Sunday, 13 March 2011

Famous Faces’ Favourite Fancies - Lemon drizzle cake

Fanfare please as I launch a new feature on my site: Famous Faces’ Favourite Fancies!
I have written (for my younger readers by “written” I mean composing a letter, printing it on paper, putting it in an envelope and using the postal system, not asking via Twitter or Facebook!) to some of the country’s most famous faces and asked them what their favourite cake is. I have received gruff refusals from some (you know who you are!) but thankfully a larger amount of lovely replies and it is these that I shall feature periodically on my site.

My first Famous Face sharing his Favourite Fancy is the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
Probably Britain’s most well-known personality politician, he is as controversial as he is hilarious (just reading through the wikipedia account of his appearances on satirical news quiz “Have I got News for You” made me laugh out loud). What’s not to love about anyone who says, when talking about his one week spent as a management consultant, “Try as I might, I could not look at an overhead projection of a growth profit matrix, and stay conscious.”

Boris Johnson has chosen lemon drizzle cake as his Favourite Fancy.
The lemon drizzle cake I have made is light and juicy – from not only the lemon juice but also the inclusion of ground almonds.

For the drizzle I used a combination of caster sugar and icing sugar; this is because icing sugar will seep into the cake whereas the caster sugar will sit on top and add a lemony crystallised topping.
In other words, using two sugars provides the best of both worlds! When pouring the drizzle over the cake it’s a good idea to put a piece of paper or foil under the rack so as to protect your work surface; it also makes cleaning up easier as you simply dispose of the mess along with the paper/foil.

Pondering what plate to set the finished cake on, Mr CC pointed out that it had to be my “London map” plate, given that the cake was inspired by Boris Johnson. Mr CC is very useful to have on hand at such moments!

Finally, I end with an apology to Boris. A few months ago, at the traffic lights on the north side of London Bridge, I tried to nip across the road as the traffic lights were changing. Who came hurtling towards me on his bike –at a frankly startling rate of knots - white-blond hair sticking out from his cycle helmet? You’ve guessed. I am pleased to report that he was a perfect gentleman and didn’t swear at me or gesticulate. Sorry about that Boris...hope this recipe makes up for it!


For the cake:

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 lemons – zest and juice
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g ground almonds

For the drizzle:

2 lemons – zest and juice
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Icing sugar – enough to make a runny icing; the quantity required will depend on the juiciness of your lemon!


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy – don’t be tempted to skimp on this stage; the mixture needs to be pale and whippy.

Stir in the lemon zest.

Beat in the eggs on at a time, add a little of the flour if it looks like the mix might curdle. (If you’ve beaten the butter and sugar for long enough nothing should curdle).

Fold in the flour and baking powder.
Fold in the ground almonds and lemon juice.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took 1 hour 5 minutes.

Put the cake, still in the tin, on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the drizzle glaze: Place the lemon zest, juice and caster sugar in a bowl and beat in enough icing sugar to make a thin, extremely runny icing. (The reason for using caster as well as icing sugar is that the caster won’t sink into the cake and leaves a lovely light sugar crust on the top of the cake).

Remove the cake from the tin and place it back on the wire rack.

Place a sheet of baking paper or foil under the wire rack.

Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake taking care to ensure that the whole top and sides are covered, and then leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container (it will keep for several days).

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Soo said...

Is it vanity that had him select a cake that matches his hair??

Looks yummy anyway!

Catherine said...

What a fantastic idea! I do think Boris Johnson is hilarious and I think it's lovely that you got a reply about his favourite cake.

The cake itself looks delicious, and thank you so much for that tip about using 2 sugars- I had so much difficulty getting the icing right on the drizzle cakes I made recently, so next time I'll be using this recipe.

Caroline said...

What a great idea - I can't wait to see who else you are going to feature and what they've chosen!

This looks like a great recipe to start with - moist and delicious. I'll definitely remember the tip about using the combination of icing sugar and caster sugar - to allow some to seep in but get a crunch too - fab!

Maggie said...

Boris Johnson can eat cake with me anytime! He would be the best company ever, especially as he loves lemon drizzle cake.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What a great idea CC! I thought Boris was fab on Have I Got News For You. So funny. He really missed his calling in life. You cake as always is lush and makes me want to run off and make it instantly! Good tip about the icing too :)

Lynn said...

I think Boris puts on a wonderful act. If he was really as bewildered and fumbling as he comes across, he couldn't actually function in society, never mind become Mayor of the largest city in Britain. Lovely looking cake though.

Baking Addict said...

Brilliant idea! Cant wait to see's next. I love lemon drizzle cake.

Sarah-Jane - said...

Way to go - Lemon Drizzle cake is simply one of the best !

Katie said...

Wow what a fun and novel concept. I love it and can't wait to see who else replied. I bet getting a letter like that made them smile, between the usual bad news and stresses.

Cake looks yummy. I love zingy lemon anything

LandGirl1980 said...

I LOVE this idea!!! I cannot wait to see who else you have lined up. To hell with the people who didn't want to talk about cake. How dull.

Unknown said...

Brilliant idea! I can't wait to see more and your cake looks perfect. x

Anonymous said...

Boris' brand of humour always was a bit of a hoot.
Cake looks lovely - even though I'm not so into lemon flavoured cakes! This looks way too yummy to miss having a go at.
Great post crusading cake maker.....

I heart cupcakes said...

What a fabulous idea!

And I LOVE the look of that cake! Any chance you could drop a slice off to my work tomorrow?

I can't wait to see who else you are going to bake for!

Lemon Drizzle said...

I love Lemon Drizzle too!!!!

This is so close to the recipe I use, but I like your addition of ground almonds - I'm going to try that next time for even more moisty goodness!

Also - instead of having to put paper underneath when you pour the drizzle over, you can just pour over the cake while it's still in the tin - it will pour down the sides, and dry in there, and you won't need to clean anything else up!


Choclette said...

Lovely idea. And your use of two sugars for the drizzle is pure genius.

Alison's Bakery said...

What a fabulous idea. Really looking forward to seeing who else participates and the cakes they choose.

Great choice by Boris!

Mrs Mulford said...

F>>F>FFlip what a toungue twister!

Boris does have taste bless him, nice cake that lemon drizzle ;-)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Well, good for BoJo for replying, I guess. Nice to know where his priorites lie ;)

Lemon drizzle cake is the one thing I'll ever agree with him on, most probably...

Cracking-looking cake!

cocoa and coconut said...

I really love lemon cakes and this one looks extra good with that dense texture..

Sammie said...

This cake looks thick, moist and delicious! Just looking at those pictures makes me want a big glass of milk!

astheroshe said...

What a very cute idea to add to your blog:) and i love lemon too !

Cakelaw said...

I think I am going to love this new feature. And what kind of person won't even tell you what their favourite cake is anyway? Onya Boris - lemon drizzle cake is a terrific choice.

Unknown said...

I've been reading your blog for ages and have never commented for some reason. Anyway I just wanted to mention that I think Boris Johnson is absolutely fab and so is this cake! Oh and I should also mention that I have your swiss meringue buttercream recipe memorised from constant use! As Boris would say, "Well done, chaps!"

Oh and who is the next Famous Face you will be featuring?

Miss M said...

This is a very good version - I've never had much luck with lemon drizzle cakes, mainly I find them too wet, or too dry. This icing mostly sits on top and is pleasantly crunchy and the almonds see off any possibility of it being dry. I've made it three times since this post and it has had the honour of being printed off and put in a plastic wallet marked "make again"...not many cakes get that (one of your sticky ginger ones is keeping it company!).

Amanda said...

I have only just come across this blog but I think I'll be visiting often now. Just made this cake yesterday and by evening it was all gone. I had hoped to have seconds today but no such luck. I love Lemon Drizzle but this has to be my favourite version. So moist and the sweetness and tartness perfectly balanced. Going to try the ginger cake next. Thanks for a fab recipe.