For those of you reading this outside of the UK, Macmillan Coffee Morning is a nationwide event for people to get together for a coffee/cake morning and raise some serious money for Macmillan, which is a charity helping fund a huge amount of people that offer a tremendous amount of support to those affected by cancer. As I’ve just this week started fundraising for 2 charities, and set myself a challenge to take part is as many charity events that incorporate my love for baking as I could, I could hardly turn this one down!
For my bake this week, I thought I would turn back to my trusted Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and try out the ‘Lemon Loaf’. Every recipe I try from this book is a success and this one was no exception, the loaf was lovely and moist and had a subtle lemon taste that was really brought to life by the syrup drizzled on top. The only thing I would change about the recipe is the use of milk; next time, I think I will use lemon flavoured yoghurt in place of the milk just to bring out a stronger lemony taste, but this is personal preference and didn’t seem to be an issue for any of the other cake testers.
Overall, a very easy bake and one I would definitely recommend, I can’t wait to get my hands on the other two Hummingbird Bakery cookbooks now (hint hint to any family reading this before Christmas ;))!
Did anyone else get baking for Macmillan this week? Why not send in your recipes or pictures for us to admire!
Ingredients (About 10 Slices)
For the cake:
320g Caster Sugar
Grated Zest of 2 Unwaxed Lemons (If you have waxed lemons, just run them under a hot tap and give them a scrub with a clean brush to remove the wax)
350g Plain Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
250ml Milk (the recipe states whole but I used semi-skimmed and had no problems)
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
200g Unsalted Butter, melted (Again, I used margarine here as I am keeping to a tight budget at the moment, and noticed no problems at all)
For the syrup
50g Caster Sugar
Juice & Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
– Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 13cm by 23cm loaf tin.
In a large mixing bowl, add the caster sugar, eggs and lemon zest and whisk together until everything is incorporated well. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a third bowl (I used a measuring jug to save on washing up) measure out the milk and add the vanilla essence to this.
Add one third of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat everything together. Then beat in one third of the milk mixture and repeat the whole process twice, until the sugar mixture, dry ingredients and milk mixture are all mixed together. Now up the beating and mix until the cake mixture is really light and fluffy.
Finally, add the melted butter and beat gently until everything is well incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 mins until the cake is golden and springy, and a skewer can be inserted into the centre and come out clean.
Whilst the cake is in the oven, add the ingredients for the lemon syrup (water, caster sugar, lemon zest & lemon juice) and gently heat on a low heat to bring to a simmer, without stirring at all. Once simmering, turn up the heat to medium and bring the syrup to the boil, until it has reduced by half and has thickened nicely.
When the cake is cooked through, remove from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack in the sink (or on top of a wipe-clean surface) and pour the syrup over the cake. Leave the syrupy cake to cool in the tin for around 30 minutes before removing from the cake tin, slicing and serving warm, delicious!