Sunday, May 29, 2011
Lemon Drizzle Cake
I'm always surprised when I hear people say they can't bake as there are many easy recipes out there and only a few important rules to follow....well according to me anyway. The first 'rule' I would say is to read the recipe through properly so you know what needs to happen when and what you need at what stage of the recipe. The next thing would be to measure the ingredients properly. There is no place for guesstimating weights and measurements with baking as you can upset the alchemy of the recipe and really throw things out causing a disaster. Leave the guessing of such things to being a masterchef of other things instead and follow the recipe when you are baking. Other 'rules' would be to preheat your oven and have all your tins greased and lined before you start making the mix to bake. Sometimes a recipe can be 'mixed up' a bit but if you are a learner baker, stick to the recipe until you have more confidence and knowledge of what you are doing. Maybe leave the experimenting to decorating your achievements while you are learning and building up your confidence. Of course there are other 'rules' like having your ingredients (like butter and eggs), at room temperature before you start (unless the recipe states otherwise) but I would lying if I said I did this all the time myself. I mean sometimes I have no idea I am going to bake something until just before doing so. In that case I would either have rancid butter and off eggs sitting out at room temperature constantly or else just go with it straight from the fridge. Having said that butter can be softened in the microwave and eggs brought almost to room temperature by putting them in a bowl of warmish water so it isn't something that can't be got around.
Anyway here is one of those recipes perfect for the learner baker. I took it to a farewell for the cook at my dad's RSA today as it was fast and easy to put together and has a nice flavour and texture.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
140g butter, at room temperature (or softened in the microwave)
140g caster sugar
2 large eggs
finely grated zest of a lemon
140g self-raising flour
4 Tbsp caster sugar
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line the base of a 20cm square tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the lemon zest. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in until it is well combined. Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface.
Bake about 25 min or until a skewer comes out clean.
Put onto a wire rack to cool and prick all over with the skewer. Sprinkle over 1 Tbsp of the caster sugar. Then combine the rest of the sugar with the lemon juice and immediately pour it over the cake. Cool in the tin.
This way of doing the topping makes it have a nice crisp, sugary crust on top.
Good luck with the baking!!!