The cake of the month for March is lime drizzle with blueberries. I often make lemon drizzle, but this takes the concept of light, airy sponge smothered in sticky syrup to a whole new level. For some reason I don’t understand the blueberries always sink… (if anyone knows why please let me know!) but that doesn’t seem to affect the taste. In fact, I think it’s nice having a layer of quite sharp, ooey and gooey fruit on the bottom, below the cloud of light sponge flavoured with lime zest before the sticky top layer of syrup soaked cake. The original recipe for this was in BBC Good Food’s 101 cakes and bakes
. I’ve adapted it slightly by adding more lime zest to the cake batter and syrup and also using only blueberries. It works with any fresh berries tbh, tho raspberries, currants and blueberries are better than strawberries. The smell of the lime took me back to Thailand so I might make one with coconut and mango another time to bring back memories of Koh Phangan.
For two 2lb loaf cakes or one large tray bake you need:
For the cake
225g vitalite/softened butter
225g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
25g ground almonds (omit if allergic to nuts and use extra flour instead, you can’t taste the almonds but they do give a lovely texture)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
zest of 2 limes
juice of 2 limes
200g fresh blueberries
For the syrup
Juice of four limes
Zest of two limes
140g caster sugar
Begin by creaming the sugar with the vitalite/butter in a free standing mixer. Beat for 10 mins until light, fluffy and creamy. Add the eggs a little at a time, incorporating a spoonful of flour between each addition of egg to prevent curdling. Once all the eggs are added, mix in the remaining flour, salt and ground almonds. Grate in the lime zest and gently fold in the juice.
Mix in 2/3 of the blueberries and scrape into lined tins – either two 2lb loaf tins or one traybake tin. Scatter over the remaining blueberries and bake in a moderate (170 degree) oven for about 25 mins till risen, golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile make the syrup by melting the sugar over a very low heat with the lime juice and zest. Leave to cool slightly whilst the cakes cook.
As soon as the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and prick all over with a fork. Pour over the syrup and allow to sink in. Let the cakes cool completely before scoffing. They will last well for a week in an airtight container, assuming you can resist the temptation to eat them!