Whilst chocolate will always reign supreme, Lemon Drizzle is my second favourite cake of all time and makes a mighty fine companion to a hot cup of tea. It's a wonderfully comforting cake to enjoy on a miserable grey day like today and easy to make from scratch.
4 free range eggs
300g sugar + an extra 100g sugar for the syrup
100ml single cream, gently warmed
220g self-raising flour
70g unsalted butter, melted + a little extra to grease the loaf tins
This recipe makes two cakes so you'll need two non-stick half-litre loaf tins to bake them in. Or you could make one big cake with one non-stick litre loaf tin - it's up to you!
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease two half litre loaf tins and place to one side.
1. Put the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then wash the lemons thoroughly and pat them dry. Grate the zest of each lemon directly into the sugar and give it a little stir to allow the zest to properly infuse the sugar.
2. Cut the lemons in half and juice them, setting aside 25ml of the juice for the syrup. Put the rest of the lemon juice into the sugar, add the eggs and whisk everything together until you have a pale mixture that starts to thicken.
3. Now gently stir in the warmed single cream, then sift in the self-raising flour and add the melted butter, stirring everything to make a smooth batter.
4. Carefully pour the batter into the two loaf tins and bake them in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and make an incision in the top of each cake using a sharp knife. It won't look like it's doing anything at this stage, but trust me, it looks right later on!
5. Reduce the temperate to 155C / Gas Mark 2 and return the cakes to bake in the oven for another 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer or knife inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Once this happens, remove the cakes from the oven, turn them out onto a wire rack and allow them to cool.
6. To make the syrup, place the extra sugar, remaining lemon juice that you saved earlier and 150ml of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to combine everything. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before brushing all over the sides and top of the cakes. Allow the syrup to set and enjoy your cakes!