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Makes: one 10-in.-by-4-in. (25-cm-by-10-cm) loaf cake, which cuts into 8 slices

For the sponge:

1 cup plus 3 tbsp (295 mL) un­salted but­ter, soft­ened, plus more for greas­ing the pan

1 1/3 cups (330 mL) su­gar Zest of 3 or 4 lemons (save the juice for the le­mon driz­zle and ic­ing)

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp (460 mL) all-pur­pose flour

1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) bak­ing powder 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

6 1/2 tbsp (97.5 mL) milk

For the le­mon driz­zle:

1 tbsp (15 mL) su­gar

1 tbsp (15 mL) wa­ter

2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh le­mon juice

For the ic­ing:

1 3/4 cups (430 mL) con­fec­tion­ers’ su­gar

2 tbsp (30 mL) le­mon juice

1. Pre­heat the oven to 355 F (180 C; 325 F or 160 C con­vec­tion).

2. But­ter a 10-in.-by-4-in. (25-cm-by-10-cm) loaf pan and line the base and sides with parch­ment pa­per, ex­tend­ing the pa­per about 2 in. (5 cm) above the top of the pan.

3. First, make the sponge. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the but­ter and su­gar well, though you don’t want as fluffy a mix­ture as you would for a layer cake. Zest the lemons into the but­ter mix­ture and mix thor­oughly. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mak­ing sure each one is thor­oughly mixed in be­fore adding the next.

4. In a large bowl, whisk to­gether the flour, bak­ing powder, and salt. Mix half of this into the creamed but­ter mix­ture, scrap­ing down the sides, un­til barely com­bined.

5. While the mixer is still go­ing, beat in all the milk. Then add the re­main­ing flour and mix un­til just com­bined. Scrape the bowl and give it one last mix.

6. Scoop the mix­ture into the pre­pared pan and smooth the top with an ic­ing spat­ula or rub­ber spat­ula.

7. Bake for 50 to 60 min­utes, un­til the top of the cake is springy and an in­serted skewer comes out clean.

8. To make the le­mon driz­zle, com­bine the su­gar, wa­ter and le­mon juice in a small pan and heat just un­til the su­gar is melted. Do not let this boil, or the fresh flavour will be lost.

9. Use a skewer to poke holes evenly through­out the baked loaf. Pour the le­mon driz­zle over the loaf and let it soak in while you make the ic­ing.

10. In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the con­fec­tion­ers’ su­gar and le­mon juice un­til smooth.

11. To re­move the loaf cake from the pan, run a small par­ing knife along the in­side of the pan, then tilt the pan on its side and coax the loaf out, us­ing the parch­ment pa­per as a han­dle. Peel off the pa­per and turn the loaf upright on your cool­ing rack or work­top.

12. Driz­zle the ic­ing over the loaf and let it drip down the sides. Use a spat­ula to lift the loaf onto a serv­ing dish. This keeps well for up to 3 days in an air­tight con­tainer.

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