Lemon, rosemary and leatherwood honey cake

Because I've got a while yet to go before I'm a nanna, I spiced up this old-fashioned nanna classic, the lemon drizzle cake, by making use of some fresh rosemary from my garden and some gorgeous organic leatherwood honey I picked up from the local farmers' market. Try to use big, juicy, thick-skinned organic lemons which are usually much sweeter than the supermarket variety and aren't coated in wax, which is especially important for this recipe because you'll be using the zest, and well really, do you want wax in your cake?

For the cake
115g unsalted butter, softened
115g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
125g unbleached self-raising flour, sifted
1tsp baking powder
180g ground almonds
zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 cup organic leatherwood honey
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

For the lemon syrup
100g caster sugar
90g lemon juice
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup organic leatherwood honey

For the lemon icing
225g icing sugar mixture, sifted
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar until light & creamy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating each egg in well before adding the next. Add the honey and mix well. Gently fold in ground almonds, lemon zest and juice, and the sifted flour and baking powder.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until lightly golden. To check if it's ready, poke a cocktail stick in the centre of the sponge. If it comes out clean, you're good to go; if slightly sticky, it needs a little longer so pop back in the oven. Allow the cake to cool on a rack.

Make the lemon syrup by heating the sugar, lemon juice, honey and rosemary sprigs until the sugar has dissolved. Let it sit for a while so that the flavour of the rosemary infuses the syrup. While the cake is still warm, pierce lots of holes in the top with a cocktail stick and pour the syrup over.

To make the icing, place the sifted icing sugar mixture into a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice. Stir until smooth.

When the cake is almost cool, place it on a nice serving platter and pour the icing over the top. To get the drizzle effect, pour it onto the middle of the cake and watch it drizzle down the sides. Top with a few rosemary sprig tops for decoration.

This cake is particularly delicious served warm.


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