I'm so glad I set up my reader survey because you guys have given me some awesome ideas for the blog. I really feel excited about where this blog is heading and I want to say a big thank you to those who have completed it so far. If you haven't and you have two minutes to spare, you can complete it
. As it's anonymous I have no idea who has said what but a couple of you said you'd like to see some bakes with simple ingredients that most people are likely to have in their fridge and cupboard and also some budget bakes. Well, I love a challenge and I got really excited about coming up with some ideas for this. So much so that I couldn't even wait for the survey to close before I implemented it.
as the basis for this as it gave me an idea of how much to use to fit a 9"x4" loaf tin. I wanted to make this a little different to your average lemon drizzle cake so I thought, why not separate the eggs and bring air into the cake by whisking the egg whites and folding them in at the end. It worked. Using the egg whites to create a rise also means we don't have to use any baking powder so that's one less ingredient to use. It's so worth taking that little bit of extra time (really not much extra time) and whisking those whites to a firm peak. The first thing Nick said when he tried the cake was how light it was and it really doesn't feel like a heavy cake to eat. I think this will be a new favourite in our house.
In my family, every birthday has to be celebrated with a Marks and Spencer's lemon drizzle cake. My sister once claimed to my Nana many years ago that we ALWAYS had lemon drizzle cake on birthdays - when infact we had never had it - so my Nana bought it and that's how it came to be the official birthday cake of the Hunter family. Whilst the M&S one will always have a special place in my heart I really love this homemade version and it's definitely a budget bake. I calculated the cost of this cake based on ingredients at Tesco (I use value flour because I've never had any problems with it but I do use free range eggs and regular butter) and it came to £1.98 for the whole cake. A whole cake for less than £2! Plus, it's only five ingredients.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
200g unsalted butter, room temp
180g caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
120g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon
for the glaze:
juice of 1 lemon
50g caster sugar
- Grease and line a 9"x4" loaf tin and set aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4.
- Beat your butter for one minute then add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the egg yolks until just combined and then add the flour.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they reach a stiff peak. I always do the 'bowl above the head test'...I live dangerously.
- Using a large metal spoon, spoon the egg whites - a quarter at a time - into the cake mix and gently fold the egg whites in. This is the part that takes a little time because you don't want to knock all the air out of the cake.The cake mix will start out very thick and will gradually loosen to a mousse-like texture as you add and fold the egg whites in.
- Spoon into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- For the glaze, heat the lemon juice and sugar on the hob until it just starts to simmer.
- Remove the cake from the oven, pierce the top of the cake in various places with a cocktail stick and spoon over the lemon glaze until it's all soaked in.
- Leave the cake to sit and cool before removing from the tin and slicing up.
- I see no reason why this cake wouldn't work with coconut oil instead of butter. Don't melt it though, beat it until fluffy as you would the butter.
- To make it gluten free, try 150g ground almonds.