26 March 2012

Lemon Blueberry Yoghurt Loaf

I have always been obsessed with lemon cake, lemon syrup cake, lemon yoghurt cake, and all of the above.  I found this recipe totally by accident on pinterest.com and decided to make it because we had lots of blueberries in the freezer, and just that morning I had picked some lemons off our recovering tree (Mum had hacked away so much foliage that it didn't have any fruit for ages, but now it's bouncing back beautifully!).  Plus my cousin was staying so I wanted to make something special and yummy for us to all enjoy.

The hardest part about making this loaf was the waiting.  Waiting for it to cook.  Waiting for it to cool.  Waiting for the syrup to soak in.  Waiting for the glaze to harden.  Meanwhile it smells and looks AMAZING.  And surprisingly, all the baking, syruping and glazing wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, since I like simple recipes with few steps.  But gosh, this was worth all the steps.  Honestly.

For the Loaf:
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup  yoghurt (plain, or lemon flavoured)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 & 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
  • Line one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. 
  • Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour.
  • Fold them very gently into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack, keeping it on the baking paper.
  • While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  • Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat; set aside.
  • Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. 
  • Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. 
  • Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. 
  • Let the cake cool completely.
  • To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. 
  • Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. 
  • Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. 
  • Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

OK, so I know in the past I have gone on about my detestation of lemon zest (see all my lemon poppyseed muffin attempts...) but honestly, I don't think it's as bad as I thought.  I barely noticed it at all in this loafy cake thing.  And WOAH was it amazing.  Seriously.  SO lemony.  I LOVE it.  I'll definitely be making this again.

My family enjoying it!
For this one, we didn't have plain yoghurt, but we had lemon flavoured yoghurt, so I used that, and I think it made it just that little bit more lemony.  AMAZING.  And the blueberries were little bombs of juicy flavour, and hand-staining colour.   I recommend eating with a fork.  It's quite a moist loaf too, so eating with hands is almost silly.  And the glaze, once it's dry and hard, makes a sugary lemony crunchy outer layer that is just incredible.  I cannot gush enough about this cake.  OMG.  It hasn't lasted long... 

Recipe Inspiration: http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/05/15/lemon-blueberry-yogurt-loaf/

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