Thursday 24 April 2014

RECIPE: Lemon Sponge Cake

It was my Dad's birthday back in March, so I decided to make a cake. But no ordinary cake. A sheep cake! I had seen one in Waitrose and decided to set myself the challenge of recreating it, which was surprisingly easy. I wanted the sponge to be a light colour, so that the white chocolate curls would really look like wool. I settled on a lemon sponge, with lemon curd and lemon buttercream - lemon heaven!
What you'll need:
175g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
175g Unsalted Butter
175g Golden Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
For the Filling and Covering:
3 to 4 tbsp. Lemon Curd
150g Unsalted Butter
300g Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
100g White Chocolate Curls
Chocolate Flavoured Icing (you buy it in a tube, ready to ice with)

What to do:
1) Preheat the oven at 190'C. Grease and line two 18cm by 4cm cake tins. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add all the other ingredients. Using an electric whisk combine for about 1 minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency.

2) Next divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes.
3) When a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the sponge, remove from the oven. Let the sponge cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.

4) To make the lemon buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and to your preferred sweetness. Stir in the lemon juice.

5) On the top of one of the sponges, spread the lemon curd generously. Then put the other sponge on top. This is when I started to 'carve' the sheep. Using a bread knife, I cut at an angle around the top of the cake. The bottom sponge was no cut at all. This creates an upside bowl kind of shape.

6) Cover the 'sheep' shaped cake with lemon buttercream. This can be challenging as the crumbs of the cake will combine with the buttercream but it doesn't need to look perfect as you'll cover it with white chocolate curls.
7) Sprinkle the white chocolate curls all over the cake, until it is completely covered. Pipe on a sheep face using the chocolate flavoured icing and 4 little hooves.
Have you ever made a 'shaped' cake?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)


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