Sunday, 12 June 2011

Despite the Weather

After an incredibly dry Spring, the weather here is unseasonably cold and wet for June, we even had a hail storm on Saturday - poor garden!  Anyway I decided to ignore the weather and my cravings for winter-type baking (steamed puddings, custard etc) and adapted an easy all-in-one sponge recipe using some zingy citrus flavours.  I've also used a mascarpone icing; it's becoming a favourite icing as it is so soft and creamy and really adds a bit of luxury to an otherwise simple sponge.

The cake was light, fresh and very summery; I'll try it again with a few of our homegrown raspberries and a dollop of fresh cream on the side when we get our crop sometime in July - can't wait!

Lemon and Lime Sponge
for the cake
6ozs softened butter (if you don't have softened butter you can use a soft margarine such as Stork)
6ozs castor sugar
6ozs self raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
3 free range farm eggs
juice of half a lime
zest of half a lime and half a lemon

for the icing
250g tub mascarpone
10ozs icing sugar
about 1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of half a lime and half a lemon

Set the oven to 180C and grease and line two 7" sandwich tins. Place all the ingredients for the cake in a food mixer and mix together for 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are well combined and you have a smooth, light sponge mixture. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and smooth out. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The cakes will be golden in colour and the tops will spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a clean bowl. In a second bowl beat the mascarpone until it is smooth then gradually add the icing sugar beating in well after each addition. When all the icing sugar has been combined, add the zest and juice of the citrus fruits and mix well. Place the icing in the fridge until the cakes are completely cooled.

Finally sandwich the cakes together with just over half of the icing and then spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake – et voila! This cake is delicious with a cup of tea or coffee or served as a dessert after dinner with any orange liqueur.

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