13 Jun 2022
What I love about the perfect lemon cake is it’s fresh, zesty and as light as a cloud.
Lemon cake with tea is a grand tradition at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, and it has been served here for almost 40 years.
Ingredients (serves 8):
For the lemon cake
butter, to grease the tin
300g caster sugar
140ml double cream
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
25ml dark rum
1 pinch sea salt
80g unsalted butter, melted
240g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
For the glaze
50g apricot jam, warmed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tbsp juice
150g icing sugar
Lightly grease the loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Then, 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, spooning the mixture into the loaf tin and gently level the surface. Bake for 50 minutes, 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.
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.
Now 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.
Finally, 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. Allow to cool before slicing.