I’m trying to work my way through some of the ‘Sections’ in the book so that I have the same amount remaining from each category. My theory is I will then bake one from each category until I finally come to the end. I think from a quick count up (although I may be wrong) I have around 65 recipes left. This section Special Cakes together with Spiced Cakes are the two that I seem to have avoided. I need to get each section down to 3 recipes remaining and then I will begin my count down.
I decided on this recipe today as reading through the recipe it looked as though it could be eaten either as a dessert or as a cake. I intended on having this for our dessert this evening, it didn’t seem to be too heavy, so would be ideal after our slow roast pork.
As usual the first thing was to put the oven on to preheat at Fan 160°C. The next step was to grease a 20cm (8″) deep round cake tin and line the base and sides with parchment. As I’ve said before for some strange reason I quite enjoy lining cake tins, so this was an easy task for me.
There is no flour in this recipe instead you use fine semolina and ground almonds (of which I have rather a lot). 3 large eggs were separated and the yolks put into one bowl and the whites into another. Into the bowl with the egg yolks I added 100g caster sugar. I am pleased to say I am able to use my own chickens’ eggs at last as they’ve started laying again. Hopefully no more shop eggs now for a while, although the girls are getting old, so I may have to buy a couple of new chickens to keep me well supplied. The egg yolks and sugar were beaten together with my electric whisk until the mixture had become pale and light.
The next step was to add the juice of half a lemon. I thought I was being clever here as in the fridge there was half a lemon (the other half having been used in my gin and tonic last night!). Now have you ever tried to grate the rind off of half a lemon. It proved to be not at all easy. I couldn’t squeeze the lemon too hard as the juice kept pouring out. In the end I resorted to juicing the half lemon and then somehow squidging the remainder of it up so that I could grate the rind from it. It would have been so much easier just to have taken another lemon out of the fridge, but eventually I got there! The juice of the lemon was added to my egg/sugar mixture and whisked in until the mixture was thick. I took thick as being the consistency of double cream when whipped. Into this mixture I folded in the lemon rind, 50g fine semolina and 15g ground almonds. This didn’t seem very much to add, although it did make the mixture quite thick.
The egg whites were now whisked together until they formed soft peaks. This was folded into the lemon mixture until evenly blended. The mixture was tipped into the cake tin and the top levelled.
Into the oven it went for 30 minutes, after which time it was well risen and a lovely golden brown. It remained in the tin for a few minutes after which it was turned out of the tin and the parchment removed from the sides and bottom. The cake was left to cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled the cake had to be cut in half horizontally. This was a very light cake and I thought I had managed to cut the cake in half pretty evenly, but when I lifted the top off I could see that my knife must have been pointing up towards the middle as the middle of the cake was a lot thinner than the side. I did have to be careful as the cake appeared to be very light and fragile.
Time for the filling. Into a bowl went 150ml double cream (or you can use whipping cream). The cream was whisked until it held its shape and to this I added 4 tablespoons lemon curd. This was folded in. I put just over half of the cream onto the bottom half of the cake and on top of this I put some fresh raspberries (Mary’s recipe states 100g, but I used 150g). The raspberries just covered the cake. The raspberries were optional, but as I had bought some this week, I thought I would use them for this recipe. I intended on putting the rest of the lemon cream over the top of the raspberries but realised that this wouldn’t be easy to spread out, so instead I turned the top half of the cake over and spread the remaining cream over this. As the top of the cake was very thin in the middle due to my terrible cutting in half of the cake, I had to quickly flip the top of the cake over onto the bottom half. Luckily the top didn’t split, there was a huge sigh of relief from me at this stage.
The finishing touch was a sprinkling of icing sugar over the top. Mary does state in her recipe that if you wish double the quanities of cream and lemon curd and cover the top of the cake too, but I decided against this as I didn’t want it to be too heavy.
As I said at the beginning the cake was meant to be for pudding, but after taking the dog for a lovely long walk, I couldn’t resist having a slice with my cup of tea in the afternoon. Don’t worry, there was still plenty left for pudding later on …
It was a very light sponge indeed and the sweetness of the lemon curd in the cream was a lovely contrast with the sharpness of the raspberries. I’m pleased, however, that I didn’t put cream on the top as I think it would have been a little sickly for my liking. My only disappointment was I thought the sponge rather thin, it could have been thicker, perhaps if I bake it again I will put it in a smaller tin!
3rd March 2013