Very Berry Loaf Cake

Serves: 6-8

You will need

225g soft unsalted butter
185g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
225g self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons and juice of 1
40g runny honey, plus 1 tbsp for icing
150g blackberries
150g raspberries
100g icing sugar
Few sprigs of fresh mint



Directions

This is a really simple yet tasty cake with hidden berries, revealed when you slice through it. The pale sponge is lemon and honey flavoured and the outside of the cake turns dark, giving it a wonderful caramelized flavour. The cake is drizzled with lemon and honey icing and then decorated with blackberries and raspberries with a few mint leaves. A final drizzle of honey over the fruit finishes it off perfectly. Perfect as an afternoon tea treat.

1 Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/ 320°F/gas 4.

2 Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy; this takes about 5 minutes in a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle, or a little longer with a hand mixer.

3 Crack the eggs into a bowl and give them a quick mix. Slowly add them to the butter and sugar mixture, along with 1 tablespoon of the flour, beating all the time.

4 Next add the lemon zest, the honey and the remaining flour. Give it all a really good mix until well incorporated. Put about half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level it out with a spatula.

5 Place 2 rows of blackberries (about 10 berries) and 1 row of raspberries (about 4 berries) on the mixture. Gently put the rest of the mixture into the tin and place another row of berries on top; gently push them down so they are just visible.

6 Bake in the centre of the oven for 40–50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The cake should feel firm to the touch and not wobbling. I place a piece of foil loosely over the cake for the last 10 minutes or so to stop it getting too dark. Don’t worry, though, this cake is meant to have a dark caramelized crust.

7 Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then tip it out upside down onto a wire rack to cool completely.

8 To make the icing, juice one of the zested lemons and strain the juice. Place the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of honey into a bowl. Add the lemon juice a little at a time until you have a thick, glossy icing. If you add too much liquid and it goes too runny, just add a little more icing sugar.

9 Place the cake on your presentation plate and drizzle over the icing. I use a disposable piping bag, but you could use a spoon.
Take your time and decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the berries and a few mint leaves.

10 Dip a teaspoon into the jar of honey and lightly drizzle over the fruit for an amazing finish.

Tip - Lining a loaf tin

When making a cake in a loaf tin, I use bulldog clips to hold the lining parchment in place around the top of the tin while I make the cake and take them off just before popping it in the oven.

Recipe courtesy of Luis Troyano. Troyano's new book 'Bake it Great' is out 20th August, published by Pavilion.

Recipe photography: Clare Winfield





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