Well today’s challenge was to make the lemon cake. I decided after reading the instructions that I could cheat by buying the lemon curd and the candied lemon peel. This created an internal storm. I am all for cheating where I can – hence take away sushi on a Friday night. Now I am more than capable of making sushi and have done so – but really why bother when Hello Sushi at Bethlehem has it all laid out for me. More variety. No washing up. Ginger to the ready. What more could a girl want. But with baking. Should I cheat? Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Probably tomorrow. But I repeat – not today!!
Luckily the MOTH loves growing editable foods so we have 2 old lemon trees that are currently laden with fruit. One is a Mayer ( think large, ugly with lots of bumps) the other Lisbon (pretty, smaller, no bumps). The Lisbon – perfect for candied peel. This was so easy to make! Who knew? And so easy to eat! A quarter of the lemon peel was kept for the cake, the rest I snacked on over the day. Rational – I have a cold. The Vit. C will be good for me. The rich sugary syrup that it was simmered in? That is now in the fridge and will form the base for hot lemon, honey and ginger wine drinks for me. Medicinal of course!!
The lemon curd was also a doddle – but the recipe lied. It said it would only take 2-3 minutes of whisking over simmering water for the mixture of lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter to thicken. It took 17 minutes and 22 seconds!! Nose dripping, sweat from brow dripping, saucepan handle wedged precariously against my stomach folds (OSH would not have been amused). I whisked and whisked and whisked till I thought my arms would drop off. But I did it! And what a lemony buttery treat it made – perfect on fruit muffins (a wee snack while the cake was baking).
This lemon cake had a major advantage over last weeks. The raw cake mixture was to die for!! Why do you never see the contestants licking out the bowl? Do they wait for the camera to be off them – I would. I suspect that they are far more professional and disciplined than I will ever be. Sigh.
I had of course made an error. This lemony cake was suppose to be a triple tier with curd and cream between each and a pretty pattern made with icing sugar on top. Their 3 cake tins – 8 inches (20cm). My 2 tins – 1 x 9 inch (23cm) and 1 x 10 inch (25cm)! Woops. Never mind. Two uneven layers it will be. And more curd and cream on the top to add height.
Result – not bad. Have no idea if the crumb and texture was right – needed Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry for that critique. Flavor – NOT lemony enough!! Really! This cake had the juice of 2 large lemons in it. It had candied lemon peel and the zest of 4 lemons in it. It should have tasted of lemon. The raw mixture did – so why not the cake? Even the MOTH commented on this – brave of him. He is not Paul Hollywood! Next time I will poke holes all over the cake and drizzle with a proper drizzle mixture of lemon and sugar.
What I can share is that despite the MOTHS flirtation with danger – he has eaten ½ the cake already while feeding tip bits to Pansy – who was bug eyed and drooling with joy and allowing Pippin to lick the cream and curd off his finger – she kept batting his finger if he wasn’t quick enough. The result? A short time later I found Pippin on the table happily licking off the cream and lemon curd!! Oh dear! Happy baking.
Oh P.S. will add the link to last weeks cake. It is still my favourite- so far.