Iced Lemon Curd Layer Cake
This one’s always been a winner with my family and friends – it’s even become a much-requested birthday cake.
This time round we’ve added a whipped cream and lemon curd icing to make it even more special. Although the mixture is a 3 egg, 175g mix we are using the same size tins as for the other sponges, which means you will have a much deeper cake because we need four layers.
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes.
All you do is sift the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down, then simply add all the other ingredients and, using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1 minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency.
Next divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes. The cakes are cooked when you press lightly with your little finger and the centre springs back.
Remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds loosen the edges by sliding a palette knife all round then turn them out onto a wire cooling tray. Now carefully peel back the lining by gently pulling it back. Lightly place the other cooling tray on top and just flip them both over so that the tops are facing upwards (this is to prevent them sticking to the cooling tray).
While the cakes are cooking you can make the lemon curd: place the grated lemon zest and sugar in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, and pour this over the sugar. Next add the butter cut into small pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water). Whisk every now and then until thickened, which should take about 20 minutes.
Then leave it on one side to cool.
When the cakes are absolutely cold – and not before – carefully cut each one horizontally into two with a good sharp serrated knife. I have always found the best way to do this is to sit down with the sponge cakes on a board, hold each one steady with one hand and then, using a gentle sawing movement, slice through each one so you end up with four layers. Now use the lemon curd to sandwich the cakes together, reserving 2 slightly rounded tablespoons (for the icing). Then whisk the cream till thickened, fold the remaining lemon curd into the cream and use it to ice the cake by spreading it over the top first then carefully down the sides, using a palette knife.
Sprinkle with the lemon zest before serving.
Store in a polythene box in the fridge till needed
Pre-heat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3
Equipment: Two 18cm by 4cm sponge tins, lightly buttered and bases lined, plus two wire cooling trays.
More about tins and liners here