MUNCH RATING: 4/5
After the success of the Chocolate Cupcakes that I’d made from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, I decided to try out the lovely looking Lemon Loaf. This is one of the recipes which suffered from a misprint in the first edition of the book. Luckily my edition has the correct weight for plain flour as 350g and a baking time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
Just like the cupcake recipe, the method was a little unorthodox, but I followed it strictly and I am pleased to say that the recipe was a success. The cake was a little heavier than I expected, but it was full of zesty lemon flavour and it kept perfectly for a full week. I actually preferred to eat this warm after it had been nuked in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Even though this was a good recipe, I’m not sure if I’d make it again because the sponge was a little heavy. I will probably just add some lemon zest to a different sponge recipe, but I would definitely use the lemon syrup again.
- Makes: 8-10 slices
- Oven temperature: Gas mark 3/325°F/170°C
- Oven shelf: middle
- You will need: a 23 x13cm loaf tin, greased and dusted with flour
- 320g caster sugar
- 3 eggs (I used large)
- grated zest of 2 lemons, unwaxed
- 350g plain flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (I omitted this as I used salted butter)
- 250ml whole milk (I used semi-skimmed)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE LEMON SYRUP:
- freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon (I only used the juice as I ran out of zest!)
- 50g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3/325°F/170°C.
- Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well mixed.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.
- Combine the milk and vanilla extract in another bowl.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat well, then beat in one-third of the milk mixture. Repeat this process twice more until everything has been added. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed, pour in the melted butter and beat until well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
For the lemon syrup: while the cake is baking, put the lemon juice and zest, sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has a thin syrup consistency. When the hot cake comes out of the oven, put it on a wire cooling rack and pour the syrup all over the top. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto the wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- I used my silicone loaf tin as it was the perfect size. It didn’t need any greasing or lining and it was a doddle to turn the cake out.