Raspberry and Lemon Layer Cake

Mum’s birthday, so I suppose I should put some effort in. I first made this cake last Easter and this is my second, more refined attempt at it. There are quite a few components involved but it’s actually fairly simple and the result certainly impresses. Last time I made it, the sponge was normal Victoria sponge rather than the no-butter (and better) sponge used this time. The flavours were strawberry, lemon and almond, whilst this time it’s raspberry, lemon and vanilla. The lemon curd also failed miserably last time as I didn’t know what I was doing or looking for whereas this time I do. Overall, a huge improvement on what was already a fantastic cake so can’t complain.

This cake serves 12 people.

Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)

300ml Double Cream
7oz White Chocolate (break into small pieces)
5 Lemons (zest and juice needed)
½ tsp Salt
3oz Butter
19 ½ oz Caster Sugar
8 Eggs (yolks and whites needed)
½ oz Granulated Sugar
4oz Raspberries
1tsp Cornflour
250ml Oil (I used olive oil but you can use any)
250ml Natural Yogurt
2tsps Vanilla Extract
12oz Self-Raising Flour
4tbsps Raspberry Jam
½ oz Icing Sugar

Recipe:

Make a white chocolate and lemon ganache – place a medium size pan on a low heat and heat the cream until hot to the touch. Stir in the white chocolate, the juice from one of the lemons and the salt until all of the chocolate has melted. Transfer to a bowl or plastic tub and leave to set (chill in the fridge once it has cooled down enough). Note that before you juice the lemon, you need to peel strips of the skin off with a potato peeler to be used later.

The ganache before it goes into the fridge to set

The ganache before it goes into the fridge to set

Make lemon curd – place a medium size glass bowl over a medium size pan with some water in and place on a low heat. Melt the butter along with the juice and zest of the remaining four lemons. Whisk in 7oz of the caster sugar until fully dissolved. Whisk in 3 whole eggs and the yolk of another egg (save the white) with a hand whisk until fully combined.

All of the ingredients for the lemon curd mixed together in a double-boiler

All of the ingredients for the lemon curd mixed together in a double-boiler

Continue to heat the lemon curd mixture, stirring regularly, until it thickens (you’ll feel resistance when whisking the liquid; takes about 15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl or plastic tub and leave to set (chill in the fridge when cool enough).

The lemon curd before it goes into the fridge to set

The lemon curd before it goes into the fridge to set

Make candied fruit decorations – take the strips of lemon peel created earlier and six of the raspberries. Place the granulated sugar on a plate. Brush the fruit with the reserved egg white and then coat with the sugar. Place on a plate to dry and set.

The candied fruit

The candied fruit

Make the meringue top – take a sheet of baking paper and a cake tin (mine is 19cm, 7 ½ inch). Draw around the cake tin onto the baking paper. Flip the sheet of paper over and line a baking tray with the baking paper and “glue” it down with butter.

In a small glass bowl, whisk the remaining egg white used above with another egg white until soft peaks form (the meringue is white and holds it shape) using an electric whisk.

"Soft peak" stage of the meringue

“Soft peak” stage of the meringue

Pre-heat the oven to 120oC (250oF, Gas Mark ½).

Whisk in 2oz of caster sugar until shiny. Fold in another 2oz of caster sugar and the cornflour with a metal spoon until fully combined. Place 4tbsps of the meringue into the centre of the circle on the sheet of baking paper. Carefully spread the meringue out into an even circle that is slightly smaller than the drawn circle. Transfer the remaining meringue into a piping bag fit with a wide star-shaped nozzle. Pipe six spirals of meringue onto the circle of meringue as shown below, trying to leave a hollow in the centre of each spiral.

The meringue before it goes into the oven

The meringue before it goes into the oven

Bake the meringue for 30 minutes and then turn the oven off. Leave the meringue in the oven for at least 2 hours to cool before taking out.

In a small pan on a low heat, place the remaining raspberries, ½ oz of caster sugar and a little bit of water. Reduce the raspberries to an even mush with no big lumps and then allow to cool.

Raspberry mush

Raspberry mush

Make the vanilla and raspberry sponges – line two circular cake tins with baking paper (see Mama Molloy’s – the home of home-baking).

Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).

Make the two sponges simultaneously in two separate bowls. For the raspberry sponge, place 5oz caster sugar and 150ml oil in the bowl and whisk together with an electric whisk. Whisk in two eggs followed by 150ml natural yogurt. Whisk in the raspberry mush and then sieve in 8oz of self-raising flour, holding the sieve about chest height. Fold the flour in with a wooden spoon until fully combined.

For the vanilla sponge, do exactly the same but with 3oz of caster sugar, 100ml oil, one egg, 100ml natural yogurt, 2tsps vanilla and 4oz of flour.

The two cakes mixes - vanilla and raspberry

The two cakes mixes – vanilla and raspberry

Transfer the cake mixtures to the two cake tins and bake the vanilla sponge for 30 minutes and the raspberry sponge for 40 minutes. Take out and allow to cool completely. Cut the raspberry sponge in half horizontally.

Assemble the cake – on a baking tray, presentation plate, cake stand, chopping board, flat surface etc. place the bottom half of the raspberry sponge. Spread the raspberry jam across the top in an even layer. Place the vanilla sponge on top. Spread most of the lemon curd on top of the sponge in an even layer. Place the remaining raspberry sponge on top. Cover the cake in a thin layer of ganache. Place the meringue on top of the cake and gently press it into the ganache. Fill in any gaps with the ganache. Place a tsp of lemon curd into each of the six wells of the meringue and place a candied raspberry on top of each one. Finish the decoration with the lemon peel and icing sugar. Store in the fridge if you can avoid it eating it all in one go.

The first layer - raspberry sponge and raspberry jam

The first layer – raspberry sponge and raspberry jam

Second layer - vanilla sponge and lemon curd

Second layer – vanilla sponge and lemon curd

Topped with raspberry sponge and then the cake is covered in ganache

Topped with raspberry sponge and then the cake is covered in ganache

Meringue, lemon curd, candied raspberries and lemon peel and icing sugar to finish

Meringue, lemon curd, candied raspberries and lemon peel and icing sugar to finish

Raspberry and Lemon Layer Cake

This and Mama Molloy’s Millionaire Cake will satisfy anybody and everybody.

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