Monday, 8 October 2007

Lemon cake with crunchy topping

Being the lovely person that I am, I sometimes make cakes with ingredients I don’t like but that others do. I have no idea why I loathe lemons as much as I do, there are no bad experiences I can point to as the reason. But I do loath it – it’s acidic and biting and yuck. And best suited to making cleaning products. However, most people seem to love it and I have been told that this is a lovely cake if you like that sort of thing.

The sponge is beautiful and golden and particularly light. What elevates this from being just another sponge is the crunchy topping added when the cake is out of the oven but still hot. It is achieved by brushing lemon juice and sugar onto the cake; the lemon juice sinks in and moistens the cake whereas the sugar sits on top and goes crunchy. I’ve tried to capture that in this photo:

It is a very clean and appetising looking cake. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

For the cake:
250g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
4 eggs, lightly beaten
250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the topping:
60ml lemon juice
125g caster sugar

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Lightly grease and line a 23cm square tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the lemon rind and then gradually add the egg, beating thoroughly after each addition.
- Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon juice. Stir until combined and smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Bake for approx 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took exactly 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Remove from the tin while still hot and place on a wire cooling rack.
- For the topping, mix the sugar and lemon juice together (don’t overmix as you don’t want the sugar to dissolve) and quickly brush over the top of the cake. It will seem like you have too much liquid but just keep brushing it on and it will absorb.
- Leave to cool.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That cake looks very fine! I love lemon in baked goods...



Fiona said...

That cakes look scrumptious. My BF loves lemon cake though, personally I am drooling over that chocolate cake.

Viknits said...

My cheese sandwich suddenly tastes really bland as I drool over the lemon cake AND the chocolate cake, which both look so much more appetising than a cheese sandwich.. even with my fave cheese!