Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lemon Syrup Cake

Even a little sunshine is a wonderful thing and brings with it the promise of summer holidays, trips to the beach, picnics and other pleasures. I think I love this time of the year more than any other, with cool mornings and balmy late afternoons and I can almost feel my spirit warm as I bask in the suns gentle radiance. Despite this I still cannot be torn from my kitchen for too long and have (admittedly rather lazily) come up with with this simple lemon cake recipe. Light and crumbly, yet moist and syrupy it is both a perfectly piquant accompaniment to the summer sunshine and a fine way to illuminate your day when the skies inevitably grey once more. As a soft sponge it won't keep for too long, although if your friends and family are like mine that won't be an issue. However if you do find yourself with any leftover you can easily turn it into delicious cake balls by crumbling the remaining cake into a large mixing bowl, adding a couple of tablespoons of butter icing, mixing and shaping into balls. They are wonderful little lunch box treats and a great way of using up a variety of sponge cakes.

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: 40-45 Mins
175g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
175g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1tsp Lemon Extract
The zest of 3 Unwaxed Lemons
175g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder

For the lemon syrup
50ml Lemon Juice
50g Golden Syrup

Fortunately, this cake requires only minimal effort. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 20cm deep loose bottomed tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar, before beating in the eggs one at a time along with the lemon extract and lemon zest. Sift in the flour with the baking powder, mix until evenly combined then spoon into your prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 40-45 minutes, until golden on top and a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted in the middle of the cake. When you are happy the cake is cooked remove from the oven and set to one side whilst you prepare the syrup.

Add the lemon juice and golden syrup to a small saucepan and turn the heat up high. Bring the boil and leave to bubble away for around 2 minutes, before removing from the heat and stir to ensure the juice and syrup are thoroughly combined. Carefully remove the hot cake from the tin and place on a wire rack. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a cocktail stick or metal skewer then brush over about half of the hot syrup. Leave for two minutes, until the syrup has soaked in, the brush over the remaining syrup. Leave the cake on the wire rack until cool before slicing, serving and savouring!

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