Saturday, 1 November 2014
Cake!!!! Lemon and Blueberry Layer Cake
I don't make enough cakes for this blog, or for anybody or anything, really. And I should, because I have really enjoyed pottering around in my kitchen, whisking and tasting and creating something that looks ever so pretty. And whatever else I make and do, baking is the biggest challenge; it's a scientific thing; no hurling of a bit of this and a bit of that, hoping that something amazing will take place. Oh no, it's 'get the scales out' time. And be prepared to take the consequences if you stray too far from the path.
However, there was a little straying that took place here in terms of the ingredients for this recipe. In my Hummingbird Bakery cook book, this started out as lemon and raspberry, but I decided to ring the changes by turning this into a blueberry cake, for blueberries and cakes are lovely. I'm thinking blueberry muffins, yum.
There are some significant adaptations to the original recipe therefore, and it doesn't really bare too much resemblance to the original. I substituted yoghurt for the original buttermilk, as I have a memory of a lemon cake made with yoghurt which was completely delicious. I also tripled the lemon zest content - If a cake is going to be lemon cake, then it has to be lemon. I don't want you to think that this 'zings' with too much lemon; it doesn't. It 'sings'. Just the way I like it.
I don't like making icing with the usual full fat cream cheese. It's too unstable and I think it turns frosting to liquid without too much sleight of hand. I prefer Mascarpone. It is far more well behaved and I love the creaminess it beings to frosting. The frosting below is ample for this cake -you could frost the sides if you wanted, but I decided on less is more and left the remainder of the frosting to be devoured by a passing Lola, or Finn,
Lemon and Blueberry Layer Cake
Cuts into 10 - 12 slices
For the sponge
110g unsalted butter, softened
380g caster sugar
320g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
320ml natural yoghurt
zest of three lemons and the juice of one
3 large eggs
salt to taste
80g blueberry jam
For the frosting:
I tend to eyeball and taste frosting to get it to the consistency that I want, but it goes a little bit like this:
150g unsalted butter, softened
250g mascarpone cheese
500g icing sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest of a lemon
A handful of blueberries
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line two large cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Make the sponge by creaming the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, putting a couple of spoonfuls of flour in with the last egg to prevent the mixture from splitting.
Add the zest and the lemon juice and mix until combined.
Lastly, add the flour and the baking powder and the yoghurt alternatively, taking care not to overbeat. Mix until just combined.
Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the frosting by gradually mixing the butter, the mascarpone, the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice and together on a low speed with the electric whisk until combined and there are no large lumps of butter and the icing has lost its grainy texture.
Once the sponges are cool, assemble the cake by placing one layer on a large plate.
Spread with a layer of blueberry jam and top with 3-4tbsp of frosting, smoothing out with a palette knife.
Sandwich the second layer on top and frost the top of the cake (and the sides if you want).
Decorate with a few blueberries, some lemon zest and a sprinkling of icing sugar.