Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake | Modern Mummy

Friday, 10 December 2010

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love food. Love it. My life revolves around it. Big family Sunday dinners, friends round for tea and cake, BBQs in the Summer. Food and friends are the best combination EVER. Oh and wine. Because of this I have decided to start up the Modern Mummy Foodie Friday, where I share a receipe with you lovely lot once a week.

I would like to say that the recipes I am going to post may well be my own takes on other people's recipes (be they members of my family, or famous chefs). I will always give credit where credit is due and promise never to try and pass off other's recipes as my own. I would also like to point out that although I love to cook, I have very limited kitchen equipment. If you have been put off cooking in the past because you haven't got an electric whisk or a bread maker then try my recipes. They didn't have all these gadgets in the old days and quite simply they aren't necessary! They are helpful, yes, but you can make do without. I bake my cakes using a good old fashioned hand whisk and a wooden spoon!

So this week I have mostly been daydreaming about Lemon Drizzle Cake. It's probably down to the fact I have overdosed on Christmas chocolate over the last few days and am in the mood to bake (and eat!) something light and summery. So (drumroll please!) here is my very own, and very first, Foodie Friday recipe!

Check List.
2x 8 inch cake tins
Grater for zesting the lemons
8-10 unwaxed lemons
5x eggs
75g granulated sugar
275g caster sugar
125g mascarpone
230g unsalted butter (softened)
200g self raising flour

For the sponge 
The juice and zest of 2 lemons
200g softened, unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs - already beaten (makes the cake fluffier and lighter)
200g self-raising flour

For the filling
2 egg yolks
The juice and zest of 2 lemons
30g unsalted butter
125g mascarpone
75g caster sugar

For the Syrup 
The juice of 4 lemons (plus a slice or two for decorating)
75g granulated sugar

What to do.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees. (If you are a novice cake baker you should note that cakes are always baked at this temperature - if you ever see a recipe telling you to bake at a higher or lower temperature then I would recommend ignoring it and sticking to the gas mark 4 rule!). Grease your cake tins really really well. You are baking a cake! A great big delicious horrifically unhealthy but lovely cake! Don't scrimp on the butter whilst greasing!

Starting with the sponge, mix the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl using a wooden spoon.

Add the eggs (in stages) and beat well, then add the flour, gradually. Then the mixture is ready to be spooned into the cake tins (it will be really thick and not pourable). If it doesn't look like very much once separated into the two cake tins, don't fret. The self raising flour in it means it is going to rise.

Bake for about 40 mins or until the sponges are shrinking away from the sides of the cake tins. Keep checking - without opening the oven door! (This can cause your cake to sink). Once they have started to shrink away, double check that they are ready by doing the skewer test (insert a skewer/knife/small sharp instrument into the centre of the sponge and it will come out crumby if cooked, and covered with uncooked mixture if not. You may open the oven door to carry out this test!)

Whilst the cake is baking you can make a start on the lemon filling.  Beat the egg yolks, sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan and once properly mixed place on the hob and heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Stir continuously. Once it is thick enough (think lemon curd consistency) remove from the heat and allow to cool. Then mix the lemon filling into the mascarpone and set aside.

Then you get to relax a bit whilst the cakes bake. You will probably have about twenty mins to have a cup of tea or make a start on the washing up if you'd rather. Once the cakes are done remove them from their tins and place on a wire rack to cool. If you have greased your tins sufficiently it should just take a gentle but firm pat on the underside of the tins to remove them (don't forget oven gloves!)

Once they are cool, spread the base with the lemon/mascarpone filling and place the other sponge on top. You can crack then on with the syrup, which is used to coat the top sponge. Stir the sugar into the lemon juice until it starts to dissolve then drizzle over the cake. Once it has all sunk in I like to dust the top with icing sugar and place a couple of slices of lemon on top to decorate.

Serve with an ice cold, crisp glass of chenin blanc, put your sunglasses on and pretend it's July!

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