My last day on placement was a few weeks ago, and I felt it would be nice to bring in a lovely homemade cake. When I purchase a new cookbook I promptly write a "to bake and to cook" list, and this cake, the Gorgeous Lemon cream cake was quickly on my to bake list. The Great British Bake Off have some fabulous bakes, and to all my fellow beginner bakers, it is The book to buy.
I have only made a Genoise cake once (Mojito cake), and this turned out to be delish, so had high hoped for this cake. I learnt a good trick from a fellow colleague on placement, which is bake a cake then freeze as the cake is easier to cut into two if it's defrosting. This was ideal as I did not have a whole entire evening to bake and assemble so I made the cake 5 days before I shared with my colleagues, then froze the cake straight away.
Here is the results of my Italian Genoise cake:
I couldn't help but try a tiny slice to make sure the cake was ok - it was beautiful.
Recipe for cake (Makes 1 large cake)
For the sponge
6 large eggs, at room temperature
175g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
175g plain flour
For the lemon syrup
100g caster sugar
2 large unwaxed lemons
For the filling
250 ml double cream, well chilled
2 tablespoons caster sugar
500g lemon curd
50 flaxed almonds
2 tablespoon lemon curd.
2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Brea the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk using an electric mixer until frothy, then whisk in the sugar. Continue whisking on high speed for about 5 minutes or until very thick and pale in colour and the whisk leaves a ribbon-like trail. The mixture will massively increase in volume.
Stir one-third of the flour onto the mixture and carefully fold in with a large metal spoon. Repeat to add the remaining flour in 2 batches, folding until there are no visible streaks for flour. Divide the mixture between the tins and spread evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until well risen to the tops of the tins, a good golden brown and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tins to loosen the sponges. Cover a wire rack with a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Carefully turn out the sponges onto the paper and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup. Put the sugar and 100ml water into a small pan. Grate the zest from 1 lemon and add. Carefully peel the zest from the second lemon and cut into fine shreds; cover and set aside for decoration. Halve both lemons and squeeze the juice. Add 3 tablespoons to juice to the pan. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes to make a light syrup. Leave to cool.
To make the lemon cream filling, whip the cream until thick. Add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Stir the lemon curd gently, then mix one third of it with the ricotta. When thoroughly combined, fold this into the whipped cream to make a very smooth, thick mixture. Cover and chill for at least 30 minute but no more than an hour.
When ready to assemble the cake, slice each sponge in half horizontally to make 4 thin layers. If necessary trim the sponges to neaten. Set one layer cut surface up, on a serving plate. Brush or spoon one-quater of the lemon syrup over the sponge and leave to soak in for a couple of minutes.