I love lemons! I love lemon chicken, lemon sorbet and lemon meringue! And thanks to my lovely sis-in-law, who does the best limoncello I’ve ever had (and if you were at my wedding, you know what I’m talking about), I get to have a glass of it every time I’m in Malta. I wish I had my mother’s lemon tree here in England, especially since it produces lemons at an alarming rate! However English lemons are as good and tasty, so I’m not complaining.
Today I made a lovely lemon sponge cake. After I had started I realized I had four eggs instead of the recommended six in the recipe. So I corrected all measurements and weights in the recipe to two-thirds of the suggested, and it came out perfect! I haven’t tasted it yet (apart from the filling and topping) so I’ll give a verdict about that later on tonight.
Want to give it a try? Here’s the recipe!
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 100g plain flour
- a pinch of sea salt
- 6 large eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp limoncello liqueur (optional)
Filling and Topping:
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
- jellied lemon slices, to decorate (I used citrus candied peel instead)
- icing sugar (optional)
- Prepare 2 x 20cm non-stick cake tins. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the inside of each tin with about 1 tsp olive oil.
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk till mixture is mousse-like and almost white. Lightly fold in the olive oil, lemon zest and the sifted flour.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins, weighing for accuracy. Tap the tins sharply on the work-top to bring up any large air bubbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until sponges are lightly golden and springy to the touch. If using the limoncello, sprinkle it over the sponges. Upturn the tins and leave the cakes to cool. When ready to assemble, remove from the tins and trim the tops to level if necessary.
- To make the filling, whiz the butter in a medium bowl using an electric whisk for about a minute until very pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes until light and moussey. Add the lemon zest and juice and whisk until amalgamated. Decorate the top with the remaining filling (I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to make flowers – see pic below). Finish with the lemon slices/candied peel, and dust with icing sugar if wished.
- Leave in a cool place to set for about an hour. Store covered in the fridge and remove an hour before serving.
Happy weekend and take care x