Back to my Mum's birthday though...I had been thinking for awhile about what I could bake my Mum for her birthday and in the end, knowing how much she loves Lemon Cupcakes, I thought I would attempt a Lemon Layer Cake for her.
I used the recipe in the Primrose Bakery book for the cake and butter cream, however I decided it needed something more so I made a batch of Lemon Curd from the Rachel Allen book Bake and put that along with the butter cream in the cake. I have never made Lemon Curd before but the fresh home made version was so much better than any of the stuff I've bought from the supermarket before!
The last few recipes I have attempted from the Primrose Bakery, although weren't huge disasters, didn't quite go to plan, so I was really nervous about making this cake for my mum. I had visions of her cutting into it and it being as solid as a brick or not cooked! Luckily, the recipe worked...the cake rose perfectly and was really moist. The butter cream was sweet and lemony and the lemon curd gave that little extra lemony flavour to the cake. This is a recipe I will most definitely be making again.
Lemon Layer Cake
Makes two 20cm cakes which can be sandwiched together
225g golden caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons (otherwise use 3 lemons)
Preheat the over to 170C. Grease and baseline the two tins.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl.
Add the eggs to the creamed mixture one at a time mixing for a few minutes after each addition, alternating with the dry ingredients, and finally the grated lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat well after each addition but do not over beat.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Once cool, sandwich the layers together with lemon butter cream icing and lemon curd and ice the top with more lemon butter cream.
Lemon Butter Cream
110g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons
500g icing sugar
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.
150g caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
1 egg yolk
Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a saucepan and heat very gently until the butter is melted.
Put the eggs and egg yolk in a bowl and beat thoroughly.
Pour the beaten eggs into the melted butter mixture and stir carefully over a low heat until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon.
If the heat is too high the mixture will scramble. If this happens quickly push it through a sive.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a bowl.