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18 February 2013

Lemon Loaf Cake

Photo: © childsdesgn

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The brilliant thing about this cake is that you don’t have to remember to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, before you start. Also, as the cake doesn’t use the creaming method, a minimal amount of equipment is required.
We always find the fresh tangy flavour of lemons is an antidote to any gloomy weather and having some particularly large fragrant fruits to hand, we decided to make this cake as a pick-me-up.
A slice in the afternoon is lovely with a cup of freshly infused green tea.

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 unwaxed lemons

For the topping

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 100g caster sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.
Grease a 900g (2lb)) loaf tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper, leaving some overhang.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together, place in the butter and rub in using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip in the sugar and grate the zest from the two lemons directly into the bowl and stir to mix. Add the eggs and squeeze in the juice of the two lemons. Mix together until you have a soft batter, but be careful not to overwork the mixture.

Spoon the batter into the loaf tin, smoothing it out evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. To check that the cake is cooked properly, insert a skewer into the centre. When the skewer is pulled out it should be clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the lemon juice and sugar together to make the topping.
Prick the cake surface, all over using a skewer or fork, then slowly spoon over the sugar and lemon mixture. This will sink in.
Leave the cake to completely cool, then lift out by holding the edges of the greaseproof paper.

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