As Mother’s Day nears, we asked all the mums in our office which was their favourite cake; our straw poll of ten gave Lemon Drizzle Cake the hands down vote. Knowing the Lemon Cake at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has been part of their traditions for the past 35 years, we’ve asked the irrepressible Raymond Blanc how to make the very best Lemon Drizzle Cake. This recipe actually comes from his book “Kitchen Secrets”, available from Amazon, which includes a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities – and useful tips throughout. Happy baking!
Ingredients for the cake :
- butter, to grease the tin
- 5 organic/free-range medium eggs
- 300g caster sugar
- 140ml double cream
- finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 25ml dark rum
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 80g unsalted butter, melted
- 240g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the glaze :
- 50g apricot jam, warmed
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tbsp juice
- 150g icing sugar
Raymond’s tip : “Replace the lemons with other citrus fruit, such as oranges or grapefruit, using marmalade in place of the apricot jam”.
- Have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Lightly grease the loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Leave some paper overhanging the sides when you line the tin; this will enable you to lift out the cake by the paper, making it easy to de-mould.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, lemon zest, rum, salt and melted butter.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together, then whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and gently level the surface.
- Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, turning the tin around halfway through cooking.
- To test the cake, insert a small knife into the middle – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
- Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Do not leave your cake to cool in the tin, as this would prevent the steam from escaping, making your cake heavier.
- Lightly brush the cake all over with the warm jam. The jam creates a barrier, so the lemon glaze is not absorbed. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Mix the lemon zest and juice with the icing sugar in a small pan and warm over a low heat to 35°C, until smooth. If the glaze is any hotter, it will re-crystallise, losing its shine and crispness.
- Brush the lemon glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake and leave for a few minutes to set.
Raymond’s tip : “The lemon glaze must be even and thin; if it is too thick it will run in the oven”.
- Place the cake on a baking tray in the oven, turn off the heat and leave for 3–5 minutes to dry the glaze – it will become translucent.
- Allow to cool before slicing.
Alternatively, dine at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Siasons and enjoy 10% reduction with the Luxury Restaurant Club, see details. Download the free Luxury Restaurant Guide app here and follow steps to joining the club.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7PD Tel : 01844 278881