This is a recipe that I converted from a Delia Smith recipe. I love lemon and this cake is deliciously lemony to the extreme. It's also really easy to make.
When you present your friends with this cake, they will oooh and aaah about how much time it must have taken you to make, and how much skill you must have to be able to make something so impressive.
Believe me, it's not that hard! It just takes a little time and patience.
This cake has a lovely texture too. Some gluten free cakes can be dry and some can be heavy. This one is quite light and has lots of air.
By the way, this is all that was left after the first day!
Over the years I've tried out many gluten free flours. In fact, my gluten free baking started with the purchase of a package of gluten free bread flour, but that's a story for another day.
I always come back to my gluten free flour recipe.
This is made up of rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch.
Guar gum (along with xanthan gum) helps to thicken and prevents the ingredients from separating. It also serves to trap air within the mix, which ultimately makes the cake rise when you bake it. This is what makes gluten free baked goods seem more like baking made with wheat flour, and why it's essential when making gluten free cakes.
This cake is so easy to make - you sift the flour baking powder and gum together, then throw in all the other (cake) ingredients and beat it. I use my Kenwood to do this but you could do it by hand. Just make sure that the mixture is lovely and smooth.
Prepare two 18cm round tins. I know these seem quite small, but these cakes don't rise a huge amount so if you use larger ones the cakes will be too thin for you to slice.
These tins have been brushed with melted butter and then lined with parchment paper.
Just as a side note, when your cakes are cooked, remove the paper (don't throw it away), give the tins a wipe out with a paper towel and place the paper back in. You can reuse the paper next time. I don't wash my tins unless they are really dirty. Usually any cake scraps just wipe off.
Divide the mixture between the two tins. Smooth the top of each cake with a spatula and bake. I generally check my cakes at about 30 minutes, by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, then the cakes are done. You will also notice that the cakes have pulled away from the edges.
Leave the cakes in the tins on a cooling rack for just a couple of minutes, then turn them out onto the cooling rack.
When the cakes are cool, cut them in half horizontally. I did this with a cake leveller but you can also do this with a knife. If you don't feel confident cutting the cakes, you can just leave them. This means you will only have two layers instead of four.
Until I made this cake the first time I had never made lemon curd, even though I love it. Had I known how incredibly easy it was, I would have been making it forever.
While the cake is in the oven, heat the castor sugar, lemon zest and juice into a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, simply but a basin over a pot of boiling water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Give the eggs a little whisk, just to mix them.
When the sugar is dissolved, add the eggs quickly, whisking all the time, and the butter.
You will need to keep whisking the mixture until the butter has melted and the mixture thickens - you don't need to stand over it, just whisk it often to ensure it's not separating. When it thickens, take it off the heat. I transfer mine to another bowl so that it cools down more quickly.
Once the cakes are cooled, add a third of the lemon curd to the lower layer of the cake (if you have four layers - if you have two layers, use half). Spread it evenly out to the edges. Place the next layer on top and repeat.
This icing is more like a glaze than an icing.
Once you have stacked your cakes into luscious lemon curd filled layers, make the icing simply by mixing the lemon juice into the icing sugar. Ensure there are no lumps then pour it onto the cake. Don't worry if it goes over the edges. It will soak into the cake and make it even more incredible. If you feel like it's a bit thin, add more icing sugar.
For a last touch, you can add a pile of lemon zest to the centre of the cake as decoration.
Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together. You may need to add more icing sugar. Pour the icing over the cake and spread. Place the extra zest in a pile on the top.
October 16, 2020