Monday, 1 June 2015

Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle Loaf.

 

For all those cake lovers out there...

My Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle Loaf Recipe should hit the spot.




With my last recipe being a Healthy Banana Bread, using natural ingredients, a refined sugar free and vegan etc. treat I thought it was only right to post a classic cake treat recipe to cover a wider range of treat lovers out there. So, with baking on the brain I thought I'd cook up a well loved cake by my mum and brothers that always gets some love. Baked especially for my mum, who loves a good blueberry anything! It'll be sure to go down a treat. This is my own adaptation of a few standard blueberry and lemon sponge recipes and is super quick and easy to bake up. For a beautifully moist, zesty loaf this is the perfect recipe (If I do say so myself...;) )


Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle Loaf Recipe

 

Ingredients: 

 
200 grams Self Raising Flour 
175 grams Non- Salted, Soft Butter or Margarine 
125 grams Caster Sugar 
110 grams Fresh Blueberries 
3 eggs 
1tsp Baking Powder 
1 Lemon Zest 
1/2 Juice of a Lemon 
100g Icing Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
 

Alterations & Tips:
 
  • Fan of nuts? To crunch things up a little bit a good addition to this loaf would be Almonds. Although, you could add any nut or dried fruit you like; peanuts and strawberries I'm sure will make a great adaptation or coconut and raspberries... take your pick! You could even sprinkle a few extra almonds or lemon zest on top for decoration.
      
  • It's best if your lemons are a few days old as this will make grating the zest easier and the skin will be less waxing and rubbery (which can prove difficult grating in a calmly manner! :)).
  
  • Its important to use soft margarine as this helps the mixing of the ingredients and blending becomes a lot easier, it also gives the mixture a lighter, fluffier texture.

  • This recipe creates an icing that is lemon flavoured and transparent, meaning it is quite runny and more like a drizzle cake icing. Depending on the type of icing you prefer you can add more or less lemon juice and icing sugar to create your desired consistency. For a slightly different effect to the drizzle you could use lemon curd to create a thick glaze the top and/or sides of the loaf giving a richer, sticky sponge flavour.
      
  • A tip when opting for the drizzle/ runny icing (which is directed by the recipe) to ensure you get the most flavouring within the sponge poke a knife straight through the sponge several times, creating slits and allowing the sponge to absorb the icing and its amazing lemony goodness all the way through aiding to a moist and zesty sponge.


 

Instructions:

(Scroll down for step illustrations.)
 
 
 
1. Heat the oven to 180°C and grease your 2lb loaf tin. (You could use a standard cake tin or larger loaf tin, although you may need to double the ingredients to get a full loaf and the baking time may need to be adjusted, if using a smaller tin the time will need to be increased and if larger, time reduced. The general rule is if it is golden brown, the sponge bounces back and a skewer poked through comes out clean, your good to go.)
 
2. Firstly, in a large mixing bowl beat the butter and caster sugar together till fully combined creating a light and fluffy, cream like texture. (Pictorial steps below.) 
 
3. Then crack your eggs in to a smaller mixing bowl and beat with a fork until fully combined. After, slowly add the egg to the butter mixture 1/3 at a time, making sure you fully stir in between. This helps the mixture to not separate.
 
4. Sieve the flour over your sponge mixture and add the baking powder. Gently fold in to the current mixture until fully combined with a smooth texture.
 
5. Then, add the lemon zest and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and gently stir in.
 
6. On a separate surface pour out the blueberries and sprinkle half a hand full of self raising flour. Tossing the blueberries until lightly covered. (This will help the blueberries not to sink to the bottom within the mixture when baking.)
 
7. Carefully pour the blueberries in to the sponge mixture and stir once or twice, until the blueberries begin to disperse within the mixture.
 
8. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over. (to ensure not all the blueberries sink sprinkle half a handful over the top on the mixture in the tin, at this step you could also add a handful of almonds, dedicated coconut, white chocolate shavings or your preferred chosen nut.)
 
9. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes (if using the standard recipe and 2lb loaf tin in a preheated oven this should take nearer the estimated 45 mins. mark). When done the cake should be golden brown with the sponge well risen. A good check is to poke a skewer through and it should come out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack still resting inside the cake tin.
 

Decoration.

 
10. Once cooled and removed from the loaf/ baking tin its time to decorate with the prefect lemon drizzle. In a small mixing bowl combine the icing sugar and lemon juice and stir well until smooth (this can be altered by using the previously mentioned alterations and tips.)
 
11. Once the icing is made, grab a sharp knife and gently stab the sponge several -  half a dozen times creating straight through slits randomly in the sponge. Then pour the icing mixture over the sponge. You can leave to set in the fridge or slice up and enjoy with a runny, slightly messy but amazingly tasty icing. (Depending on the icing consistency you may want to do this on a plate or chosen dish for the loaf to sit on, it can get a bit messy but that's half the fun and adds to the rustic, family favourite and kid friendly look to the loaf.)
 
 *
 
For extra decoration why not try a little more lemon zest grated over the top, flaked almonds or white chocolate shavings depending on your previous personal additions to the recipe. To serve add a warm  blueberry compote, hot/ cold custard, a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or, my favoured and most recommend, Double Cream. (Double cream soaks through the sponge, giving you a welcomed gorgeous creamy bowl of greatness.) If your feeling extra generous and indulgent Extra Thick Double Cream is most defiantly always a good idea!  ;)  (It's a thick, creamy and heavenly DREAM! Also my absolute favourite!!!) Can you tell I like double cream yet...?
 
P.s Whipped cream is also just as good, go crazy! It's even been known to 'butter' a slice with a seasonal jam or add clotted cream on the side. Personally I like the classic cream and cake combo but whatever takes your fancy is the way to go!!!
 
  *

 

Baker's Top Tip: Sinking fruit.

 
If you still have a problem with your fruit sinking, whether its the blueberries or another fruit you have chosen, here are a few tricks that could help avoid this:
 
  • Toss the berries/ fruit in flour (the flour used within the recipe) to help stabilize and support the fruit in the mixture.
  • If this fails, your mixture may be too runny, try thickening it by adding more flour or slightly less fluid too your mixture (Be careful not too disrupt your ingredients ratios too much, but just enough on either side to thicken the mixture.
  • You may also want to try using frozen fruit instead of fresh, frozen fruit has less moisture than fresh fruit therefore being lighter in the mixture (when adding to the mixture, add the fruit still frozen and not defrosted as this will avoid staining the sponge too much and help the fruit keep its texture and shape.)
  • Lastly, you may be stirring in your fruit too vigorously, and if possible adding the fruit at the very last minute may help avoid it sinking early on. If you can try adding the fruit when the mixture is already in the loaf'/ cake tin, just gently pouring over the top and lightly tapping, pressing in the odd few it may help the fruit from sinking too dramatically. You could also try spooning in half or 1/3 off the sponge mixture (Minus the blueberries) and add some of the blueberries and keep layering like this until all the mixture and berries are used. (Its best to divide the mixture and berries in to 1/2 or 1/3, meaning two or three layers.)
It's important to note that when using heavier, weighty additions to a sponge, like fresh fruit or dried, they will always sink a little bit, it's just gravity! So, don't feel like your doing something wrong, its every bakers battle!
     



(Side note- I may or may not have been a little too camera happy, but the more the better right...?!)

 
 
 




















A generous slice for the baker (as always ;)) and my recommended serving of double cream. Ahh pure heaven...! If you don't believe me give it a go for yourself! I dare ya ;)

As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and give this recipe a try! If you've tried out any of the mentioned alterations and additions to the recipe comment below or tag me on instagram and twitter. (@apesjackson and @aprilroseo) I'd love to see what creations you've come up with! I've spent all day concocting a list of fab and wacky fruit, nut, flavours and sponge combos, give the post a  +1  if you'd like to see me create and post them on my blog.

Much love,  -A
Xx



That's all for now folks,
 

XOXO -A
<3