I made this cake for Loire Valley Clandestine Cake Club’s Easter meeting. The idea comes from a cake made by Dom of Bellau kitchen, where he filled a sponge cake with lemon curd and an Eton Mess mixture, and the recipe also included vodka and elderflower cordial. You can read all about it here.
My version had a filling of home made lemon curd – only the second time in my life that I have made it, the first being about fifty years ago in a domestic science lesson at school. I was surprised how easy it was to make and also how absolutely fabulous it tasted. Well worth the effort for something special. I then put some crushed meringue pieces into whipped cream to make the Eton mess part of the filling.
I used a Mary Berry all-in-one Victoria sponge recipe for the cake and decorated it with a pile of chocolate mini eggs, glued onto the top of the cake with a spoonful of the same lemon curd.
I had the usual problem with the French cream. In the past I have occasionally had success in whipping it to the right consistency but recently there have been a few disasters where, no matter how hard I whisked/whipped/beat it, it simply would not thicken. It would become fluffy enough to serve separately in a bowl to be handed round with a dessert, but not stiff enough to support one cake on top of another, which is very frustrating.
Consequently during transport to the CCC venue the top layer slid almost completely off the bottom one and I had to push it back into position, making the cake look even more of a mess. I suppose the slipperiness of the layer of lemon curd didn’t help the situation! Luckily it tasted lovely so that made up for its untidy appearance!
(Other members confessed to bringing double cream, or Elmlea, which apparently has a longer shelf life, to France from the UK, to ensure success with their whipped cream!)
You can read about the Loire Valley CCC meeting here.
I am linking this cake to the “Love Cake” challenge run by Ness at Jibber Jabber UK. The theme this month is “Step into Spring” and you can read all about it here.
For the lemon curd (make it at least one day before the cake!)
200g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Method for the lemon curd
Put the grated rind and juice of the lemons into a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Add the sugar and butter and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
Beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a separate bowl, strain into the lemon mixture through a sieve and whisk until well combined.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and pour into two small, sterilised jars.
Seal and label the jars and store in a cool place. Use within three months. Once opened, store in the fridge.
Makes two small 225g jars.
For the cake
225g softened butter (I normally use Lurpak spreadable but this time used a French equivalent)
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
For the filling
150ml double or whipping cream
2 tblsp lemon curd
2 large meringue nests, shop bought or home made, crushed – there should be a mixture of crumbs and a few largish pieces.
a handful of chocolate mini eggs for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and level the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes until done.
Cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the baking paper.
Beat the cream until thick or fairly stiff and mix in the crushed meringue pieces.
Spread the lemon curd on the top of one cake. Spread the cream and meringue mixture on top of that. Put the other cake on top of the filling, dust with icing sugar and secure a few chocolate mini eggs to the top with a spoonful of lemon curd.
Cuts into 8-10 slices.