Lemon drizzle loaf cake
This loaf cake is bursting with fresh lemon flavour, the light, zesty cake is soaked with a fresh lemon juice syrup and then drizzled with a fresh lemon icing and finished with candied lemon slices! For me the candied lemon makes all the difference as the candying process brings out the flavour of the lemon oils in the peel rather than the usual zesty flavour, as well as this they have a great soft and sticky texture. You have the option here of coating the slices in caster sugar which is more typically done when candying fruit as its better for preserving, however I have chosen to leave them covered in the glossy syrup as I used them immediately for this cake. Either way this confectionery makes a stunning finish for the cake.
For the cake:
100g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
140g unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
2tsp lemon zest (from the lemon used for soak and icing)
For the soak:
75g caster sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the candied lemon slices
100g caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper.
Cream together the sugar and butter then beat in the beaten egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Gently fold in the flour.
Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
It may need slightly longer if so continue baking until a skewer pierced into the middle comes out clean.
Meanwhile begin the candied lemon slices.
Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper or a teflon sheet.
In a medium, wide based sauce pan bring 400ml of water to the boil.
Slice the lemon into 1/2 cm thick slices.
Place the slices into the boiling water in an even layer and reduce the heat slightly so that the sliced do not break. Blanch the slices for 2 minutes, meanwhile in a large bowl prepare an ice water bath.
Remove the slices from the water with tongs and place straight into the ice water bath, leave them to sit in the water.
Meanwhile pour out roughly half of the water from the pan, stir in the sugar and return to the heat stirring until the all the sugar dissolves.
Place the slices back into the pan in an even layer and allow the syrup to simmer with the lemon for 10-15 minutes until it reduces down and the lemon are almost translucent. This may take up to 3o minutes, whilst it does this remove any froth from the surface with a spoon.
Remove from the syrup using tongs.
You can either coat in the caster sugar or...
...place straight onto the lined baking tray.
Once coated in sugar or left covered in syrup, place onto the lined baking tray.
Prepare the lemon soak.
Place the sugar and water into a small sauce pan and heat over a medium heat stirring gently until all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining lemon juice. Set aside until later.
Check whether the cake is baked by piercing a skewer into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it is baked if not then it needs
more time. Once the loaf is baked remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour over the soak.
Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
Meanwhile make the icing, stir in half the lemon juice into the icing sugar bit by bit until it reaches a dripping consistency adding water if you need more liquid.
The right consistency is reached when the icing is dropped back into the bowl it should disappear in roughly 2 seconds.
Once completely cooled pour over the icing, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
Finish with the candied lemon slices.
Slice and serve with any remaining candied lemon slices and enjoy!