The end of the school year means a lot of thank yous – to my colleagues in the department as well as to the countless colleagues all over the school who have helped me (and my students!) to get through the year in one piece. Unfortunately, writing cards does not come naturally to me. I usually get stuck immediately after the ‘Dear X,’ bit, and I end up wallowing in self-pity in front of unwritten cards. Giving cards is a very English custom, I tell myself, as ‘in my country’ we don’t really do that. Therefore I have decided to go for edible ‘thank yous’ instead, in form of Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle traybake.
Lemon Drizzle Traybake (makes 30 pieces)
- 225g softened butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 275g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons milk
- finely grated rind of 3 lemons (keep the prettiest 1/3 for the decoration!)
- 75g granulated sugar
- 100g icing sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
Cover the base and sides of a sandwich tin with baking parchment, folding it neatly at the corners for a clean finish. Preheat the oven to 160C.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except for the icing and granulated sugar, the lemon juice and 1/3 of the lemon peel. Using an electric mixer, beat them until creamy, then pour the mix into your prepared tin.
Level the top and bake for 35-40 minutes. Mary Berry suggests you press the top lighly: if it springs back the cake is ready.
Leave to cook for a few minutes before lifting the whole cake out, still in its paper. Remove the paper and place it on a wire rack.
Mix the lemon juice and the two types of sugar to a slightly runny consistency. Pour it over the traybake (it helps to put the wire rack over a large baking tin to collect the mix dripping down). The cake should be still slightly warm, to allow the syrup to soak in, but not too hot as it might just disintegrate. I’d leave it to cool for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Decorate with the remaining peel and cut into the squares when cool.