Cakes don’t need to sink . . .

Every oven I have ever used has been different in the way it cooks. No matter what the temperature gage might say or whether it’s the same make as a previous one.

If you bake a cake the flour has to change in a way that supports the bubbles inside that have made it rise. If the flour hasn’t cooked enough then it can’t support the amount it has risen and will collapse normally in the middle. The rise is created by the rising agent creating a gas, CO2, because it has been heated. So once you open the oven door the cake will cool and if the flour hasn’t cooked then the cake will collapse. Also an uncooked cake might give a tummy ache if eaten. So it is important we make sure it’s cooked throughly.

I have found the best way to check if a cake is cooked is to wait until it looks cooked then slip open the oven door and quickly stick a skewer or small knife into the centre of the cake, remove, if it has mixture on it, quickly place the cake back in and wait another two minutes and repeat until the sharp object comes out clean with just a little grease on it only.

Lemon drizzle cake

Place 4oz butter, 6oz of white sugar, two eggs and 6oz of SR flour in a large bowl and mix. If you can’t find SR flour then make your own by adding 2rounded teaspoons to 6oz plain flour. To the mix add 4tablespoons of real lemon juice, or the zest of one large lemon and 4 tablespoons of milk instead.

Place in a lined 2lb loaf tin, make the top level.

Bake at 180c for about 25mins but check it is cooked by the skewer method.

While the cake is in the oven mix a thin lemon topping of icing sugar and lemon juice. How much drizzle topping is up to you but mine tonight was 4oz sugar and enough lemon to make it running

The drizzle topping

Remove cake from oven and prick with skewer to make 10-12 holes. Pour the drizzle topping over the hot cake and leave in the tin until all the topping has been absorbed.

Leave to cool on a rack


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