The best ever lemon drizzle cake*
*Less of a drizzle, more of a crunchy sploshing motion
This recipe originates from one I found in Baked In America by Davids Lesniak and Muniz, who run an American cafe in Chiswick called Outsider Tart. I can’t remember how I originally found out about them – I think they were on TV and I loved that I knew that part of London. Plus I love outsider art and was charmed by the name. But perhaps I was also in an American baking phase of my life? Anything is possible. Anyway, they are very talented, their book is filled with amazing ideas and I’m glad I don’t live nearby because my coronary arteries couldn’t take it. I’ve only adapted it slightly due to not having all the ingredients available and being lazy in following instructions. Nevertheless its been an utter winner everytime. (For more guaranteed winning I would suggest getting their book – the instructions are much more specific and complex, or sod that, just go to their shop!)
- 125 g (4 oz) plain flour + baking powder or 4 oz self-raising flour
- pinch salt
- 5 large eggs, beaten with
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 g (8 oz) white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest or 1 lemon + 1 orange
- 250 g (8 oz) ground almonds
- 250 g (8 oz) soft butter
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the zests. Add the almonds. Using a stand mixer it should take about five minutes – you really want a light creamy mixture. Then add the egg / vanilla mixture slowly and make sure the batter is fully incorporated. Finally add the flour and salt gradually until its completely mixed.
Bake in (buttered and lined) loaf tin at 180 degrees in a fan oven for about 45-50 minutes until golden brown and amazing smells escape the oven. Take out and cool while making the drizzle.
- 50 – 60 ml lemon juice
- 50 – 60 ml orange juice (or 100 – 120 ml lemon juice)
- 250 g granulated sugar (very important NOT to use caster)
The “drizzle” is made by combining the juice and sugar. The sugar won’t dissolve and you don’t want it too. The crunch provided by the granulated sugar is definitely part of its attraction. I use my silicon brush to liberally paint the outside of the cake with the drizzle. Any escaping drizzle should be collected to continue drizzling with.
Gym diary: Day 0
Today I went into a gym. And did some exercise. Not lots, mind. Just enough to get started. I had a “mobility” assessment when the coach (today a 6 foot something giant of a man who has biceps bigger than my head, trains to win Strongest Man competitions, a hipster beard and a lovely smile) made me do some lunges, squats, jumps etc to get an idea of … well, I’ve no idea. That’s why he is a coach and I turn up.
It felt great to get muscles moving, to impress myself with ability to lunge and twist, get the heart rate up and yes, the positive feedback from the coach was powerful. He explained that the first day is about getting numbers so that they can do a before and after. Plus I really love being stronger than people expect. It gives me a great buzz.
The gym was in a warehouse in Faraday Mill. I’ve never been to this area. It’s a single room with lots of bare weight machines. Everything does something and seems to be used. There were about 4-6 other people and they looked normal. Some were muscley, some overweight, some skinny. The two coaches clearly knew everyone and were constantly helping someone move faster, push harder or just not get crushed by giantic weights.
My numbers (that I remember):
Static jump lenght 1.50 m
I don’t know the others. I didn’t see them. Apparently the cardio test gets lots of fun numbers like peak heart rate, blah blah blah. That’s Friday. Wish me luck!
This is my attempt to record my recipes and other observations in a single location. I am heading to a night shift now so can’t even put a quick recipe up to see what it looks like. But this is a start.
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