Easy-peasy Lemon Squeezy
It's Friday and we've made it through another week of lockdown! So I think we deserve a treat. I made this gluten free (GF) lemon drizzle cake this week and it's really easy and very delicious. You wouldn't know it was gluten free. Some GF bakes are dry and crumbly, but this is nice and moist and springy.
All of my baking has to be gluten free because my daughter is Coeliac. It's a bit of a learning curve to bake without gluten (the stuff that makes your bread and cakes nice and springy) and I've had many disasters! There have been lots of trials and errors in my kitchen since my daughter was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease (and lots of swearing at my oven) but I have now found a good selection of go-to gluten free recipes that I use all of the time.
This lemon drizzle cake is now one of them and I've added it to my recipe book. Sometimes gluten free recipes seem to be over-complicated, using various flours and lots of ingredients that quite honestly, I haven't even heard of! I tend to stay away from these and opt for the more simple recipes such as this one. I found this Lemon Drizzle Cake on the BBC food website.
Unfortunately you can't just swop 'normal' flour for a gluten free version as the recipe just won't work. I'd never come across Xanthan Gum before I started to bake gluten free, but it's essential for GF baking.
I have noticed that a lot of gluten free baking recipes seem to replace gluten with sugar. Some of the amounts of sugar in gluten free recipes is ridiculous. I usually follow the recipe first time round, but if we find it super sweet I reduce the amount of sugar next time and make a note in my recipe book of the new measurement.
If you want to start baking gluten free you will need to stock up on a few essentials such as Xanthan Gum, ground almonds, gluten free flours (there are many) and ensure things like baking powder are also gluten free. If you are Coeliac then of course all of your ingredients must be gluten free otherwise you will be very poorly.
We're finding it more difficult than usual to buy treats such as GF biscuits during lockdown, so baking is a great option to ensure you have a treat handy. We all need little treats to help us through this difficult time, especially children.
The recipe for this delicious GF lemon drizzle cake is below, but you can of course click through the link to the BBC website. It's super-easy and perfect with a cup of tea.
Enjoy and keep safe.
GLUTEN FREE LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE
Preparation time: less than 30 mins
Cooking time: 55-60 mins
2 large lemons, well scrubbed
300g/10½oz granulated white sugar or golden caster sugar
200g/7oz butter, cubed and well-softened, plus extra for greasing
3 large free-range eggs
200g/7oz gluten-free self-raising flour
50g/1¾oz ground almonds
½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking paper. Finely zest the lemons.
Put 200g/7oz of the sugar, the butter, eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and beat until pale, thick and creamy. Use electric beaters or a food mixer if you like, starting slowly and then increasing the speed.
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55–60 minutes, or until well-risen, firm and golden-brown. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
Using an oven cloth to protect your hands, turn the cake out gently onto a wire rack set above a small tray or plate. Remove the baking parchment and turn the cake the right way up. Make about 60 deep holes in the cake using a skewer.
Squeeze one of the lemons and mix 3 tablespoons of the juice with the remaining 100g/3½oz sugar. Slowly and gradually, spoon the lemon sugar over the cake, stopping every now and then to allow it to penetrate the sponge.
Leave to set for at least an hour before serving or until the cake has cooled and the icing has crystalised. Serve in slices. I also sprinkled a little desiccated coconut over the top.