Luscious Lemon Damp Cake

Well, it has been another one of those weeks when I don’t seem to have stopped but also don’t seem to have achieved anything! My poor whippet, Felix, who broke his leg recently is still having problems as one of the internal fixator screws has started to rub and has caused his stitches to burst. Needless to say we have not been able to venture very fair because poor Felix is so lame.

My son, Ben, has been really trying hard this academic year to improve his attendance and to keep up with all his work. As you know Ben has chronic pain syndrome and is an idiopathic toe-walker but having spent a month in plaster over the summer holidays he is now walking much better. To maintain his mobility and to help with the pain, Ben has hydrotherapy twice a week at the local additional needs school. To ensure that it doesn’t impact too much on his school timetable and more importantly his GCSE classes Ben has his hydrotherapy during his lunch hour. This means a crazy dash from his mainstream high school to therapy and then back again in time for afternoon lessons!

I must mention at this stage that Ben has two hydrotherapist, Emma and Mo, without whom I don’t think I would survive. They literally keep Ben moving! Emma is lovely,  sweet and so gentle with the kids whilst Mo is loud and boisterous and naughty! Mo is the yin to Emma’s yang! The kids absolutely adore them and I, personally, would do anything for them. They are stars!

It is my “job” according to Mo to provide cake on a Friday for them. It started off as nice way to thank them for their hard work then they became my recipe guinea pigs and now Mo panics if I arrive empty-handed! Today they had my luscious lemon loaf cake and a bit of  Rocky Road. I would be lost without these marvellous ladies and I think the thought of their Friday afternoon treat is what gets them through the week! Enjoy, you wonderful ladies!

Ingredients:

250g butter

350g caster sugar

4 eggs, beaten

2 tsp lemon oil or the zest of 2 lemons

350g self-raising flour

a splash of milk

juice of 3-4 lemons

200g icing sugar.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan / 180°C.  Grease and line two 1 lb loaf tins.
  2. Beat the sugar and butter together until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs and lemon oil.
  4. Fold in the flour, add a splash of milk and fold until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Turn into the tins. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile gently heat the lemon juice and the icing sugar until all the sugar dissolves and makes a thick syrup.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven but leave in the tins and stab them all over with a clean skewer.
  8. Paint the syrup all over the cakes using a pastry brush. If you pour the syrup it tends to pool around the edges. By painting it you achieve a much better finish.
  9. Allow the cakes to cook completely.

Of course, you can easily half these amounts but I always make two because they freeze so well. You never know when Johnny Depp will drop round for a cuppa and a slice of cake! It is better to be prepared!

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