Thursday, 5 July 2007

Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake

This isn't, strictly speaking, a plain cake since it has a form of icing, but I can't help feeling that its loafiness counts for a lot - Nigella Lawson

Looking for a fairly plain, but still special cake for lunch with friends at our house on Sunday, I decided I'd do this cake. And, boy, was it the right choice (they both had seconds - clearly the sign of a successful cake - you don't have seconds just to be polite!!)

The verdict
Unusual or substituted ingredients: None - can be easily made with pantry ingredients. Nigella also suggests a couple of variations - eg adding some limoncello to the syrup (which is just lemon juice and icing sugar), or using other citrus fruits like orange and lime, or pink grapefruit. Hmmmm, an orange syrup loaf cake would be go-ooood!
Special utensils or cookware: None - although this cake did give me the opportunity to use two new items recently purchased - most excitingly, my microplane (with fine blade for zesting citrus or grating ginger etc).
Oh my, I cannot rave about the microplane enough. I may have to buy one in every size!!! It is that good. Take a look at this zest:That is gooood zest. Much better than the grater I used to use. So much better!

And the other new purchase - a (what else) Tupperware loaf tin. Pretty. Red. Tupperware. What more could you want?
Sauciness: Lemon, by its nature, is not so much saucy as it is tart (not that there's anything wrong with that!). The use of icing sugar in the syrup sweetens it up sufficiently (although the look of the syrup as you heat it does, I have to say, leave a lot to be desired!
It's not a big cake though, so if you are feeding a crowd, you'll need to make more than one!
Repeatability: I would definitely make this one again - the perfect cake for lunchtime dessert, or afternoon tea. Not overwhelmingly flavoured, but a really good sense of lemon, and the syrup, which is poured over the cooked cake, gives a fabulous moistness, which also makes the cake keep really well (I ate the last piece last night, and it was just as good as the first piece!). Next time, I might try with oranges.
Overall pleasure level: This is a 9. A big ole yummy 9. Especially good with a dollop of double cream (ok, two dollops!).