Sunday, 14 August 2011

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

This sweet and zesty lemon curd layer cake is a lovely alternative to the oft baked lemon drizzle. In contrast to the popular drizzle, lemon curd is rather neglected by bakers, which seems a shame considering it makes as delicious a filling for layer cakes as jam or cream. Give it a try if you fancy something different.

Serves 8 - 10
Adapted from the recipe by Deila Smith given at BBC Food Online. See the recipe here.
Being an idle sort, I advocate the buying of lemon curd, but I include Delia's lemon curd recipe for those who would like to make their own.

For the base:
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 tsp baking powder
175g self raising flour
175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs

1. Turn the oven to 170C (150C Fan), and line and grease two 18cm sandwich tins.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs and beat well.

3. Add the lemon juice and grated lemon zest.

4. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix well until the batter is creamy and smooth

5. Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared tins, and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. You'll know they're done when a skewer comes out clean and the tops bounce back under your finger.

6. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 20 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack or 2 plates.

for the lemon curd:
either Short bought locally made lemon curd
or 1 large lemon, grated zest and juice only
75g caster sugar
50g butter
2 eggs

7. If you're lazy like me, then buy a lovely local lemon curd and save yourself some bother.
If instead you fancy making your own, then put the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and put to one side.

8. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and lemon juice together. Then add them to the sugar and lemon zest and mix well.

9. Chop the butter into little pieces and then add it to the mixture.

10. Stir the curd in the bowl over a bain mairie, which is a pan of almost simmering water, for about 20 minutes until the mixture is thickened. Remove bowl from pan and leave to cool.

11. Either way, when the cakes are totally cool, spread the lemon curd generously over the bottom cake, then place the second cake ontop.

for the icing:
zest of 1 large lemon
50g sifted icing sugar
2-3 tsp lemon juice

12. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and stir in the lemon juice, whisking until it forms a smooth icing.

13. Spoon the icing over the top cake, and spread it letting it drip down the sides. Finely grate the lemon zest over the icing and leave to firm at least 30 minutes before serving.

This cake was idly baked to the sounds of Pulp's album Different Class.  

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