Friday, October 8, 2010

Baking for Nightshift- Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Tonight I go back to work after nearly 2 weeks off. It will be a bit of a shock to my system especially as I don't even feel like I have had a break as it has been school holidays. I guess that's the lot of every parent out there and not one where I am an isolated case. It has been good in lots of ways and I do really enjoy having my boys around more and not having the same old boring before and after school routine. However it's also a bit trying especially when the boys are baiting each other and dramas unfold.

To mark the going back to work occasion I thought I should bake a cake to take in. I got this idea from both a Delia Smith cookbook called 'Winter', and from a Cuisine magazine. It's a lemon cake layered up with lemon curd and a lemon drizzle icing on top. I had some yoghurt I needed to use up in the fridge so settled on a simple lemon yoghurt cake. I ADORE lemon curd and try not to have it in the house as I keep going back for just one more taste.... However I haven't yet got my best recipe for it so am trialling a different one each time until I find the one I like the most. My criteria this time was to be able to make it either in a pot (not a double boiler), or in the microwave. This recipe made a lovely tasting curd but I think it needs to be just a bit thicker.

Anyway the cake looks pretty good. It looks more like a dessert cake rather than one to take into work. I did cut a piece to try it and it tastes pretty good too. The curd may be a bit too runny for this so I hope that by the time I get it into work the cake won't be too soggy but I guess that's the risk we take sometimes. At least it will be nice and lemony and it's always nice to take baking to work too. The actual cake itself is really lovely. It's a light texture and has a nice light lemon flavour so a perfect carrier for the tarter tasting curd.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

2 eggs
1/2 c yoghurt
1/2 c milk
1 c sugar
1/2 c grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 c self raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180 C and butter and line 2x 23 cm tins

Mix everything together except the flour, then mix in to make a smooth batter (don't over mix it). 

Split between the tins and bake about 25 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Stand in the tin 10 mins or so then turn out onto a rack and let cool.

Split each one into 2 and spread with lemon curd.

Pour over a simple lemon drizzle icing.

Lemon Curd

100 gm butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest
100 ml lemon juice
175 gm caster sugar
3 eggs.

Dissolve sugar and melt the butter into the lemon juice and zest in a heavy bottom pot. Remove from the heat and add the beaten eggs. Put back onto a low heat a stir constantly until it thickens. Do NOT bring to the boil or it will curdle. Strain into jars (sterilised if you are keeping it for a while).

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