You do have to set aside a bit of time to make this cake and to leave it to stand for a while to appreciate it at its best but, oh my goodness, it is worth it!
For the sponge
6 large free range eggs at room temperature
175g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
175g plain flour
For the Lemon Syrup
100g caster sugar
2 large unwaxed lemons
For the Filling
250ml double cream, well chilled
2tbsps caster sugar
500g lemon curd (bought is fine)
50g flaked almonds
2 tbsps lemon curd
2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and base lined with baking paper (I used 21cm tins which were fine)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4
- To make the sponge, break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk using an electric mixer until frothy
- Whisk in the sugar and continue whisking on high-speed for about 5 minutes or until very thick and pale in colour and the whisk leaves a ribbon- like trail. The mixture will massively increase in volume!
- Sift one-third of the flour onto the mixture and fold in carefully with a large metal spoon. Repeat to add the remaining flour in two batches, folding until there are no visible streaks of flour.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and spread evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until well risen to the top of the tins, a good golden brown and firm to the touch
- Remove from the oven and run a round bladed knife around the inside of the tins to loosen the sponges.
- Cover a wire cooling rack with a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with a little caster sugar
- Turn the sponges out carefully onto the paper and leave to cool completely
- Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup! Put the sugar and 100ml water into a small pan. Grate the zest from 1 lemon and add to the pan. Carefully peel the zest from the second lemon and cut into fine shreds (I didn’t faff about with this, I used my zester which does the job very efficiently!) set the shreds aside in a covered bowl for decoration.
- Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice. Add three tablespoons of juice to the pan. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for two minutes to make a light syrup. Leave to cool.
- To make the lemon cream filling, whip the cream until thick. Add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
- Mix one-third of the lemon curd with the ricotta. When thoroughly combined, fold this into the whipped cream to make a very smooth, thick mixture. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour.
- To assemble the cake, slice each sponge carefully in half horizontally to make 4 thin layers. Set one layer, cut surface up, on a serving plate. Brush or spoon one-quarter of the lemon syrup over the sponge and leave to soak in for a couple of minutes.
- Transfer just under half the lemon cream filling mixture to another bowl(this will be used to cover the cake); cover and chill.
- Using a palette knife, spread one-third of the remaining lemon cream over the soaked sponge.Carefully spread one-third of the remaining lemon curd on top of this.
- Set a second layer of sponge on top, again cut side up. Repeat with the lemon syrup, lemon cream and lemon curd. Add the third sponge layer with filling as before, then top with the final layer of sponge, this time cut side down.
- Brush the top of the cake with the last of the lemon syrup. Cover and chill for 30 minutes
- Cover the top and sides of the cake with the reserved lemon cream. Press flaked almonds around the side
- Decorate the top with dashes of lemon curd and the reserved lemon shreds, or fill a small piping bag with the lemon curd and pipe swirls or a lattice or ‘Happy Birthday’.
- Chill overnight in an airtight container. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
- Store in the fridge and eat within three days
This would make the most fantastic summer wedding cake, the sponge layers are as light as air and its lemony goodness slices nicely through the creaminess.
The Great British Bake Off app is a very useful little tool especially if you are standing in the supermarket feeling creative and wondering what to bake. You can browse by baker, occasion, ingredient or difficulty. Once you’ve chosen you get an overview with a skill level, the ingredients you will need and the steps you will need to take to bake it.
If you are sitting on your sofa browsing the app and get a little peckish you can email the ingredients to your beloved and ask them to pop to the shops on their way home to pick them up! The app complements the Bake Off book nicely and I will be using it again.
Each of the bloggers involved has been allocated a letter to pop on the top of their bake, you can see Cass’s on her Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes. There will be a letter a week over the ten weeks of the series, at the end you can unjumble them to find a word.
Ours, by sheer coincidence, happens to be Bonus Boy’s initial! Can you guess what it is?
It got the double thumbs up from him!
We received most of the ingredients to make gorgeous lemon cream cake, a complimentary copy of the Great British Bake Off Book and the app.