Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I cook when I’m bored. I know, I know, I do it for a job but that doesn’t stop me getting in the galley and making something just for me when I get the chance. Not that anyone seems to mind…usually I end up producing my famous Stuff Your Face chocolate brownies, named such because they were gone within minutes…and I mean minutes of coming out the oven the first time.

What do you do when you're bored?

What do you do when you’re bored?

Yesterday I made a lemon drizzle loaf. I used to make this a lot as it works well with gluten free flour, as my mum is coeliac it was my go to tea cake for when she visited. Its been a while though (France is a little bit too far for a cuppa apparently…) so I had a quick look for recipes and for once I actually tried to follow it instead of tweaking it – didn’t work. The mix came up too thick so I ended up modifying it anyway. So here’s my recipe for a lemon drizzle cake that will knock your visitors little socks off next time you have guests for tea.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Loaf tin 26x10cm (greased and lined), two lemons, 120g butter, 120g caster/light brown sugar, 2 eggs, 50 ml milk, 220g plain flour, 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

Syrup: Half a cup lemon juice (add a bit of water if your lemons aren’t too juicy), 1/4 honey, 1/4 sugar

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly, folding in plenty of air. Mix in the milk, making sure everything is well combined. Grate the zest from the two lemons and stir into the mix, juice both the lemons but only add HALF to the mixture (reserve the rest to make the drizzling syrup later). Fold in the flour and bicarbonate soda. Empty into the lined loaf tin and bake at 180 C for 35 – 40 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. While its cooking, make the syrup. Mix the lemon juice, honey and sugar together in a small saucepan and heat until the edges start to go a little brown and the sugar is completely dissolved. Once cooked, use the skewer to poke loads of holes in the top. Pour the syrup over the top, a little at a time making sure it all soaks into the holes. I’ve topped mine with some toasted almonds I had lying around from lunch and then added another couple of spoons of honey for good measure.

Enjoy with a nice cup of tea as an afternoon pick me up 🙂

Lemon, Cranberry and Poppy Seed Scones

Eeerrrrmaaagosh! I have just eaten half the batch…My thought process behind batches of things is that if I eat all of them in one go then I remove the temptation that they offer and am therefore better off. It happened with a bag of toffees yesterday, reeces pieces too. I’m holding out that its the eating session that counts i.e. lunch, rather than the calories I’m consuming…yeh right. Off to the gym then.

And they're scone!

And they’re scone!

These are really tasty. And there’s not that much butter OR sugar so they’re kind of healthy. Unless you eat them all…in one go. They make a great breakfast, if they last that long, or an afternoon snack with a coat of butter.

The cranberries look like little hidden jewels and the poppy seeds give a delightful texture too. And the lemon, well. I love lemon for the irresistible citrus tang it gives in an other wise sweet dish.

Lemon, Cranberry and Poppy Seed Scones

225g S.R. flour, 55g butter, 55g sugar, 150ml milk, 100g dried cranberries (cut in half if they’re big), juice of one lemon, zest of one lemon, 3 tbsp poppy seeds

Mix the flour, sugar and poppy seeds together in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.

Rub a dub dub

Rub a dub dub

Stir in the lemon zest and cranberries. Mix the lemon juice with the milk, it’ll curdle slightly and give you a buttermilk (slightly sour) flavour. Combine the milk and other ingredients in the bowl with a metal knife until you have a sticky batter.

Ruby Scones

Ruby Scones

Using lots of flour turn out the dough onto a clean surface and knead gently for a minute or so. Do not over work it as you’ll end up with flat scones. Press into a flat circle of about 2cm thickness and slice into eight. Place each slice on a greased baking tray and put straight into the oven at 220 C for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

*recently I’ve been having issues with burnt bottoms and I have been reliably informed that its probably the pan I’m using. Make sure you buy the right pans for the job…I am currently trying to use a pizza pan for everything and its not working very well.