Happy New Year, everyone! In Tamil Nadu, for Tamil New Year’s Day it is the tradition to serve a bitter-sweet concoction to remind one that the year will contain both the good and the bad. I feel that it is only appropriate that a Lemon Drizzle cake should usher in the International New Year, with its sweet and sour flavour to symbolize the reality of life.
A drizzle cake is one in which the icing is drizzled on top of the cake. The topping is applied while the cake is hot and still in the pan. This lemon- flavoured cake is delightfully moist, light and fluffy, with a crunchy lemon and sugar topping to complement it. My son says nothing can match the explosion of flavours when the sweet and the sour hit different taste buds at the same time.
This is a high energy and high protein item. The calories are derived from the sugar, flour and butter. The eggs and milk contribute the protein. Those who are on a carbohydrate- or energy-restricted diet will have to stay away from this cake.
For the cake
- ½ C Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing
- ¾ C Sugar
- 1 ½ C Maida (plain flour or cake flour) plus 2 tsp flour for dusting
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 large Hens’ Eggs
- 6 T Milk
- 1 large Lime/Lemon
For the icing
- ½ C Castor Sugar
- 1 Lime, juice extracted
- Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F.
- Grease a loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour.
- Sift the flour with baking powder.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat the eggs lightly and add to the butter-sugar mixture little by little, stirring continuously.
- Grate the rind of the lime into the mixture, and set aside the lime to extract juice for icing.
- Add the flour and milk alternatingly, stirring all the time.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. Test with a cake tester, bake longer if sticky.
- Remove and place on a wire rack.
- While the cake is baking, mix the castor sugar in the lime juice and set aside.
- Once the cake is removed from the oven, spread the icing on top while the cake is still hot and in the pan.
- Let cool completely, before removing cake from pan.
- The amounts mentioned in this recipe are for baking the cake in a loaf pan. If you wish you can use a round or a square pan suitable for this amount of batter.
- The castor sugar will not dissolve completely in the lime juice, but that is what gives a crunchy feel to the icing.
- When you begin to ice the cake the icing will slip off, but keep at it; as it interacts with the heat from the cake you will be able to spread it.
- If you wish you can heat the lime juice and castor sugar till the sugar is dissolved and pour over the cake. But take care that the cake is cooled a little bit before the hot icing is poured. Otherwise, the icing will seep into the cake and make the surface of the cake soggy.
- If you don’t have a cake tester you can use a knitting needle. Insert the needle into the cake and remove immediately. If the cake is done the needle should be free of batter.