Thursday, 6 October 2016

Macerated Lemon Upside Down Loaf Cake

Someone once said 'good things take time'. Well this cake certainly illustrates the point, using lemons macerated in sugar for 72 hours! Saying that, it's definitely worth the wait as it's a full on tangy and syrupy hit of lemony deliciousness. Don't let the title give you the willies though, as it's actually sooooooooooooooooo easy to make and quite a basic recipe deep down. Basic but bombastic!

Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus around 72 hours macerating time)
Baking time: 45-50 Mins
For the Lemons
2 Good sized Lemons
Around 6-8tbsp Caster Sugar
35g Butter

For the Sponge
175g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
175g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
175g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder

Lemons first of course! Slice the lemons thinly then place a layer in the base of an airtight container  or jar. Cover liberally with caster sugar, then cover with another layer of lemon slices and sugar. Repeat for the rest of the lemon, then seal up tightly and leave for around 72 hours, giving the container a vigorous shake now and again to get everything going. You might be able to get away with 48 hours if time is tight but personally I'd rather be patient!

After 72 hours you'll find the lemons have released a lot of juice and have kind of candied in their own syrup. Pour off 100g of the lemony syrup into a small saucepan and add the butter. On a medium heat stir until the bitter dissolves then let come to a boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and set to one side whilst you ready the sponge.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 2lb loaf tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour and baking powder then mix to a smooth, consistent batter.

Lay out your lemon slices in the base of the tin and pour over the syrup. Spoon in the sponge mixture and carefully even to the edge. You'll want to try and cover the syrupy lemons completely if you can. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 45-50 minutes, until a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the sponge. When you are happy the loaf is baked remove from the oven and leave in the tin for around 30 minutes.

Run a flat bladed knife around the edge of the sponge and carefully turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper from (what is now) the top. You should find the surface is all sticky and syrupy! Leave to cool completely and you're done. Maybe try custard with this one it's quite the combination! 

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