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Lemon Loaf (from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

320g caster sugar
3 eggs
Grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
350g plain flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
250ml whole milk
teaspoon vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter, melted

For the lemon syrup:
Freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g caster sugar

A 23 x 13-cm loaf tin, greased and dusted with flour

Makes 8-10 slices

1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3.
2. Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well mixed.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat well, then beat in one-third of the milk mixture. Repeat this process twice more until everything has been added. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
4. Turn the mixer down to low speed, pour in the melted butter and beat until well incorporated.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
6. For the lemon syrup: while the cake is baking, put the lemon juice and zest, sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has a thin syrup consistency.
7. When the hot cake comes out of the oven, put it on a wire cooling rack in the sink and pour the syrup all over the top. The excess syrup will run over the edges into the sink. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto the wire cooling rack to cool completely.