Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lemon Shortcake

This is one I've been sitting on for a while, waiting for an excuse to make. I promised Aunty Trace she could choose any cake she wanted for her birthday and this is the one she picked. I was really excited to try it out and very happy with the result!

Happy Birthday, Traco!
Ok, so mine didn't turn out anywhere near as neat as the picture in my book but it still tasted pretty good! Before you set out on this one, be aware that it does need to set overnight so you'll need to start a day in advance.

The first step is to cut 8 x 20cm circles out of baking paper (just use a cake tin to trace them out) and preheat your oven to 180c.

Using an electric beater, mix 180g butter at room temperature, 3/4 cup caster sugar, 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind and 1 egg at room temperature until pale and creamy. Sift together 2/3 cup plain flour, 1/4 cup self raising flour and 2 tbsp cornflour and mix gently into the butter mixture. Divide the mixture into 8 eight even portions.

Grab two baking trays and put a baking paper circle on each. Now, this is where it gets tricky! You need to spread a portion of mixture onto each circle. I used my flat icing blade and kept dipping it into warm water to prevent sticking. Make sure the mixture is spread evenly and right out to the edges and then pop the trays into the oven for around 4-6 minutes. I found that I was getting carried away spreading the mixture onto the discs and almost forgot a couple of times that I had them in the oven so make sure you keep an eye on them because they can go from not-quite-ready to I've-stuffed-the-whole-thing very quickly! Once they're golden brown, remove them from the oven and cool on a wire rack then repeat until you've got 8 big biscuits.

Once the biscuits have all cooled (it won't take long) you can put it all together! For the filling, whip 600ml of cream until soft peaks form and then gently fold through 175g lemon curd. You can just use store bought stuff but I made my own - it's really easy. Just pop 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 cup caster sugar into a saucepan and whisk them together. Then add 1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter and the zest and juice of 2 lemons and whisk over a low heat until it boils and thickens. Place one biscuit on a plate and spread with 1/2 cup of the lemon cream filling. Top with another biscuit and repeat until all the biscuits are used, finishing with a layer of the filling. Pop it into the fridge to set overnight.

Then we make a lovely lemon syrup to go over the top! Peel 1 lemon and cut the rind inro thin strips. Juice the lemon. Place the rind in a saucepan, cover with boiling water, bring to the boil and drain. Repeat this another two times. Place the drained rind into the saucepan and add 1/2 cup caster sugar, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, turn the heat up to high and boil for 2-3 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Set aside to cool and then pour over the cake.

And you're done - enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. It looks amazing!! I shall have to give this a go, I think :)