Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lemon Cakes

Lemon flavoured food is an all time favourite of mine, particularly in cakes. Nothing beats that citrus smell and subtle taste. I've made many lemony cakes over the years but the following two recipes are both easy and very tasty and I always have the ingredients. A few friends have tried these and they always work out well. Isn't that right, Karen?

Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake

125g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
175g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk
juice of 1 and a half lemons (I usually just buy a large lemon need around 4 tablespoons but it doesn't have to be exact!).
100g icing sugar
Preheat Oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Butter and line a loaf tin (well!) having the lining paper stick out a's easier to lift the cake out afterwards.
Cream together the butter and sugar (make sure butter is at room temperature) and add the eggs and lemon zest, beating them in well. Add the flour and salt, folding in gently but thoroughly, and then the milk. Spoon into loaf tin and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
Five minutes before the cake is ready, make syrup. Put the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently so that the sugar dissolves.
Once cake is cooked (check by inserting a skewer or fork into the should come out clean). Puncture the cake all over with the skewer and pour the syrup over immediately. Leave it to soak up and cool. Then remove from tin and enjoy!!

Lemon Cupcakes
Same recipe as above but place into 12 muffin cases. Reduce cooking time to 25 minutes. Do not make syrup but make butter icing by placing 75g (3oz) butter into a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift in 150g (6 oz) icing sugar and beat either by hand or with a whisk or blender. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and lemon rind from the lemon (obviously....duh!). I also add a few drops of lemon oil but there is no need. Once smooth and to a nice spreading consistency, put in the fridge for 5 minutes to make it easier to handle and then spread over cooled cupcakes. Really delicious.

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