Three Things; Monday Lunch, Luscious Lemon Cake

Monday lunch, luscious lemon cake

A luscious lemon cake today for us to share with the wonderful men delivering and beginning to build our new studio.

Luscious lemon cake

Three lemons and a balance scale are the additional ingredients to a classic sponge recipe.

Weighing the sponge ingredients

You could fill your lemon sponge with homemade lemon curd but since the children will be sharing it today they have asked for lemon buttercream.

The recipe is as follows…

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300F, Gas Mark 2)

Grease and line the base of two 8″ (20cm) sandwich tins with grease proof paper.

Set three eggs on your scale where you would usually put your weights and use them to weigh the same quantity of sugar, butter and self raising flour. If you don’t have balance scales you can weigh your eggs and then weigh out the same quantity of the other ingredients.

Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. You can microwave the butter for 20 seconds on high to soften it if you have forgotten to have it at room temperature – but don’t tell any real cooks.

Grate in the zest (yellow outer layer) of two of the lemons being careful not to get the bitter white pith in there too. (Insert your own hilarious taking the pith joke here) and give another good stir about.

Crack in the eggs one by one and beat well so you get lots of air in and the mixture doesn’t split. The mixture is said to have split when it curdles and looks like scrambled eggs. If it does split you can sometimes remedy it by beating extra hard until it all comes together again. If this doesn’t work then you can add a sprinkling (a teaspoon or less) of the flour and beat until it comes together again.

Once you have added all three eggs then you should add the flour. You will need to add a bit of flour (perhaps a tablespoon) and stir really well to start you off and then add add the rest of the flour and fold gently to keep as much air in the mix as possible.

The next step is the one that has ‘real’ cooks tutting – squeeze the juice of one lemon into the mixture. It will look a bit horrid for a little while but after a brief mix it should come together into a gloriously pale loose batter.

Split it equally between the two sandwich tins and pop in your oven for about 18-20 minutes.

Have a look through the glass of the oven door, don’t open it until at least 18 minutes have gone by. As it cooks you should see the edges cook first and then the centre eventually pops up having looked a little sunken for the first 15 minutes or so. Continue to cook until the top is evenly risen and a skewer comes out clean when plunged into the centre. If you don’t have a skewer then a strand of uncooked spaghetti works well. If you see anything looking like cake mix on your skewer then shut the door for another minute or so.

Once cooked turn the cakes out straight away onto a wire cooling rack and peel off the grease proof paper circle form the base of the cake.

Wait for it... The cake must be cool
You have to let the cake cool completely if you are using buttercream as otherwise it will turn into a greasy oilslick rather than a sumptuous layer of lemony fluff.

To make the buttercream you will need…

75g softened butter
200g icing sugar
Zest of a lemon
2 x tablespoons of lemon juice

Mix together the butter, lemon juice and lemon zest, again the microwave can be used to soften the butter 10 seconds on high should do it.

Add in the icing sugar and beat well until smooth and lump free.

Squodge the lemon butter cream over the top of one sponge and sandwich on the second sponge. Yummy.

Cake went down well with the hi-vis vest crowd!

Cake went down well with the blokes in the hi-vis vests!