This is a lovely recipe from Raymond Blanc. Simply delicious! Please try and let me know what you think.
Perfect for afternoon tea, this has been served at Le Manoir for the past 25 years. Be sure to read my Kitchen Secrets before starting the recipe.
MAKES 1 LOAF CAKE (about 12 slices)
FOR THE GLAZE
- 50g apricot jam, warmed
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tbsp juice
- 150g icing sugar
- a loaf tin measuring about 26cm x 9cm or equivalent, about 1.5 litre volume
- a cook’s thermometer for the glaze.
- To prepare the cake: preheat the oven to 180°C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease the loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, lemon zest, rum, salt and melted butter. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
- To bake the cake: spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and gently level the surface. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, turning the tin around halfway through cooking. To test the cake, insert a small knife into the middle – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Set the rack on a lined baking tray.
- To glaze: lightly brush the cake all over with the warm jam. Leave for 5 minutes. Mix the lemon zest and juice with the icing sugar in a small pan and warm over a low heat to 35°C, until smooth. Brush the lemon glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake and leave for a few minutes to set.
- Place the cake on a baking tray in the oven, turn off the heat and leave for 3–5 minutes to dry the glaze – it will become translucent. Allow to cool before slicing.
VARIATION Replace the lemons with other citrus fruit, such as oranges or grapefruit, using marmalade in place of the apricot jam.
MY KITCHEN SECRETS
PLANNING AHEAD You can make the cake in advance; the glaze helps prevent it drying out. Have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start.
STEP 1 Leave some paper overhanging the sides when you line the tin; this will enable you to lift out the cake by the paper, making it easy to de-mould.
STEP 2 Do not leave your cake to cool in the tin, as this would prevent the steam from escaping, making your cake heavier.
STEP 3 Brushing the cake with jam creates a barrier, so the lemon glaze is not absorbed. If the glaze is any hotter than 35C, it will re-crystallise, losing its shine and crispness.The lemon glaze must be even and thin; if it is too thick it will run in the oven.
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Recipe taken from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc; published in YOU, Mail on Sunday