Lemon Spelt LoafWords & Photography by Nazneen Hamilton
Growing up in London and also having Indian parents, tea and cake were naturally a big part of our everyday routine. My father is a big tea snob, preferring loose leaf and, ideally, from Ceylon. He still mixes his own tea blend.
I grew up learning to brew the perfect cup of tea and although cake wasn’t a necessity at every teatime, it was always welcome.
Being British, the love of cake courses through my veins. Growing up on plain Madeira, my tastes have since expanded and I’ve been inspired to bake and try many types of tea cakes. My favourite is still the humble Victoria Sandwich or a lemon pound cake. This recipe is a slightly healthier variation of a lemon loaf, using whole grain spelt and unrefined coconut sugar. The cake’s moisture comes from the addition of lemon syrup and almond flour. You can eat a piece or two guilt free.
1 cup/140g spelt flour, whole grain
3/4 cup/85g almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup/85g coconut sugar, unrefined
2 eggs, large
1 cup/235ml coconut yoghurt
1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup/60ml coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup/21g coconut sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup/60ml water
1 lemon, sliced thin for candied lemon
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Line a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin with parchment and grease or spray with non stick spray.
In a bowl, add the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix well.
Wash and dry the large lemon and remove the zest with a micro plane and then juice it, keep aside.
In a large bowl or a bowl of a mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together, till blended. Add the coconut yoghurt, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Slowly add the melted coconut oil. Add the flour mixture and mix gently but thoroughly.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Place in the oven and bake until golden and brown, about 40-45 minutes.
While the loaf cake is baking, make the syrup and the candied lemons. In a small saucepan, add the coconut sugar, lemon juice and water.
Bring the mixture up to a simmer on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the slices of lemon. Simmer on medium low until the lemons have softened and the syrup begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Carefully remove the lemons from the syrup and keep aside. Reserve the syrup for the loaf cake.
Once the loaf is baked and cooling on a rack, pour the syrup all over the loaf. Allow to soak and cool completely before removing from pan.
Place the cooled cake on a plate and decorate the top with the candied lemons.