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A Lemon Loaf to Boost Your Mood

Baking is a great way to keep occupied in these unusual times of being isolated in our own homes.

Getting ingredients can be a challenge, so you may want to add these to your next list if you don’t have them at home.

Ravneet Gill shares a delicious recipe for a lemon loaf from The Pastry Chef’s Guide.

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 loaf)

3 eggs
225g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, softened
100ml double cream
180g self-raising flour
Pinch of fine salt
Grated zest of 3 lemons

For the syrup:
75g caster (superfine) sugar
100ml plus 1 tbsp water
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons

For the icing:
200g icing sugar, plus more to taste
Freshly squeezed juice of 1–2 lemons, to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a 900g/2lb loaf pan with baking parchment.

2. Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl. Beat together at a medium speed for three to five minutes until pale using the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk. Don’t go mad and overwhip as this will affect the rise of the cake.

3. Melt the butter completely in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

4. Pour the cream and butter mixture slowly into the egg mixture and stir to by hand or at a low speed combine.

5. Sift the flour and salt together, add to the egg mixture and fold through. Finally, fold in the lemon zest.

6. Pour into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring a little, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool slightly.

8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan until it’s no longer hot to the touch but is still slightly warm. Poke multiple holes in the top of the loaf with a skewer and then pour over the warm syrup evenly. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

9. Make the icing by whisking together the icing sugar and lemon juice, adding more of less of each to taste. Brush this over the cooled cake and leave to set for 10 minutes. Turn out and serve! Store the loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.

The Pastry Chef’s Guide by Ravneet Gill is published by Pavilion Books, priced £18.99. Photography Jessica Griffiths. Available April 2.

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