Feb 17th, 2017
I was visiting my parents this week. Actually I had hoped to surprise them by just turning up – but the one bus a week that goes straight from Dumfries to the tiny hamlet where they live entirely failed to materialize. Very luckily, my Mum happened to be in Dumfries that afternoon, and even more fortuitously she actually managed to answer her mobile phone. As usual she had locked it in the car boot, but on this occasion Bluetooth was my saviour and rang the car phone for me.
So I made a cake – my Mum was fishing for the Mary Berry Black Forest Cake I had made for her birthday last year – but not being that fond of chocolate, I insisted on making something a bit different. Grease and line two 8″ cake tins. Heat the oven to 160 fan/180 conventional. Break six large eggs into a bowl, add 150g of caster sugar and whisk until very pale and thick (holds the trail of the whisk for a few seconds). This actually takes longer than you think but stick with it. Carefully fold in 150g sifted self-raising flour and divide the mix between the two tins. Bake for 20 to 25 mins. Warning, warning Will Robinson – these are very susceptible to getting overdone – so check after 20 mins. Remove from tins and cool on a rack.
During the meanwhilst (sic) make the lemon curd. Zest and squeeze four lemons into a ceramic bowl and add 200g caster sugar and 100g butter. Put the bowl in a pan of simmering water and stir until the butter melts (many recipes say not to let the bowl touch the bottom of the pan but I honestly don’t think it matters too much as long as the mixture doesn’t get too hot). Lightly beat 3 eggs and one egg yolk in a separate bowl and then add to the lemon mix. Gently heat for about ten minutes, stirring regularly until mixture thickens. Fairly obviously, it is important not to get it too hot or it will turn into a nasty version of sweet scrambled eggs. Chill in the fridge (actually you can bung it in the freezer for 10 mins if you are in a hurry). Whip about 400ml of double cream until very thick (if not thick enough the cake will collapse when assembled).
Slice each cake in half horizontally. Spread the bottom layer with a goodly dollop of lemon curd, then a layer of cream, then a layer of fresh raspberries. Add a layer of sponge and then rinse and repeat. On the top you can either just put cream and rasps – or a thick glace icing made with lemon juice instead of water would also be nice.
You could reduce the calories and fat in this a bit by using crème fraiche mixed with a little Truvia and lemon zest instead of the cream. Actually as these things go it is not the worst type of cake for you as the sponge is fat free and it does at least have fresh fruit in it. The last statement was me making a lame excuse for having consumed an enormous slice of it.