Friday, 27 May 2011

Lemon Sponge Cake


With it being a Bank Holiday weekend there's no better time to catch up with friends and family and enjoy the extra day off together.  Why not get everyone around, settle down with a nice cup of tea or a picnic in the park and enjoy a nice slice of this delicious lemon sponge cake.

For me, this cake is pure summer on a plate; the zesty yellow of the lemons and the butterfly pink sprinkles compliment the season perfectly.  It's sunny, bright, delicate and light and great for lazy summer days.





Lemon Sponge Cake

Ingredients

350g butter, softened
350g golden caster sugar, plus 1tbsp extra
250g self-raising flour
3 large eggs
100g ground almonds
130ml milk
2 lemons, zest and juice
220g lemon curd
200g icing sugar
100g butter
1tsp lemon juice
a few drops of yellow food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and grease and line two deep sandwich tins with baking paper.  In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at time until well combined.

Sift in the flour, add the ground almonds, milk, all the zest and half the lemon juice to the mix, beat until smooth.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.  Add the extra 1tbsp of sugar to the remaining lemon juice and mix.  Using a skewer, poke a few holes in each cake and drizzle the sugar/lemon juice mixture over. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins.

In the meantime mix the lemon curd in a small bowl until smooth and runny and leave to one side.  In another bowl add the icing sugar and butter and blend until creamy.  Add the lemon juice and food colouring and mix until well combined.

When the cakes are completely cold, remove from the tins and sandwich together using the lemon curd.  Using a spatula, spread the buttercream icing evenly all over the cake.  You can now leave the cake as it is, or decorate with anything you fancy, I used pink sugar butterflies.

Belle's Top Tip
Be careful with the sponges as they are very moist and could crumble easily if not handled with care.  Once out of the oven and when they've cooled in the tins try leaving them in the fridge for 10-20mins, you'll find them easier to handle when decorating later.