When Life Hands You Lemons…

This weekend I got my bake on.  I’ve been desperate for a stand mixer since I was a little girl, but my mum wouldn’t let me get one.  Mum is a brilliant cook, but she doesn’t bake, so her appreciation for baking gadget is little.  Andrew said I could get one after we moved in, and yesterday I finally got my hands on one.  I would love to own a Kitchen Aid but I can’t justify spending over £400 on a mixer as baking for me is just a little hobby.  Curry’s currently have their Kenwood Patissier Food Mixer  on special at £139.99, usually £149.99 – not a massive saving, but I’d rather it is was in my pocket.

First and foremost, none of these recipes are my own.  Two are from ‘The Delia Collection – Baking’ and BBC Good Food.  You can get the Delia book on Amazon.

I had a flick through Delia and decided to make Iced Lemon Curd Layer Cake




Cake

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 175g butter (I used unsalted) at room temp
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
Lemon Curd
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 large juicy lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g unsalted butter
Icing
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 50g sifted icing sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
You will need two 18cm sponge tins that are 4cm deep, grease the tin, then line with baking parchment, and then grease again.  Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 3, 325f or 170c.
Now I didn’t buy new sponge tins, and mine are probably about 22cm, so I only got two layers, as you cut the cakes in half.
Method
  • Beat all of the cake ingredients in a bowl – use an electric whisk if you can.  Beat until you have a smooth creamy consistency.
  • Divide the mix between your two tins and cook for approx. 35mins or until the sponge springs back when you press with a little finger.
  • When the cakes are cooking, make your lemon curd.
  • Put sugar and lemon zest in a bowl 
  • Whisk the lemon juice and eggs together, then add to the sugar
  • Cut the butter into little pieces and add this to the mix,
  • Place the bowl over a pan over barely simmering water and stir until thickened – approx 20mins
  • When the cakes are cooked, wait 5 minutes then turn out to cool onto wire racks.
  • When they are cold, but them in half horizontally (I didn’t do this as my cakes weren’t thick enough)
  • Spread the curd between each layer and stack them on top of each other.
  • To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in lemon juice until it is soft and runny
  • Wait 5 minutes and spread with a knife
  • Sprinkle lemon zest over the top
Andrew is a massive chocolate addict so I made him Chocolate Fudge Brownies which are also from the Delia recipe book.

Cake
  • 50g dark chocolate broken into pieces (70-75% cocoa solids)
  • 110g butter (I used unsalted)
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 110g of chopped nuts – walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or brazils (I used brazils)
Topping
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 75ml evaporated milk
  • 110g dark chocolate broken into pieces (70-75% cocoa solids)
  • 40g butter
  • 2 drops of pure vanilla extract
You will need 15 x 25.5cm tin 2.5cm deep, greased and lined with baking parchment, then greased again.  Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4, 350f or 180c.
Method

  • Melt the butter and the broken up chocolate in a bowl over simmering water on a low heat.
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients, spread the mixture into the tin and bake for 30mins.
  • Leave in tin to cool.
  • For the topping, combine the sugar and evaporated milk in a heavy based pan.
  • Place the pan over a low heat and allow the sugar to dissolve, stirring frequently.
  • When the sugar granules have melted, bring to the boil and leave for 6mins simmering gently.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.
  • Now stir in the butter and the vanilla extract.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cool, cover with cling film and put in the fridge for a couple of hours until thickened and spreadable. (I had the place mine into a bowl with warm water as it was too solid)
  • Spread over the brownies and cut into 15 pieces!
The brownies should be moist and chewy, don’t worry that you’ve done it wrong – you haven’t.
Today I decided to use up my remaining lemons and make Lemon Drizzle Cake, a personal favourite that I have only ever shop bought.
I searched for a recipe and found the following here.  It is a BBC Good Food recipe by Tana Ramsey, rather than type out the recipe for your, I’ll let you follow the link as this post is getting very long!!
Let me know if you try any of these and how you get on.
I will let you into a little secret – I forgot to add the eggs into the Chocolate Fudge Brownie mix on my first attempt, don’t do this, eggs are important!!!
Have you entered my Big Summer Giveaway?  You can win 18 products from my favourite brands, worth over £130.  Enter here.
Lauren xx
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