You couldn't get a more lemony recipe than this: layers of lemon-flavoured sponge, filled with home-made lemon curd and then a lemon icing for the finishing touch. It's wonderful.
For the cake:
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.
grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 level teaspoon baking powder
6 oz (175 g) butter at room temperature
6 oz (175 g) caster sugar
3 large eggs
For the lemon curd:
grated zest and juice 1 large juicy lemon
3 oz (75 g) caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 oz (50 g) unsalted butter
For the icing:
zest 1 large lemon
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 oz (50 g) sifted icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).
You will also need two 7 inch (18cm) round 1½ inch (4cm) deep sponge tins, greased and bases lined.
Just measure all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat – ideally with an electric hand whisk – till you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Then divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake them on the centre shelf of the oven for about 35 minutes or until the centres feel springy when lightly touched with a little finger. While the cakes are cooking, make the lemon curd.
Place the sugar and grated lemon zest in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, then pour this over the sugar. Then add the butter cut into little pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently till thickened – about 20 minutes. You don't have to stay with it – just come back from time to time to give it a stir. When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds turn them out on to a wire rack.
When they are absolutely cold – and not before – carefully cut each one horizontally into two using a sharp serrated knife. Now spread the curd thickly to sandwich the sponges together.
Then to make the icing, begin by removing the zest from the lemon – it's best to use a zester to get long, curly strips. Then sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually stir in the lemon juice until you have a soft, runny consistency. Allow the icing to stand for 5 minutes before spreading it on top of the cake with a knife, almost to the edges, and don't worry if it runs a little down the sides of the cake.
Then scatter the lemon zest over the top and leave it for half an hour for the icing to firm up before serving.