If you don’t know by now, I absolutely love baking. There’s something about throwing a bunch of simple ingredients together, and making something completely delicious that I just love. There really is nothing better than people taking a bite, and making that irresistible “mmmmm…’ sound. That’s always a sign of a good creation.
Another thing that I love is just how diverse cakes are. There are so many flavour combinations and possibilities. Some like to keep it simple, others go as wacky as they can. I’ve seen ice cream plonked on quadruple chocolate cake, candyfloss frosting, and all manner of strange and bizarre creations
As much as I love the imagination and trying new things. I honestly prefer to stick to the classics. I mean, you can’t beat the tried and true recipes, that have been around forever. Can you? What can honestly top a traditional Victoria sponge or the childhood favourite butterfly cake?
It was my nan who originally sparked my love of baking. Her war time recipes never fail to come out perfectly, and it seemed that she could make absolutely everything without even trying. Her cherry pies, will always hold a place in my heart. And although it’s something that I’ve missed for 10 years, I’ll never forget the smell of it wafting around the house. She was the best baker that I’ve ever known, and passed on all her tips and tricks to my mum. Who’s shared them with me. Woo Hoo! I’ve memorised her cake recipe, and have learnt that sometimes, it’s best to throw in a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. I remember standing on a step-up stool so that I could reach the batter, and stirring the mixture. Measuring all the ingredients out precisely, and the best part… Licking out the bowl!
But, since I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, I’ve found that it’s my baking that’s been hit the hardest. Recipes now seem like science experiments, and I now dread the one thing that I loved more than anything. But ever determined, I refused to let it break me! My new aim in life: Create a delicious gluten free cake. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a gluten free cake. But, they are seriously gross! I mean, papp in your mouth, you spit it out after one mouthful type of yuk! Yeah, they’re not good. So, my love of cake slowly died out for a while, and as a consequence, I stopped baking.
Then my mum requested one of her favourite tea time treats. My classic lemon drizzle. I really didn’t want to miss out, so thought I’d have a go at making a gluten free. I know that gluten free recipes are so complicated, and no matter how hard I searched, I just couldn’t find one that looked, or sounded very nice. But I mean, it’s baking. It’s my thing. So, I thought that I’d keep it simple. Take a gamble and try it my own way. I’ve learnt that when it comes to baking, or with any type of cooking, winging it is often best!
Trial and Error
I thought that I’d just a do a straight 1:1 swap. Self-raising flour, for gluten free self-raising. I know that it’s unheard of. And any gluten free baker would tell you to never do it. But, it turned out soo well! Fair enough, it was quite yellow. But, I can’t really complain if that’s the only fault.
On the recommendation of someone, I tried a bit of xanthum gum in the recipe the next time I made it. Seriously, not a good move! I ended up making a pancake cake. Which, I kid you not, tasted just like a crepe style pancake. It was so thick and stodgy, that I had to chuck it in the bin. I noticed that when I used it, even the mixture seemed different. It was honestly like wallpaper paste. From the get go, I didn’t think it was gonna have a good turn out. But, through our failures, we only learn and improve. And now I know, avoid the gum.
Moist, Lemony, and Super Delicious!
I still can’t believe that in order to get the perfect gluten free bake, all I needed to do was swap the flour. This cake is incredibly moist, super lemony, and uber delicious. It’s put all my previous conceptions of gluten free baking to the side, and isn’t packed out and heavy at all. Don’t just take my word for it. I’ve tried this out on so many people, not even telling some of them that it gluten free. I’ve noticed that when some people hear that word, they automatically think it’s going to be gross. And judge it before they’ve even tried it. But, this loaf had turned out so well. It’s the best lemon drizzle that I think I’ve ever made. And although it’s the exact same recipe, with just a flour swap. I think that this one is actually better. Something that I NEVER thought that I’d say! So, trust me, that’s saying something.
The Perfect Drizzle
The most perfect lemon cake. Oozing with the perfect zing from the lemons; and stuffed with moisture from the lemon syrup drizzled on top. It has to be one of my proudest achievements, finally mastering, yep mastering, a gluten free cake. And of course, you need a sugar crunch on top to give it a nice, crispy layer. I still can’t get over how well this turned out, and how many compliments I’ve received from it. I just hope that this is the first of many successful kitchen experiments.
All I need now is a good book, and a warm cup of tea or coffee with my feet up sitting in the garden. The perfect tea time treat. Because there’s always a reason to enjoy a good slice of cake!
Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe:
Packed full of lemon, and deliciously moist. You’ll never guess that this is actually gluten free!
Yields: 1 kg Loaf
- 175 g / 6 oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour – I used Doves
- 175 g / 6 oz Margarine (I always use Stork)
- 88 g / 3 oz Caster Sugar
- 3 Medium Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- Zest of 2 Lemons
For the Lemon Syrup:
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 115 g / 4 oz Caster Sugar
- Preheat oven to 180*c/350*f/Gas Mark 4/160*c Fan Oven.
- Place all the ingredients for the cake into an electric mixer, and beat together until light and fluffy.
- Grease and line a 1 kg loaf tin, and spoon in the mixture.
- Cook for 45 minutes to an hour checking regularly, or until light and fluffy. You can tell it’s ready when it springs back when lightly pressed. You could also insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
- Once ready, remove from the oven.
- Whilst you’re waiting for the cake to cook, make the lemon syrup.
- Place the ingredients into a saucepan, and lightly until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Using a sharp knife, pierce holes into the top of the cake, ensuring you go all the way down to the bottom.
- Pour the lemon drizzle all over the cake. It may seem a lot of syrup, but the more that’s added results in a moister taste. But feel free to add less if desired.
- Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top, to give it a nice crunchy outing.
- Allow it to sit in the tin for roughly 5 minutes, then turn it out of the tin.
- Once cool, it’s all ready to enjoy. And trust me, it’s easy enough to do.
- Wrap in foil, and keep in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.
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