Place: My kitchen.
Date: January 9, 2012.
Camera: BlackBerry Curve.
When we went on our little excursion to the Maltby Street market at the weekend, the cheesemonger gave us a 250g block of short-dated unsalted butter for free. So, with a block of butter in the fridge and six amazing-looking free-range duck eggs — the shells in a range of delicate blues, greys and creams — I decided to bake a cake this afternoon using ingredients I had on hand. That included some caster sugar, a little bit of flour and a giant organic lemon.
I found a recipe for a lemon cake in 101 Cakes and Bakes, published by BBC Good Food Magazine, and with some slight adaptations in presentation, a recipe for frosting discovered on the internet and a new jar of lemon curd just waiting to be opened, this is the result!
If you're tempted to make it yourself, here's the recipe:
Ingredients for cake
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
175g SR flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon warm water
finely grated zest of one lemon
Ingredients for topping and filling
200g soft cream cheese
60g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of flaked almonds (optional)
Jar of lemon curd
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5/Fan oven 170°C. Lightly butter and line two 18cm/7in round cake tins.
2. Cream butter and sugar together, then add eggs.
3. Fold in flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Add the tablespoon of water.
4. Divide the mixture between the two tins, smooth, then bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes spring back when pressed with a finger.
5. To make the topping, put the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk with an electric beater until combined.
6. Heat the almonds in a small fry pan over a medium heat, shaking all the time, until the almonds begin to change colour. (They burn very quickly, so take care!) Leave to cool.
7. Once the cakes have cooled, sandwich together using the lemon curd, using as much or as little as you like (alternatively, you could make extra topping and use that instead). Then spoon the topping over the top and add the almonds.