Can you really write about two lemon drizzle cakes in less than a year? That’s the debate I’ve been having with myself all morning. The conclusion I came to was yes as long as they are notably different, perhaps it’s even helpful to have more than one recipe? I mean if you are looking for a lemon drizzle cake recipe then surely it’s good to have a choice. So what’s the difference between this recipe & its predecessor? This cake is lighter with a coarser texture. The yoghurt insures that it keeps well without drying out & because the drizzle contains caster sugar it has a sharpness that the more tradition style of icing lacks. Oh and it’s round so it feels a bit more appropriate for a birthday, it is a bit strange giving someone a loaf cake on such an occasion. However a few things about this post are going to be quite similar, including the person I’m making cake for. Sadly (Violins please) poor Josh didn’t even get a single slice of the previous cake, it was ruthlessly devoured in his absence (by persons who shall remain nameless) & all evidence of its existence disposed of. The perfect crime. So the moral of the story is don’t leave cake unsupervised.
Before we get started I have a few wise words on finely grating citrus zest. In the last 9 months I grated the zest of nearly 2250 limes. It gets tedious very quickly. Initially I used the raised textured side of a box grater topped with baking parchment, it produces very fine zest with nominal mess but it is fiddley & time-consuming. Then Tara bought me a Microplane & I fell madly in love. I had always been a bit skeptical about Microplanes, it just seemed like a very pricey grater to me, then I used one. It’s a feeling akin to first time you chop something using a good knife which has been fresh sharpened, you never want to go back & I never have.
175g Plain flour
3 tsp Baking powder
50g Ground almonds
150g Golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest 3 unwaxed lemons
225g Plain yoghurt
75ml Sunflower oil
Juice of 3 lemons
75g Caster sugar
1x 8 inch (20cm) Cake tins, buttered & lined
Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C (350˚F or gas mark 4)
Combine all the dry ingredients & lemon zest in a large bowl, make a well in the centre. Beat the eggs, yoghurt & oil until well mixed. Add to the dry ingredients, fold together with a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin & bake for 35-40 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out on to a wire rack. Place the lemon juice & caster sugar in a small pan, heat gently stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat & simmer until the consistency thickens, this should take roughly 3 minutes. Using a sharp skewer pierce lots of tiny holes over the top of the cake. Spoon over the lemon syrup using a pastry brush to coat the sides. Allow to cool completely before slicing & serving.