Lemon and Caraway Drizzle Cake
I can usually make this cake from things I already have. Lemons often sit in bowls, or on chopping boards, or in the fridge with little slices taken from them or half-zested. Milk, just on the turn, makes up for not quite a whole pat of butter. Ground almonds, of which I may have a few or need to buy a fresh pack, make up for less flour and create a more textural sponge. The sugar that stays undissolved in the lemon juice forms sugar crystals that spread over the cake and give crunch with each slice. It’s a slapdash, last-minute, loose-ends slice of perfection.
|115g||unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|4||medium free-range eggs, at room temperature|
|1½ tsp||baking powder|
|¼ tsp||fine sea salt|
|3 tsp||caraway seeds, plus extra for sprinkling|
|Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon|
You will need a 1 litre loaf tin.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a 1 litre loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Using a stand or hand mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs one by one, adding a little bit of the flour with each egg to prevent the mixture curdling, until well combined. Do not over-beat.
Add the milk gradually. Then sift and fold in the rest of the flour, the baking powder, salt, ground almonds, caraway seeds and lemon zest until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and level it out with a spatula. Slide the tin into the oven and bake for 60–70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes away clean.
While the cake is cooking, make the topping. In a bowl, pour the juice of the lemon over the granulated sugar and leave to infuse, without stirring. When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
Puncture holes into the cake with a skewer and pour over the lemon mixture, leaving the undissolved sugar in the bowl. Spread this over the cake roughly so that it forms sugar crystals (if you don’t want crystals, mix the lemon and sugar until dissolved before pouring it over the cake). Sprinkle the cake with extra caraway seeds and leave to cool completely. When cool, remove the cake from the tin, peel off the paper, then slice thickly to serve.