When I heard that Mary Berry was going to be signing books at Nomad Books, the baker inside of me became slightly overexcited, grew rather flushed, and had to sit down and take a few deep breaths (I’m not going to lie, it was embarrassing).
For those of you, like myself, who lack a British baking background, Mary’s cookbooks are the go-to resource for every confused home baker in need, and as judge of the television programme The Great British Bake Off, Mary has recently developed considerable celebrity status.
To honour the occasion, I endeavored to make a Lemon Drizzle Cake worthy of its creator, which I now happily share with you.
Set your oven to 180ºC.
What you’ll need
175g caster sugar
175g softened butter
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100g granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 x 450g (1lb) loaf tins, greased and lined
What to do
To begin with, make sure the oven’s switched on and ready your two loaf tins for action.
Next, measure out the sugar and butter into a large bowl and beat generously (I’m not sure beating generously is a well accepted turn of phrase; if you find it offensive, please replace with ‘mix vigorously’). Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and lemon zest, and carry on beating until you have a light and creamy batter (don’t worry if it’s a bit sticky and less runny than you were expecting).
Divide the batter into the two loaf tins and bake for 35 minutes or until your knife comes out clean.
While the cakes are still in the oven, mix the lemon juice and sugar together in a small bowl. Just after you take the cakes out, and while they are still warm (that bit’s important), pour the topping over the two loaves.
Leave to cool in the tins for ten or fifteen minutes, then lift the cakes out and onto a cooling rack to complete the process. Try to let them cool completely before you slice, but I won’t hold it against you if you decide some early testing is in order.