I think that I did the technique wrong: maybe the water wasn't simmering enough. I also should have listened to my inner baker's voice that told me that step was done instead of my mother who told me it wasn't. As it turns out, she's never made this type of cake before either. Go figure.
Anyway, it cooked much shorter than it was supposed to and didn't puff up as much as it should have. I'll have to try this again in the future. Hopefully it won't get burned on the edges and it won't take half an hour to peel the waxed paper off it.
1/3 cup superfine sugar (I only had regular)
1/3 cup self-rising flour, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 brick low-fat cream cheese, room temperature (for frosting)
3 & 1/2 to 4 tablespoons lemon curd* (for frosting)
berries for decorating
you'll also need:
two 8-inch round cake pans, greased and covered with waxed paper on the bottom
medium heat-proof bowl
medium pot with shallow water in it
wire rack for cooling
electric hand mixer
1. preheat your oven to 350 F and prepare all your ingredients, including melting the butter. You really want to have everything ready before you start.
2. bring the water in the pot barely to a simmer. Over that, place the heat proof bowl with the sugar and eggs. Whisk them over the barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and place and leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl.
3. take the bowl off the hot water when it's done. Using the spatula, fold in about 3/4 of the flour mixture. Sift in the remaining flour, sprinkle in the lemon rind and gradually drizzle in the butter as you fold together.
4. spoon the batter evenly into the 2 cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until risen and golden ( a skewer should come out clean).
5. when the cakes have baked, turn them out onto a wire rack to cool and gently peel off the waxed paper. Let them cool completely before decorating.
6. to decorate: in a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and lemon curd with an electric mixer. Spread slightly less than half the mixture over the first cake, then place the second cake on top of that. Cover the top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and top with berries. This cake is best eaten on the day it is baked.
I got the recipe for this cake from 500 Cakes.
*making your own lemon curd
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 3/4 of a lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
you'll also need:
small pot with shallow amount of water
heat-proof bowl that fits over pot
wooden or heat-proof plastic mixing spoon
1. beat the egg until very light.
2. over simmering water, combine the egg with the other ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it's thick.
3. refrigerate. This lemon curd is AMAZING!!!
I adapted this recipe from The Summertime Cookbook.