Thursday 12 February 2009

Lemon-syrup loaf cake

I love this cake. It's simple, elegant and most importantly, tastes absolutely delicious! The recipe is from Nigella Lawson, and the actual cake part is pretty standard, but drenching the just-cooked cake with a sugar and lemon juice syrup raises this cake from yummy to something really special.

Easy to make, and uses pretty much all storecupboard ingredients too - what more could you ask for?

Lemon-syrup loaf cake
125g softened butter

175g caster sugar

2 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)

175g self-raising flour

4 tbsp milk

for the syrup:

juice of the lemon

75g icing sugar

-Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (23x13x7cm) with baking parchment - this is a very moist and sticky cake.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Cream together the butter and sugar and then add the eggs, beating them in well. Add the flour and lemon zest and fold in gently but thoroughly until well mixed. Add the 4 tbsp milk and mix well. (I would recommend adding the lemon zest with the flour rather than beating with the eggs because I found that all my lemon zest attached itself to the beaters and clung on for dear life, rather than remaining in with the rest of the mix - very annoying!)
- Spoon into the loaf tin and smooth the surface. Place into the oven.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves (although I don't think mine did completely - it doesn't really matter!).

- When the cake is cooked (45 minutes or so until golden and risen in the middle with a cake tester/skewer coming out clean - Nigella notes that it will sink a little on cooling, but I didn't really notice this) stab the cake repeatedly, all over the surface and right down into the cake. This is good fun! Carefully pour the syrup mixture over the cake, trying to make sure that some is absorbed in the middle of the cake, rather than just running down to the edges of the tin.
- Leave in the tin until completely cold, then carefully remove and slice.

This is an incredibly moist cake and the syrup adds a delicious sweet-tart tanginess.

Cut up and ready to go into work, where it was well received. If you look at the slices you can see where the syrup has penetrated the cake. Yum!


Lilygreen said...

Haven't baked in years! This was so easy to follow. Thank you I have one very happy hubby! :-)

Caroline said...

Hi Lilygreen - I'm really glad you liked it! It's definitely my favourite lemon cake even after having tried many more. Glad your hubby is happy!


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