli as we call it), I managed to produce the cake by half 10 by which time she was full dressed and hungry!

The cake itself is a bit of a labour of love, taking me around an hour and a half to make (not including emergency co-op trip and scale-directed anger) with its' double glazing and second short bake, but its worth it. 

The outside of the cake crisps beautifully like a crust, with added crunch from the double layer of glazing it gets when its out the oven - first comes a layer of melted lemon curd (the original recipe asks for apricot jam but I wanted to try out something different for taste) and the second is a delicious coating of a sugary lemon syrup dried in the cooling oven.

Lemon Loaf Cake (by Raymond Blanc)
5 large eggs
300g caster sugar
140ml double cream
3 lemons, zest only
1 1/2 tbsp rum
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, melted
240g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the glaze
3 tbsp apricot jam, warmed - I used lemon curd

For the lemon glaze
1 lemon, zest and juice
150g icing sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin measuring roughly 26cm x 9cm x 8/10cm.
2) Beat together the eggs, sugar, cream, lemon zest, rum, salt and melted butter.
3) Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl before beating into the wet mixture to make a smooth batter.
4) Pour into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes - the cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5) When fully baked, remove from tin and allow to cool for 10 minutes before covering with the warmed jam glaze. Allow this to dry for about 5 minutes before the next step.
6) Mix the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved before brushing over the cake. After a few minutes, return the cake to the cooling oven for 5 minutes to dry the glaze to a glossy finish.
7) Slice and enjoy the soft lemony goodness.
8) Thank me later.

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