This recipe produces a traybake which is so handy if you need something tasty for a cake sale, coffee morning or picnic. It is easy to make, cuts into slices or squares and travels well. I love it. I have thrown some raspberries into the cake batter prior to baking, but you can substitute other soft fruit (I think blueberries work particularly well) or leave them out altogether. I love how lemons and raspberries bring out the best in each other; I also love the shock of the deep pink colour of the raspberries against the pale yellow of the sponge cake – it is so beautiful.
I am becoming a great fan of cakes that covered with a syrup glaze after baking. The syrup serves a dual purpose;- it lends the cake a wonderful moistness and prevents it from drying out too quickly but it also adds another layer of lemon flavour. Trust me though, you will be in no doubt about the flavour of this cake – it is definitely lemony.
Ingredients:225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1
250g self-raising flour, sifted
25g ground almonds
100ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
125g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
Method:1. Preheat oven to 180C/ Fan Oven 160/Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
2. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer, cream together until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in the eggs making sure that they are well incorporated before adding more. Next fold in the flour and the ground almonds. Fold in the juice of the freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon. Finally, gently fold through most of the raspberries, leaving a generous handful aside.
3. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon and scatter over the remaining raspberries. Bake in the preheated oven of 55 – 60 minutes or until a thin skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave aside to cool slightly while you make the syrup.
4. Put all the ingredients for the syrup into a small saucepan and heat over a moderate temperature until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and as soon as it comes to the boil, remove from the heat.
5. Prick the cake all over a number of times with a thin skewer, whilst still warm. Spoon over the hot syrup and set the cake aside (still in the tin) to cool completely.
6. When cool, carefully remove the cake from the tin, dust with a little icing sugar if desired and serve cut into squares or slices.
Serves 8 - 10.