Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Beyond the Jizzle Cake

How do you pimp a lemon drizzle cake?

I was thinking about this the other day because of a massive baking session I had undertaken to say thank you to people for helping out on our allotment.

I made a coconut and lime drizzle cake, an amaretto and chocolate layer cake and a lemon curd cake.
The chocolate cake was ok and unfortunately the only one I got a picture of but the star of the show was most definitely the lemon curd cake.

I had a go at making my own lemon curd and you know what? It was a total doddle. Utterly sublime lemonyness, smooth, gooey with a light sponge and fragrant lemon icing drizzled over the top.  It was ace.  My second attempt at making it (so I could take a photo for this post) was thwarted by my own impatience.  The taste was still spot on but aesthetically not the prettiest.  I know exactly where I went wrong and my lesson of the day is: Always wait until your curd is cold before trying to sandwich it between cake layers! Because I didn't wait it wasn't quite thick enough and just squidged out of the sides. School girl error on my part. Anyway we just ate it so there was no problem with taste but not good enough for photographs.

I'm going to write the recipe and hopefully some time in the future there will be pretty pictures to go with it.

Lemon Curd Cake (original recipe by Holly Sprake-Hill)
8oz self raising flour (sifted)
8oz golden caster sugar
8oz Stork or similar baking margarine
zest of 1 lemon
1tsp baking powder
1tsp lemon extract 
2oz ground almonds
4 large free range eggs

You will need 2 7inch cake pans, oiled and floured
Preheat the oven to 180c

Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add all the other ingredients and beat until smooth.  Separate the mixture equally into the two tins, lightly spread the mixture so it is even. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks to cool. If you are a bit picky about presentation leave the best cake top side up so you don't get the wire marks on it.

The Lemon Curd
4oz unsalted butter
zest and juice of 3 large lemons
6oz golden caster sugar
1tblsp cornflour (mix with a touch of water before adding)
2 large free range eggs.

Whisk the eggs in a pan, add all the other ingredients, stir continually over a low heat until the mixture thickens.  Bring to a simmer and keep stirring for about a minute (to cook the flour out)
Done! It really is that easy. Leave to cool completely. 

Lemon icing
Icing sugar
Lemon juice

Mix the juice of half a lemon with a small bowlful of sifted icing sugar. Add more icing sugar or lemon juice until you get a thick, glossy mixture. 

Assemble the cake by slathering a thick layer of the cold lemon curd onto the bottom cake layer, gentle place the top cake layer in place.  Use the lemon icing to either cover the top of the cake or make patterns with it, whatever takes your fancy.


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