Monday, 25 June 2012

Lemon Drizzle Cake - Baking Mad part 2

The Baking Mad PR person listed several links to recipes and recipe categories from which I could choose to bake, including the general categories of cakes and muffins. Having tried a muffin recipe which I wasn't entirely happy with, I turned my attention to cakes.

Unfortunately, once I'd excluded everything that someone in the rest of the family wouldn't (or couldn't) eat and those that I didn't have all the ingredients for, there wasn't much left that looked really interesting. I was particularly hoping to find a cake made with oil instead of butter, but eventually picked this Lemon Drizzle Cake - although it used butter it was quite a low proportion compared to standard recipes. I've tried several lemon drizzle cake recipes, but am always willing to try another; to my mind they need to be more interesting than a sponge soaked in lemon syrup, and this cake seemed to fit that brief.

The recipe used 150mls lemon juice in total, but I only got 120mls from the 3 average sized lemons I had available. This didn't worry me - I just reduced the drizzle mixture accordingly - most cakes use far too much for my taste anyway! As I was using 3 lemons, I added the zest of 2 to the cake, rather than the 1 stipulated. These were the only changes I made to the recipe, which was quite straightforward to follow. I haven't made this sort of cake with melted butter before - I was a little worried about adding lemon juice and eggs to hot butter, so let it cool as much as I dared, something which wasn't mentioned in the recipe.

As usual, I had trouble getting the cake to absorb the drizzle mixture, especially as the crust of the cake was quite crisp. I find drizzling only works really well on flat topped cakes, with domed cakes like this the tendency is for everything to run off, however careful and slow you are with the drizzling. Bigger holes might help, but then the appearance of the cake is spoiled! I didn't use all the drizzle I made - I guess, between this and making less, I only used about half the total volume made in the recipe.

This was a great cake - well flavoured and with a lovely texture, thanks to the ground almonds and cornflour. What drizzle I did get onto the cake made a crunchy coating which was intensively lemony, but it hadn't penetrated far into the cake. I often leave off the drizzle on these sort of cakes, as I find it so difficult to get them on, but used it this time because I thought the cake wouldn't be sweet enough without it. However, I needn't have worried - the interior of the cake was nicely balanced between sweetness and a gentle lemon flavour.

I think this is a recipe I'd use again, as it's simple and quick to make, but perhaps making a smaller volume of  more concentrated hot syrup with caster sugar and lemon juice, just to brush on the top. Alternatively the cake could be prettied up with a lemon glacé icing and some strips of lemon zest, as there is peel leftover from the number of lemons needed in the recipe.

There are several other lemon cakes on the site, including this traybake with cream cheese frosting, and a simple recipe search to enable you to get all the examples together to make your choice. This is worth doing, as some cakes aren't in the category you'd expect to find them. For instance, this lemon and poppy seed loaf was in the 'sweet doughs' category, even though it is obviously a cake!

11 comments:

Caroline said...

It looks like a really good texture - close and moist. Did you feel that the cornflour made a discernable difference to the final cake - I often think my palate isn't subtle/tuned enough to detect small amounts of ingredients in recipes, but then I've made some things where the addition is definitely noticeable (I'm thinking of Dan Lepards soft white baps - these use a small amount of cornflour). The proportions do look slightly odd - there isn't all that much sugar and to my mind quite a large amount of liquid (eggs, juice) and flour to the butter and sugar. Very interesting to see how it's come out!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I think this looks and sounds lovely. I am a serious lover of lemon cake, after all. I'm glad that it's not just me that has a problem getting all the drizzle into cakes - especially loaf cakes - I thought I was the only one.

Suelle said...

Caroline - I'm not sure how much difference the cornflour made - the only way to really tell is to bake one cake with it, and one without - and I assume that's what the recipe testers have already done!

Phil - it's amazing how often I think I'm the only one with a problem - until I mention it!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

it looks perfect... like a fake display cake... how did you make it looks so perfect?... I need a slice now... please post one over!

Suelle said...

Just luck, Dom, but thank you for the compliment!

Annes S said...

The crumb looks lovely and soft, lemon cake is one of my favourite of all cakes but have never varied from the one recipe I trust but your loaf cake does look delicious! Three lemons seems quite a lot but glad was a success!

I do know what you mean with drizzles running off, glad I am not alone with this!

snowy said...

I have the same problem with the drizzle running off.
The cake looks great Suelle - lovely texture.

Choclette said...

Oh the sponge looks lovely Suelle and I do like the use of ground almonds which usually makes for a nice moist cake. It seems you are not alone with the drizzle problem. I've been using a Dan Lepard traybake lemon drizzle recently and it has no problem absorbing the drizzle - presumably because it's flat.

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Baking Addict said...

I love lemon drizzle cake and this looks delicious. It's great when you can find a trustworthy recipe that you can use again and again and adapt if you need to. I am intrigued by the addition of cornflour - I usually use ground almonds for my lemon drizzle cake but will have to try cornflour next time.

celia said...

Suelle, this cake looks delicious, even with the difficult drizzle! The crumb looks very tender - I love the combination of almond meal and citrus!