My Lemon Drizzle cake is a simple cake inspired by some short bread cookies I was served on a BA flight. With no flights in sight and BA downgrading to crisps and popcorn if at all, I craved the combination of white chocolate, lemony tanginess with a cuppa but I wanted a softer mouthful than the short bread texture which surely has advantages on a plane but isnt just as fulfilling as a slice of cake.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt 200g of unsalted butter or vegan substitute (works with trex where you reduce to 160g or 200g of margarine, beware of palm oil!), leave to cool.
Scrape one Vanilla pod into 200ml of milk (works with oat or almond milk too, I use Organic Oat) and warm (ony luke warm, do not boil, it should really be only warm to touch) with the scraped pod, remove the pod after infusing for at least 15 mins. You can alternatively use 1 table spoon of Vanilla extract and optionally add some Vanilla bean paste, if not using a vanilla pod.
In a separate bowl, mix 350g of flour (for added crunch you could replace 50g of flour with 25g of Polenta ) with 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder.
Start slowly, creaming 3 medium eggs and 150g light brown sugar, then mix on high speed until pale and fluffy. Stop the mixer, add the lemon zest of 1 juicy lemon, if the lemon is a bit older you might want to use 2, and the juice of half a lemon before slowly adding a cup of the flour mix, then add a cup of the milk mix until used up. Bring the mixer up to high speed and whisk for 2 mins at least until you have a light and fluffy mixture. Turn down the speed, add the melted butter and incorporate.
Pour the mixture into a buttered tin, again you can use a light sprinkle of polenta if you wanted to add a touch of crunch, bake in the oven at 180C for 60min before checking if a test skewer comes out in clean. it might look ready after 45/50 mins but dont be tempted, my main fails with this recipe was to trust the golden crust and taking out the cake too early. Add up to 15 mins baking if required, then take out of the oven, leave in the tin.
After the cake goes in the oven, prepare the syrup by juicing one lemon, again decide on the freshness of the lemon if you need half a lemon more, heat up with 100ml of water and 50g of caster sugar. Add a sprinkle of lavender if you want, bring to boil, while stirring and then lower the heat to the lowest setting. stir occassionally, when it starts to thicken, leave to cool.
Use a skewer to poke a few holes into the cake. Drizzle the syrup over the cake while still in the tin and return to the switched off, but still warm oven for 10 mins.
Melt 100g of white chocolate in a bain marie or in the microwave. Take the cake out of the oven, the syrup should have nicely soaked and take the cake out of the tin to a cooling rack. Decorate with melted chocolate and if using, another sprinkle of lavender or corn flowers (they dont taste of anything but add a little bit of colour on the white).
Leave until the chocolate is fully set before cutting into the cake - this unfortunately takes very long. Enjoy!