Lemon curd sponge cake

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 10 - 12 people

It's pretty hard to beat a featherlight sponge cake and this one's no exception. It's fragrant with lemon rind and filled with a mouth-puckering lemon curd and lightly sweetened crème fraîche. A little candied lemon rind in syrup makes a nice finishing touch, but a simple dusting of icing sugar would also work well.

Pictured with hazelnut and raspberry daquiose.

  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) cornflour
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 40 gm melted butter
  • 250 gm crème fraîche
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 30 gm icing sugar, sieved
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  •  
  • Lemon curd cream
  • 250 ml (1 cup) lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 165 gm (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 150 gm butter, diced
  • 1 titanium-strength gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 150 gm crème fraîche
01   For lemon curd cream, whisk lemon juice and rind, yolks, eggs and sugar in a saucepan to combine, add butter, then stir continuously over medium-high heat until mixture thickly coats the back of the spoon (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in gelatine. Transfer to a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours). Whisk in crème fraîche and refrigerate until required. Lemon curd cream will keep for up to 5 days.
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Butter two 22cm diameter cake tins, line bases with baking paper and dust with flour. Whisk caster sugar, eggs, lemon rind and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (6-8 minutes). Sieve in flour, cornflour and baking powder in 2 batches, fold to combine, then fold in butter. Divide batter evenly between prepared tins, smooth tops and bake until golden brown and centres spring back when lightly pressed (8-10 minutes). Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
03   Whisk crème fraîche, cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl to soft peaks and refrigerate until required.
04   To serve, spread half the lemon curd cream over one cake, top with half the crème fraîche mixture, then top with remaining cake. Spread with remaining crème fraîche mixture, then, without using a nozzle, pipe remaining lemon curd cream on top and serve.
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