I have a lovely, light, recipe today. A lemon sponge which is covered with a lemon icing. Not too much lemon though, as I rather like just enough of the lemon flavour in both to let you know it is there, but not enough to really swamp the taste buds.
For this recipe I was concerned that over beating the mixture would put too much air in it, resulting in a sponge that sinks.. So, although the recipe says to mix all the ingredients together at once, I mixed everything except the flour, baking powder and almonds, first, creaming them together until they were light and fluffy. Then I just folded in the dry ingredients. It seems to have worked quite well, since the sponge didn’t sink at all, which has happened to me before.
It is very easy to over mix, particularly if using an electric mixer. But I think I got it just right, mixing the wet ingredients in the mixer and then folding in the dry.
I am very pleased with the result, a light sponge, very moist as the lemon juice has been brushed over the top, and sweet, lemony icing.
- 175g butter, softened
- 140g caster sugar
- 140g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 175g icing sugar
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Line the base and sides of a 20cm(8 inch) square tin with baking parchment (the easiest way is to cross 2 x 20cm strips over the base).
- Beat the butter, caster sugar, flour, almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and the lemon zest and juice from ½ lemon with an electric whisk until smooth.
- Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for a few minutes.
- With a tooth pick make holes, about an inch deep, in lines over the cake(about 1 inch apart)
- Brush lemon juice over the cake, letting it soak in.
- When the surface looks quite dry repeat the process with more lemon juice.
- When the cake is completely cooled place the the icing sugar in a bowl and mix with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Mix together until you have a thick paste. Don’t use too much liquid or the icing will be too runny.
- Ice the top of the cake with the icing mixture, spreading it all over. Be careful how you do this or you will pull up some of the cake.
- Allow the icing to set firm, or at least firmer.
- Then cut the cake in half, so you have two four inch by 8 inch cakes.
- Cut each of the 8 inch lengths into 6 to 8 slices.
- Use a hot, sharp knife to do this, so it doesn’t smear too much icing down the sides as you cut.