How glorious was the sunshine yesterday? Most (normal) people probably took the warm weather as a cue to do something summerish, like going to the beach…I decided to spend the day indoors baking. The end result was like a little piece of sunshine on my plate.
Do I have a problem?!
I am not usually one to make a layered cake. I am quite a lazy cook and the idea of icing and slicing so many layers makes me snore.
But…in the new issue of Cuisine mag, there was a recipe for a sweet-looking citrus cake that really whet my appetite. (p.s have you read this magazine before? It’s from NZ and it’s fab. It’s like the Kiwi version of Gourmet Traveller but better. I suggest you get your paws on to it).
Citrus sponge + lemon curd + tangy icing….what’s not to love? I tweaked the recipe a bit – added some Cointreau-spiked cream, as well as two extra layers (and I said I didn’t like layered cakes? pffft!).
This cake is easy to make and a lot easier to eat. Pressed for time? You could always buy the lemon curd and/or freshly-baked sponge and just whack it together.
CITRUS LAYER CAKE
First, make the curd – it ain’t hard, just make sure you don’t boil it because it will either split or scramble!:
200g caster sugar
grated zest and juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup juice)
3 eggs and 2 yolks, beaten
Heat butter, sugar, zest and juice in a medium saucepan until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Strain the eggs through a sieve (this gets rid of chunky white bits that make your curd ugly) into the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until the curd thickens – this should take about 5 minutes. Pour into a vessel of some sort, cool down then pop in the fridge. It should make about 2 cups, you probably only need about 1 cup, so enjoy the leftovers on toast/from the jar.
Now, make the cake:
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons milk/cream
45 butter, melted
grated zest of your choice of citrus (I used orange) and 1 TBS of juice
Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter AND flour 2 x 2ocm round sandwich tins. If you only have 1 big tin, no problem, you will just have to slice the cake in half horizontally to make 2.
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy – about 4-5 minutes. Sift the flour and bP into bowl and stir very gently through egg mix. Stir too much and you will make a very flat sponge cake.
Mix the milk, butter, zest and juice and pour into cake mix, then fold to combine.
Divide your mixture between the two tins and pop in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. When the sponge is ready, it will come away from the side of the tin.
Once you’ve cooled the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, remove and cool on a wire rack. Sponge cakes cool down very quickly so no waiting around to ice! Bonus!
So because I wanted a multi-layer spectacle, I made 2 more cakes so I could have a tower. To be honest: 2 cakes would suffice.
Now you just need to whip up some cream (about 300ml beaten with 1 TBS of Cointreau, if you wish).
Then, make some icing – 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted, mixed with a knob of melted butter, 2 TBS boiling water and 1 TBS lemon juice and zest – stir it together until smooth and glossy.
To assemble and serve, I just put a cake on a cake plate, spread some cream, then some curd, then topped with another layer and repeated. I poured the icing over the top, watched it dribble down the side and caught big dribbles of curd and icing with my fingers (nom nom). The cake doesn’t scream of any decoration but a little bit of candied lemon peel did finish it off well.
Serve with a big, fat dollop of cream or some very creamy vanilla ice-cream.
fat chops xx