A few of you have been asking for this so here it is, the lemon ‘disaster’ drizzle.
We have a bit of an ongoing competition in my family of who can make the best lemon drizzle cake and for a while I was winning. Head judge Luke (my brother) said it was the best he had tried. I thought I had found a fool proof recipe for the perfect lemon drizzle but then this happened….
What the ?!?! How did this happen? What hurts even more is I spent a good 30 minutes feeding the cake with lemon drizzle icing and I thought it was soaking in until I cut into it … how I didn’t realise before I don’t know.
I was using a new tin that was a slightly different thickness than normal and I don’t think I paid enough attention to when I put it in the oven but still, this is RAW. Luckily I made two ( one was for a family weekend away in the Shropshire and one was supposed to be for work) and the second one turned out well – unfortunately work missed out that week. Anyway, this was a one off (hopefully) – I’ve made it lots since and I I still stand by Hugh’s recipe from River Cottage Everyday.
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
zest of three lemons
175g self-raising flour
Pinch of sea salt
Splash of milk
200g icing sugar
75ml lemon juice
Grease and line a 1 litre loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar. A stand mixer is great for this but if not a hand help mixer will be fine ( you may just get an arm ache!). Beat until the mixture turns pale yellow and creamy, 4 or 5 minutes in a stand mixer should do it. Add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour each time to prevent the mixture curdling.
Fold in the remaining flour, a pinch of salt and the lemon zest. The mixture should drop easily off a spoon, if not add a splash of milk. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes. It should have risen quite well and started to split on the top.
While the cake is still warm use a thin skewer or tooth pick to make lots of little holes all over the top. Mix together 200g icing sugar (sieved – very important to produce a smooth glossy finish) with 75ml lemon juice. Pour this over the warm cake slowly, so that it all soaks in. Leave in the tin to cool.
My top tip from this recipe for a successful cake; beat the butter and sugar until a pale yellow, for up to 5 minutes. This makes an exceptionally light cake. This may be a common practice in the baking world and I may be joining the party late but if you haven’t tried doing this make sure you do next time. I always use this recipe for Victoria sponge cake as well (without the lemon).
Another tip that may seem very obvious to experienced bakers but something I don’t normally bother to do is to sieve the icing sugar for the icing. I don’t normally sieve anything however its really important you do for the drizzle icing. It makes a smooth and glossy drizzle and ensures you get a glistening cake top instead of having white lumps all over the top.
Hopefully the lemon ‘disaster’ drizzle is all behind me now and I can reclaim my family title.