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Best ever lemon drizzle cake

I know that’s some claim and I’d stop short of putting a best ever ‘guaranteed’ label on this, but as someone who has enjoyed his fair share of lemon drizzle cakes, this one takes some beating. It’s actually a marriage of two recipes: a lemon drizzle loaf and my fizzy Fanta cake. Instinct told me that the two would combine perfectly and after the first attempt I think I’ve already found perfection! They really work amazingly well together and if you’re looking for something to impress at that afternoon tea, then look no further. The cake stays moist, the top has this crispy, crumbly texture which means when you cut into it, you get this wonderful crunch. The whole thing has a homemade, rustic feel and as I’ve said before, what’s the point in making something if it looks shop bought?!

 

Ingredients

 Sponge
 Syrup
Icing

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) / 338°F (302°F fan).

Line a 8×4 inch / 20x10cm loaf tin.

In a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on a high speed until light and fluffy.  You want the texture to be almost mousse like.

Beat the eggs together in a jug and then add slowly to your butter mixture on a medium speed.

Add the flour, vanilla and lemon zest and continue to mix on medium until everything is combined.

Add the Fanta and mix in by hand.

Pour the batter into your loaf tin and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  After this time, cover with foil and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

While your cake is in the oven for it’s final burst, make your syrup by putting your caster sugar and Fanta into a small saucepan and heating over a low-medium light until the sugar has dissolved.  Continue to heat until the liquid has reduced by 1/2 to 1/3 and is a syrupy consistency.

Remove your cake from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Make a series of holes in the surface by prodding it with your cake tester and pour the lemon syrup all over the top.

Meanwhile, put your icing sugar into a bowl and add a tablespoon of your lemon juice and mix.  Keep adding another half a teaspoon and mixing until your icing is sufficiently runny that you can drizzle it over your cake.

Once your cake is completely cool, drizzle with icing and then sprinkle with your popping candy.

Trivia

Fanta is a global brand of fizzy drinks made in 100 different flavours by The Coca-Cola Company. It was first created in Nazi Germany in 1940 as a result of a trade embargo which meant that the Coca-Cola factory in Germany – Coca-Cola GmbH – was unable to import the Coca-Cola syrup required. So Max Keith, head of Coca-Cola Deutschland, came up with the idea of using only ingredients available in Germany, including whey and apple pomace, ingredients generally dismissed as the “leftovers of the leftovers”. They needed a new name for their new creation. Max Keith kept urging his staff to use their imaginations – fantasie in German – and suddenly salesman Joe Knipp came up with “Fanta”. After the war, Coca-Cola repossessed the factory including the formulas and the trademarks and all the profits made during the war. Although Coca-Cola immediately discontinued Fanta, they re-launched it in 1955 as a response to the range of several drinks launched by Pepsi in 1950. Fanta was always heavily marketed abroad in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.