This. This is one hell of a cake. It is lemony and sweet and buttery and it is inviting you to have more with every bite. It has many steps, but all are straightforward. The one thing that is a bit tricky is to warm the sugar to the appropriate temperature, but with a digital thermometer this is no problem.
This recipe is from the Women’s Weekly cookbook Sweet things, and it is as well documented as always; worked like a charm the first time. The one thing that I changed is the size of the tin that was recommended: I have 20 cm tins, and the recipe asked for 22 cm tins. When the cakes came out of the oven, I thought that the resulting cake would be too tall to hold its shape, so I made two cakes (I doubled the amount of frosting in the original recipe). They were both demolished on the first day, one by the boyfriend’s group, one by mine—I distributed a few pieces around.
Below, I will write the recipe for one cake.
125 g butter, softened
220 g sugar
225 g flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
100 g creme fraiche
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 egg yolks
165 g sugar
75 g butter
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
80 ml lemon juice
40 g sugar
40 ml water
2 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
220 g sugar
80 ml water
2 egg whites
1. Make lemon curd.
2. Make lemon syrup.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 cm springform pan and line it with baking paper.
4. Beat butter and sugar in the KitchenAid fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one a time, until combined. Stir in the flour, creme fraiche, and juice, in two batches.
5. Transfer the mixture to the springform pan; smooth the surface. Bake about 35 min. Stand cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning, top side up, onto wire racks to cool.
6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so that they are level. Split the cake into three layers. Place one layer on a serving plate. Brush with a little of the syrup and spread half of the lemon curd. Put the second cake layer on top, brush with more syrup, and add the rest of the lemon curd. top with the remaining cake layer.
7. Make fluffy frosting. Spread fluffy frosting over top and sides of cake.
Lemon curd. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a small saucepan until smooth. Chop butter into small cubes; add butter, rind, and juice to the pan. Whisk over low heat until curd thickens. Remove from heat and leave to cool completely.
Lemon syrup. Stir sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, about 3 minutes or until the syrup is thickened. Remove from heat; stir in liqueur. Cool.
Fluffy frosting. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and boil until the syrup reaches 114 C. While the syrup is boiling, beat the egg whites in the KitchenAid equipped with the balloon whisk until stiff; keep beating until the sugar reaches the correct temperature. When the syrup is ready, allow the bubbles to subside and pour a thin stream into the egg whites with mixer operating on medium speed. Continue beating and adding syrup until all the syrup is used. Continue beating until the frosting stands in stiff peaks, about 10 minutes.