This is a lovely cake, fragrant with lemon and lemon curd. It’s really easy too! It’s based on a Mary Berry recipe, see here.
The cake is a one bowl cake – everything in the food processor. My kind of cake. Cooking a whole lemon and using this in the cake gives the cake that intense lemon flavour. It’s pretty versatile – I made it as a single layer first off, and then as I was taking it to lunch at friends I decided the cake needed jazzing up, so I quickly sliced it in half and filled the middle with more lemon mascarpone filling. Either version is great as you can see from the photos!
1 medium lemon
140g softened butter
140g caster sugar
140g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
2 free-range eggs
Icing (the icing also uses some of the whole lemon from above)
50g soft butter
175g icing sugar
For the lemon curd (You could also use bought lemon curd – but home-made is easy!)
100g unsalted butter it into small chunks
220g caster sugar
125 ml lemon juice
2 free-range eggs lightly beaten
Put the lemon in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until very soft and tender. Drain, cut the lemons in half and remove any pips.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C , 160 degrees fan forced. Grease and line with baking paper a medium sized cake tin – 20cm or 21 cm works well.
Place the lemon in a food processor and process until pulverised, but with some chunky bits left. Transfer the lemon mixture in a small bowl.
Put all the remaining cake ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in just over half of the lemon pulp. Keep the rest of the lemon mixture for the icing.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn the cake out, remove the baking paper and leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the icing, put the butter and icing sugar in the food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Add the mascarpone, blend again and then add the remaining lemon mixture and pulse until the icing is just mixed.
To make the lemon curd, put the butter, caster sugar and lemon juice in a bowl over simmering water (bain-marie) making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk for 5 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the beaten eggs. Put back onto the heat, and whisk or stir with a wooden spoon until the lemon curd has noticeably thickened – hard to say how long, at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat when thickened. To store lemon curd before using, place cling film on the surface of the curd to stop a skin forming. Store in the fridge.
To assemble the cake: Carefully cut the cake in half. Spread half the lemon mascarpone icing on the bottom cake layer, then place the top cake layer on top. Ice the top of the cake with the remaining icing. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of lemon curd (or more if you really like lemon curd) over the mascarpone icing, gently swirling the lemon curd into the icing.