Lemon Curd Cake
Delicious lemon zingy cake.
175g (6oz/1 1/2 sticks) butter
175g (175g/3/4 cup) castor sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs, organic and preferably free range
175g (6oz/1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
Homemade Lemon Curd (see recipe)
350g (12oz/scant 3 cups) icing sugar
50-63ml (2 - 2 1/2fl oz/1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice or a mixture of lemon juice and water
crystallised flowers (see recipe) or crystallised lemon julienne (optional)
2 x 18cm (7 inch) cake tins
Preheat the oven to 190ºC / 375ºF / Gas Mark 5.
Grease the cake tins with a little melted butter, put a round of greaseproof paper on the bottom of the tins and dust with flour.
Cream the butter, add the castor sugar and the lemon zest. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, each time with a tablespoon of flour. Beat very well, then fold in the remaining flour.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen, golden and feel spongy to the finger tips.
Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes in the tins and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Split the cakes in half with a sharp serrated knife. Spread on a little lemon curd, sandwich the bases of the cakes together.
Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, add enough freshly squeezed lemon juice to mix to a fairly stiff coating consistency. The icing should hold a trail when dropped from a spoon but gradually find its own level.
Put the lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a fine writing nozzle or use a paper piping bag.
Spread the icing smoothly and evenly over the (top and sides) of the cakes, using a warm palette knife. While it is still wet, quickly pipe lines with the lemon curd, about 2.5cm (1 inch) apart, across the top of the cake. Then draw the tip of a skewer or pointed knife through the coloured lines, at right angles, going in opposite directions each time, this is called feathering and may be done in lines or in a spider web pattern. Alternatively, decorate the iced cake with crystallised flowers and leaves (see recipe) or crystallised lemon zest.
225g (8oz/scant 2 cups) icing sugar will be sufficient to ice the top of an 18cm (7 inch) sponge.)
Tangy delicious lemon curd can be made in a twinkling, smear it over a sponge or onto fresh bread, buttery scones or meringues – store in a covered jar in the fridge. It is best eaten within a fortnight.
Flavedo is the outer coloured skin of citrus fruits.
Makes 2 x 200ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) jars
2oz (50g/1/2 stick) butter
3 1/2oz (100g/scant 1/2 cup) caster sugar
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 organic eggs and 1 organic egg yolk whisked (keep white aside for meringue)
Melt the butter on a very low heat. Add the caster sugar, lemon zest and juice and then add the whisked eggs. Stir carefully over a gentle heat with a straight ended wooden spatula until the mixture coats the back of it. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl or sterilized jar (it will thicken further as it cools.)