LEMON DRIZZLE LOAF
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)
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.