Lemon Drizzle Traybake

20 Jul 2015

Well, I gave it my best shot but I'm not sure I'd count this as successful as my mac 'n' cheese or tagliatelle. Just putting that out there now. I thought, after a couple of savoury recipes, it was time to give a bit of baking a go. So putting my faith in Mary once again, this time I went for her Lemon Drizzle Traybake.

Mary recommends you use a certain size 'traybake tin'. Problem is, I don't know what a 'traybake tin' is. Surely I can just use one of the baking tins in the cupboard? Maybe that is a 'traybake' tin? I fish out an old tape measure and the size fits (30x23cm)... I go with it.

For Mary's Lemon Drizzle Traybake, you will need: 

225g butter
225g caster sugar
275g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
2 lemons
175g granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Even I can manage that.

Mary then talks about greasing the traybake tin and lining with baking parchment. Unfortunately, I didn't read the actual instructions too carefully when I was shopping for ingredients, and I'm not sure there's baking parchment in the house. What even is baking parchement? Is that just the same as greaseproof paper? I have a hunt around anyway and come across something.

I ring my sister, who is over four years younger than me and did actually make the effort to learn to cook.

"What," I proclaim, "is this?"

She rolls her eyes. I can't see her but I know she does.
"It's like greaseproof paper, only you can wash it afterwards and use again."
"Oooo... wait, is greaseproof paper the same as baking parchment?"
"Probably. You realise I'm trying to watch Hannibal here?"
Never interrupt my sister when she's watching a good looking guy eat people. That sentence is beyond weird, but also true.

Guess we're just going with the don't-throw-away-greaseproof-paper then.

Zest and juice the lemons.

Whack the butter, caster sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, and lemon zest into a bowl.

Beat that shiz up, until smooth.

Taste some. Seriously, it's yummy.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin (wash-instead-of-throw-away-greaseproof-paper being put into use here).

Smooth it out with a spatula.

Pop in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes.

Whilst that's doing its stuff, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar together to make the glaze (that shiny, sugary stuff that goes on top)

Mary says to bake the traybake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and springy to touch. I follow these instructions loyally but when I take mine out, it's my first indication that my traybake is not going to look like Mary's. For starters, it's not flat. It has risen very well in the middle, which creates a mountain-like scenario. It's also browner than Mary's light and lemony looking photo. Huh.

I pursue ahead anyway, spooning over the glaze as Mary instructs. Unfortunately, that mountain like scenario starts to create a bit of a problem. A lot of a problem. Oh my christ, it's like lemon drizzle lava pouring down the side of a lemon cake volcano! Lemon drizzle everywhere, TAKE COVER.

Ahem. Sorry.

Cake is covered in the glaze... kind of. So I leave to cool for a few minutes and, once it has, I cut it into 16 rectangular slices.

Done. I'm not feeling particularly impressed though. I gaze longingly at Mary's beautiful picture of her lemon traybake... and then back at my own.

I try and it tastes very nice which does improve my mood. I inform my sister of my disappointment as I munch.

"Looks nice to me" she says, after inspecting the picture (Hannibal has finished).
"Does it taste nice?"
"Well then, what's the problem?"
"It doesn't look anything like the picture"
She laughs. "Welcome to the world of cooking babe."

Kate's learning corner

This, apparently, is a Mary Berry traybake tin...

So what is the difference between baking parchment and greaseproof paper? 

I'm still not 100% sure if I'm honest. I've read through various internet discussions and there seems to be a general consensus that baking parchment is better for not sticking. Some people also suggest that greaseproof paper can be used for food storage, not just cooking. None of this really answers my question though...

Don't skimp on the glaze. 

It depends what you want I guess, but I had quite a bit left over because I felt like I'd already put plenty on. However, when the traybake had cooled, it was obvious that there could have been more and I think I'd have preferred a thicker glaze in general. Something for the future.

It's not going to look like the picture. 

I feel this is something we all have to learn when it comes to cooking, like a right of passage...