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I’m coming down with a cold (this is atrocious timing; I’ve still got some Christmas shopping and a good deal of seasonal cooking to do, and this is one of the busiest times of year at work). Mr Weasel took pity on me and has done the baking for tonight’s post.

Lemon drizzle cake is a staple of church fetes, school fundraisers and coffee mornings across the country. Marco Pierre White may be driving yet another media campaign along the lines of ‘British food stinks and you’re all lazy toads‘, but he surely can’t find anything bad to say about our cakes. The lemon drizzle cake is a thing of genius, and is full of healthful vitamin C for all those of you who, like me, are brewing colds. It’s a feathery, light sponge flavoured with the natural oils from the lemon zest, and topped with a sugary, lemony, crunchy coating.

Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cakes (an excellent book you should buy if you’re even only slightly interested in baking) says you’ll need:

Cake
4oz (100g) soft margarine
6oz (175g) caster sugar
6oz (175g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 extra large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
zest of 1 lemon
Crunchy topping
juice of 1 lemon
4oz (100g) caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f, and line and grease a 7in deep round cake tin.

Mr Weasel beat all the cake ingredients together until light, smooth and fluffy, turned the mixture into the tin and baked for 40 minutes. Use the patented Mr Weasel Aural Method to find out whether your cake is done; put an ear near it. (Do not burn your ear. I don’t want a McDonald’s-style lawsuit on my cakey hands.) An underdone cake will make tiny pricking noises. A done cake will be silent, which is how cakes should be.

Made the sugar and lemon juice into a paste, and prick the surface of the hot cake with a fork. Spread the paste over the top, leave it in the cake tin to cool, turn out and eat.

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December 16th, 2005 | Tags: , , | Category: Sweet recipes

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