I chose this cake from the 'Special Cakes' section of the 'Baking Bible'. This section contains the more complicated recipes. I chose this cake as it looked easier than the rest! I realise that I can't put off the more challenging recipes forever, but I am easing myself in gently! When reading through the recipe it didn't seem to be particularly difficult to make; maybe I was just being lulled into a false sense of security.
The first task of lining the cake tin was a bit more challenging than normal! Not only did I have to line the bottom of the tin, I also had to line the sides. The end result was far from perfect! Eggs were the first ingredient I needed and they had to be separated. One of the yolks made a bid for freedom and leaped from the shell. Thankfully it landed in the bowl of egg whites still intact! I then proceeded to chase the stubborn yolk around the bowl with a spoon until I eventually managed to get it into the correct bowl. I tipped some sugar in to join the egg yolks and whisked them together until the mixture turned pale. I used a balloon whisk; it didn't take much effort on my part before I had achieved the correct colour and consistency. There is no flour in this cake. In its place I used semolina and ground almonds. As I weighed them out, I couldn't believe what a small amount of ground almonds I needed; I couldn't understand the point of adding it in such a small quantity! I whisked the semolina and ground almond into the egg and sugar mixture and kept whisking until the mixture was thick. Now to add the lemon; surprisingly I only needed to use half of it. In the instructions it adds the juice first, so I got carried away and made the mistake of adding it before I had grated the zest! Grating zest off of a limp, squashed lemon is fairly tricky and not to be recommended! The lemon juice and zest were folded into the mixture. Then I turned my attention to the bowl of egg whites. I used my electric whisk to create soft peaks; it always amazes me how quickly they transform from a clear liquid to white, foamy 'clouds'. I carefully folded the egg whites into the lemony mixture and then tipped it into the prepared cake tin. All that was left to do was to place it in the heated oven and hope for the best.
The cake did rise a little and turned a nice golden brown. When it was out of the oven, I left it to cool for just a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I wasn't looking forward to cutting the cake in half, as it was fairly thin. Once I had made the first neat incision I felt my confidence grow! It wasn't until I stood back to look at the cut cake I realised that one end was thick and other was very thin, just like one of my doorstop sandwiches!
Now for the cream and lemon curd filling, yum! As we had a lot of cream, I decided to follow Mary's suggestion of doubling the amount of cream and lemon curd; this meant I could cover the top of the cake as well as the middle. It was very simple to make. I just had to whip up some cream and then stir in lemon curd. Unfortunately my hands didn't follow my brain's instructions and I ended up putting a tablespoon of lemon curd into the bowl of un-whipped cream, I had to fish the dollop back out so I could start again!! Eventually, I sandwiched the cakes together with the lemon cream and then generously covered the top. Mary offers an option of adding some raspberries, but I wanted to keep it as a straightforward lemon cake, so decided against it. Also, raspberries are expensive!
I cut a slice each for Neil and me. Neil's first comment was that it was very lemony. Hmmmm, he really is on the ball!! I loved the lemon cream, so tasty and fresh. The cake was short in texture and I could really taste the ground almonds. This is ironic as I hadn't seen the point of adding such a small amount. It shows how little I know! It was a tasty, cake, but quite rich. I think it is nice to have the cream in the middle and on the top, but I think I should have cut myself a smaller slice! I wouldn't say this was a difficult cake to make, but I still managed to create my own little problems!
|A double helping of cream!|