Sunday, 8 February 2015

Red sky at night, lemon delight


Red sky at night, shepherd's delight,
Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.

That's how the old saying goes but I rather feel it has been disproved today as the picture above is of the sky last night taken from our study window and yet today has been cold, grey and foggy in our neck of the woods- although apparently bright and sunny elsewhere in the UK.


Grim weather notwithstanding, I've had quite a pleasant day. Having experienced a couple of broken nights recently (I am prone to insomnia), last night I crashed out and slept over ten hours at a stretch. I do feel much better for it. This afternoon I baked a lemon drizzle loaf, partly to use up some leftover lemons and a jar of lemon curd but also because baking while listening to "Poetry please" on Radio 4 seemed just the ticket given the dreary weather and general chill. The recipe below has to be one of the easiest cakes to make, you just bung it all in a food processor and it comes out perfect. The addition of the lemon curd seems to make it quite moist and- well- lemony actually. Who'd have thought?

               Ingredients 
·                           140g (5 oz) self raising flour
·                           110g (4 oz) caster sugar
·                             110g (4 oz) butter or margarine, softened
·                              2 eggs, beaten
·                            2 heaped tablespoons lemon curd
·                           Ingredients for topping
·                            2 tablespoons granulated sugar
·                             zest of 1 lemon
·                               2 tablespoons lemon juice

              Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3, 150 C for fan ovens
2.      Put flour, caster sugar, margarine, eggs and lemon curd into a mixing bowl or food processor, and mix well together. Put into a greased or lined 900g (2 lb) loaf tin (or makes approximately 16-18 cupcakes).
3.      Place in centre of oven and bake for 1hour - 1hr 30mins (or 40-45 minutes for cupcakes).
4.      While in the oven make the topping: blend together the granulated sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind.
5.      Once cake is cooked, leave to cool still in the tin for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then while still hot to warm, pour over the topping so that it soaks into the cake. Leave to cool for about 1/2 hour then turn out of tin. Keeps well for a few days if wrapped in greaseproof paper and tin foil.


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