Drizzle cake is even more delicious when you scent the sponge with fragrant honey. I use sugar to make the sponge and honey in the syrup, heating it very gently so none of the flavour is lost.
Honey and Lemon Drizzle Cake
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
125g caster sugar (or 75g caster and 50g soft brown sugar)
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
3 cardamom pods
finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
juice of 1½ lemons
60g honey (a light or medium one such as orange blossom or lavender)
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Butter a 900g loaf tin (about 25x12x6cm).
Put the butter in a food processor and whizz. Add the sugar and salt and whizz to mix. Add one egg and whizz again, then add half the flour, then the second egg and finally the rest of the flour, pulsing briefly to mix after each addition. (Alternatively, beat the mixture by hand using a wooden spoon.)
Use a small sharp knife to slit open the cardamom pods. Remove the seeds and crush with a pestle and mortar. Add to the cake mixture with the lemon zest and juice. Pulse the food processor to mix, or beat in with a wooden spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until the mixture is risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the lemon juice and honey for the drizzle in a small pan. Heat gently to melt the honey and mix the two together.
Take the cake out of the tin and put it on a plate. Using a skewer, pierce the top of the cake deeply. Carefully and slowly pour the drizzle mixture all over the top of the cake. Store in an airtight container. This is best eaten within 3 or 4 days.
Extracted from Spoonfuls of Honey by Hattie Ellis (Pavilion Books, approx €15). Photograph by Maja Smend.