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Lemon Drizzle Cake by Nikki Legon

Lemon Drizzle Cake by Nikki Legon

Ideal for visiting guests

 

Serves 8

For the syrup:Lemon drizzle cake

4 lemons, juiced (100ml)

75g granulated sugar

For the filling:

3 large egg yolks

Juice (75ml) and finely grated zest of 3 lemons

45g unsalted butter

110g caster sugar

155g mascarpone

For the lemon sponge:

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

200g unsalted butter, cubed and softened

200g caster sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

200g self raising flour, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355F / gas mark 4 using the conventional setting.

2. Start by making the lemon filling: beat the egg yolks with the sugar using a wooden spoon in a small, heavy-based saucepan until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, zest and butter, and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time until it thickens. Once thick, allow to cool. Cover and chill until needed later on.

3. Grease a 20cm, round, spring form cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Place the sugar, softened butter and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric hand mixer. The result should be pale in colour, with a really light and fluffy texture. Now start adding the beaten egg, which should be at roughly the same temperature as the butter and sugar. Add it in stages, beating in after each addition. If it looks as if it’s going to curdle, add 1 tbsp flour. Finally, fold in the flour. You will be left with a really thick mixture, but this is what you want for a dense sponge so don’t feel that you have to add any milk. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes until it is shrinking away from the sides. Test it with a skewer to see if the mixture is cooked in the centre; it should come out clean or with crumbs, not with any mixture. Remove from the oven and prick all over with a cocktail stick about 20 times.

4. Stir the strained lemon juice into the sugar so it dissolves a bit, but not fully. Drizzle over the cake, slowly, waiting a few moments before adding more. Do this several times. It should leave a crust on the cake as the juices sink in. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. Using a serrated knife, slice the sponge in half horizontally and set aside. Finish off the filling by placing the mascarpone in a small bowl and swirling in the lemon curd. Spread the base of the cake with the mixture, replace the top half and cover with the rest of the mixture. Decorate with crystallised lemons. If you want to keep it for longer than a few hours, don’t add the mascarpone mixture until ready to serve.

 

Originally published in Living Poitou-Charentes

Photo: Shutterstock