200g caster sugar
3 lemons, zest only (juice is used in syrup and icing)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
200g self-raising flour, sieved
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
For the Syrup:
Juice - 1 lemon
1tbsp golden caster sugar
1 sprig thyme, leaves only
For the Decoration:
150g icing sugar
Juice - 1 lemon
Thyme leaves or lemon zest
Grease and line a 2lb Aga loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the lemon zest and thyme leaves until combined.
Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time and beat until uniformly mixed. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the cake mixture. Add the milk, stir, and pour the batter into the loaf tin and tap to pop air bubbles.
2, 3, 4 and 5 oven AGA: Place in baking oven on grid shelf on oven floor, for approximately 50-60 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean. Check at 30 minutes and place cold plain shelf above if it is browning too quickly
Conventional: Cook in preheated oven 180oC /170OC fan/gas mark 4, for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden brown and skewer comes out clean
While the cake is cooking; prepare the syrup by mixing all ingredients together. Once the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to make holes in the top of the cake and pour over the syrup and allow to soak in as it cools
To make the icing; mix together icing sugar, juice of 1 lemon and the gin to form a thick coating icing. Once the cake has fully cooled, turn out on a baking tray and pour icing liberally over the top, decorate with thyme leaves and/or lemon zest and allow to set.