Lemon cake with tea is a grand tradition at Belmond Le Manoir au Quat'Saisons, and it has been served here for more than 30 years so I challenge you to make a better one than this! If you follow my lemon cake recipe, the result will be fresh, zesty and as light as a cloud. A real winner with family and friends, plus you can make the lemon cake in advance; the glaze will prevent it from drying out. That makes it an excellent option for bake sales.
For the lemon cake
butter, to grease the tin
organic/free-range medium eggs
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze
apricot jam, warmed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tbsp juice
Have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Lightly grease the loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Leave some paper overhanging the sides when you line the tin; this will enable you to lift out the cake by the paper, making it easy to de-mould.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, lemon zest, rum, salt and melted butter.
Sift the flour and baking powder together, then whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and gently level the surface.
Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, turning the tin around halfway through cooking.
To test the cake, insert a small knife into the middle – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Do not leave your cake to cool in the tin, as this would prevent the steam from escaping, making your cake heavier.
Lightly brush the cake all over with the warm jam. The jam creates a barrier, so the lemon glaze is not absorbed. Leave for 5 minutes.
Mix the lemon zest and juice with the icing sugar in a small pan and warm over a low heat to 35°C, until smooth. If the glaze is any hotter, it will re-crystallise, losing its shine and crispness.
Brush the lemon glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake and leave for a few minutes to set.
Place the cake on a baking tray in the oven, turn off the heat and leave for 3–5 minutes to dry the glaze – it will become translucent.
This recipe is adapted from the book Kitchen Secrets
Raymond’s love of delicious food is lifelong. Years of experience have given him a rich store of knowledge and the skill to create fantastic dishes that work time after time. With a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities - and useful tips throughout - this book brings Gallic passion and precision into the home kitchen.