It was our 19th wedding anniversary last week so I had the perfect excuse to try a couple of new desserts. I'm still perfecting the other recipe but I do promise to share it soon! In the meantime, here is the lemon and blueberry cake which marked one of the anniversary celebrations. Yellow and purple are two of my favourite colours (I should have added that to the 17 things you didn't know about me list!), hence why I was probably drawn to this cake.
So let me describe this cake to you. Three layers of blueberry sponge with lemon curd layered between each sponge and then the cake is completely covered by a lemon frosting. Too much lemon you may be thinking but I can assure you that it is not. There is a beautiful marriage of lemon and blueberry. This cake looked like summer but tasted like spring, light and fluffy and inked with blueberries. When the cake is cut and sliced, you will hear gasps of surprise as your cake recipients see the dots of blueberry.
Lemon and Blueberry Cake adapted from www.sweetapolita.com (Check out this wonderful website - you will be enthralled)
For the Cake:
290g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
400g fresh blueberries
Half a cup of sour cream
120ml whole milk (Though I used semi skimmed milk)
Half a teaspoon pure lemon extract
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of one lemon
227g unsalted butter softened
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
For the Lemon Frosting:
227g unsalted butter, softened
Grated zest of 2 lemons
625g icing sugar, sifted
30ml fresh lemon juice
60ml whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
a pinch of salt
a few drops of yellow food colouring
To Make the Cake:
Preheat your oven to around 170 degrees centigrade.
Grease and line three 8 inch baking tins with parchment.
Take one tablespoon of flour and toss the blueberries in this flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest.
In a free standing mixer beat together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes.
Add in the eggs one at a time.
Alternately mix in the flour and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Keep the mixer on the lowest speed for this part.
Fold in the blueberries very gently.
Divide the mixture as equally as you can between your 3 tins. You can weigh your tins to ensure equality!
Bake for at least 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cakes (The third tin on the lower shelf may take slightly longer - my third tin took 35 minutes).
Whilst the cake is cooling, you can start making the frosting by creaming the butter and lemon zest in an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Then slowly add the sifted icing sugar and mix for about 2 minutes more.
Add all the remaining ingredients and beat on a medium to high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
Add the yellow food colouring, a couple of drops at a time until you achieve your preferred shade of yellow.
Assemble the cake by spreading lemon curd (see below) between each layer of the three tiers and then cover the whole of the cake with the lemon frosting.
Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve, bringing it to room temperature before serving
To Make the Lemon Curd:
I used a Mary Berry recipe as found on the bbc good food website here www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/angel_food_cake_with_04002
I halved the quantities to the following amounts:
5 large egg yolks
7oz caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
3oz unsalted butter, cubed
Mix all the ingredients except the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes stirring the mixture.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.
(Any extra lemon curd can be stored in sterilised jars)
For those of you pushed for time, you could always buy a jar of good quality lemon curd. I would have no problem in doing this as I am a firm believer in taking a shortcut if it makes life easier - something else that you may not have known about me!