This was such a good choice for the Cake Slice Bakers this month – a lovely and light and zesty lemon cake. Perfect for the arrival of spring, lighter days and the hope of warmer weather. Plus its National Lemon Chiffon Day on the 29th March in the U.S. how fitting is that! It’s also Mother Day this Sunday in the UK and this cake would make the perfect afternoon treat to share with your mum. I gave mine to my mum as an early Mother Day treat and it looked lovely on the table next to some daffodils – picked fresh from the garden. I love the appearance of these bright and cheerful flowers, they always reassure me that spring is on the way.
Anyway, onto the cake itself. If you like lemons this is the cake for you. In total it uses around 5 lemons which results in a wonderful lemon hit. The chiffon cake was incredibly light and tender with a sort of marshmallow, springy meringue type consistency thanks to the use of so many whisked egg whites into the mix. It’s similar in texture to an angel food cake, but the egg yolks are also included, giving it a little more substance. The cake layers were delicately lemony and provided a great background to the zingy lemon curd we made to sandwich it together. Wow that lemon curd was so good – fresh, zesty and zingy and when paired with the sweet airy light sponge and the creamy frosting it was divine and so easy to make that I’ll definitely make it again. I had some lemon curd leftover and ate it spread on slices of crusty bread – heavenly.
I thought the cake looking a little dull left plain and so I coloured a little of the cream yellow and piped it on in a series of flowers and dots, which I think made it look a lot more sunny and spring-like. I think next time I might up the lemon zest in the cake for an even bigger hit. So for all you lemon lovers out there, this cake is a sure winner and guaranteed to give your taste buds a tingle. Click to see the other Cake Slice Bakers lemon cakes.
Triple Lemon Chiffon Cake
(Adapted from Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne).
Lemon Chiffon Cake
8 eggs, separated
55ml sunflower oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
½ tsp cream of tartar
225g and a separate 110g caster sugar
210g cake flour (180g plain flour and 30g cornflour)
½ tsp baking powder
Method – for the cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of three 9inch/22cm cake tins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, water, lemon juice and zest.
In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until light and frothy. Slowly add the 100g of caster sugar, whisking until soft peaks form.
Sift the flour(s) and baking powder over the egg yolk mixture, add the remaining caster sugar and beat to create a smooth paste.
Add a quarter of the whisked egg whites to the flour batter and beat in to slacken the mix.
Fold in the remaining egg whites gently, until no streaks remain but no longer than necessary to retain as much air as possible.
Divide the batter between the three tins and bake for 15-18 minutes until risen, puffy and springy when gently pressed.
Remove from the oven and immediately run a sharp knife around the rim of the tins to release the cake. They will shrink and deflate slightly on cooling.
Once cool, turn out the cake and carefully feel away the greaseproof paper ready for assembly.
2 egg yolks
110g caster sugar
115ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
Grated zest of 3 lemons
50g butter, at room temperature
Method – for the lemon curd
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in the base of a saucepan. Gently heat the mixture, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Continue to whisk until the mixture is a thick spreadable consistency and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil.
Remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the butter while the curd is still warm before covering the surface with cling film, so it touches the curd and prevents a skin forming. Refrigerate until cool.
330ml double cream
3 tbsp of the lemon curd
2 tbsp icing sugar (optional)
Method – for the lemon cream
Whip the cream and icing sugar (if using) until it starts to thicken. Add the lemon curd and whisk until soft peaks form.
(You don’t want it too stiff or it won’t spread over your cake easily).
To assemble the cake
Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate and top with a quarter (4tbsp) of the lemon curd. Place another cake layer on top and spread over another quarter of the curd and top with the final cake layer.
Cover the top and side with a generous layer of the lemon cream. Decorate as you wish and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the cream to stiffen.
Makes one 9inch/22cm cake. Serves 10-12
The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington
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