Lemon Victoria Sandwich Cake
I love visiting National Trust properties and stepping back to a time where interiors featured acres of polished wood panelling, heavy textured brocades and wonderful displays of collector’s ephemera, taking a turn around the gardens, then of course heading for the tearoom. The NT has got the market sewn up when it comes to proper cakes so I couldn’t wait to see their beautiful new Simply Baking book, which comes out today. It lives up to expectations and I was hard pushed to choose just one cake, as they all look stunning. In the end I opted for this luxurious lemony take on a good old fashioned Victoria Sandwich. This recipe serves 8 (dainty slice) or 6 (good wedge) and you will need…
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
4 medium organic eggs
225g self-raising flour, sifted
6 tablespoons milk
finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
170g butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
sugared primroses and lemon slices
1 Preheat the oven to fan 170°C/gas 4. Lightly oil two 18cm/7in sandwich tins. Line the base of each with baking parchment.
2 To make the sponge cake, cream the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or electric whisk, until pale and fluffy. Add the grated lemon zest.
3 Break the eggs into a jug, roughly beat with a fork and whisk a little at a time into the creamed butter. If the mixture begins to curdle, add 2 tablespoons flour. Once all the eggs have been whisked into the mixture, use a flat metal spoon to gently fold in the remaining flour in three batches. Loosen the mixture with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 6 tablespoons milk, so that the mixture drops off the spoon in soft blobs. Quickly divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
4 Place on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then, using a knife, gently loosen the sides of each cake from its tin. Turn out, peel off the baking paper, and leave to cool.
5 To make the lemon butter cream, place the lemon zest, butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat thoroughly until light and fluffy. Then gradually whisk in 4½ tablespoons lemon juice.
6 Once the cakes are cold, spread a third of the butter cream on one of the cakes. Sandwich the other cake on top, baked-side up. Spread another third of the cream on the top and the remaining third around the sides of the cake. Chill for 30 minutes to set the butter cream. Decorate with sugared primroses or cut a lemon in half lengthways, and then cut into thin slices.
Recipe taken from National Trust Simply Baking by Sybil Kapoor (£25, National Trust Books) http://www.anovabooks.com/simply-baking
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