Monday, August 09, 2010

Reaping the Dividends

Firstly a 'yolk-free' sponge cake. This can either be baked (as per the recipe) to make a layer cake, or baked in a Swiss Roll tin so that it can then be spread with a filling (could be ice-cream) and rolled up to make a dessert (this would freeze well). Stale cake could be stored in the freezer to use as a base for trifles and other such luxuries.

The original recipe suggested its own filling - a lemon curd using the yolks of eggs that had been saved. The recipe for the 'made in minutes' lemon curd is also given.

Featherlight Cake:

3 oz (75g) self-raising flour

1 oz (25g) cornflour

6 oz (175g) icing sugar

whites of 6 large eggs

half teaspoon salt

three quarters of a teaspoon of cream of tartar

Line two greased 8" (20cm) sandwich tins with discs of greaseproof or parchment paper.

Sift the flour and cornflour together, and then sift this again (to get in as much air as possible). Sift the icing sugar into another bowl.

Into a third (and very clean bowl) put the egg whites and whisk until just frothy, then whisk in the salt and

the cream of tartar, and continue whisking until the whites form peaks.

Using a metal spoon, fold the icing sugar - a little at a time - into the beaten whites, then gently fold in the sifted flours, also a little at a time.

Divide this mixture between the two sandwich tins, and gently level the tops. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for approx half an hour or until the cakes have risen and firm when lightly touched in the centre. Leave in the tins to cool completely. Loosen the edges with a knife before turning out, and peel away the base papers.

To assemble the cake, spread the curd filling (recipe immediately below the cake recipe ) between the two layers. Spread whipped cream (opt) over the top and sides, and decorate as you wish. Chill in the fridge before serving.

lemon (curd) filling for above cake:

yolks of 5 eggs

3 oz (75g) caster sugar

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

whipped cream (optional cake covering)

Put the egg yolks into a double boiler (or bowl set over simmering water) Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and lemon zest. Gradually stir in the lemon juice. Keep stirring all the time, and cook until the mixture is thick enough to cover the back of the spoon, then leave to get quite cold before filling the cake.

Now we come to my favourite lemon curd recipe for it is so speedy to make and keeps well for up to six weeks in the fridge. Beloved really likes it, so every couple of months I make a new batch. If possible use unwaxed lemons, if waxed then give a wash under a warm tap to remove the wax (although have to say I don't always bother). Forgot to say this curd is made in a microwave oven.

What is useful about this recipe is that you could use 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks, or maybe one even larger egg and 3 yolks. Have tried it every which way and it seems to work, although slightly richer when more yolks are used in proportion to whites.

Made in Minutes Lemon Curd:

2 oz (50g) butter

5 oz (150g) caster sugar

zest and juice of 2 lemons

3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

Put the butter, sugar, and lemon zest and juice into a bowl, and microwave on High for 1 minute to dissolve. Stir well, then beat in the whole eggs and yolk/s. Return to the microwave and cook on High for another minute, then remove and stir. Repeat for 3 - 4 times more, stirring after each minute, until the mixture has thickened. Then pot up into several small, hot sterilized jars and seal. Cool and keep in the fridge for up to six weeks. Once the jar has been opened, best to use it up within a week.

Took a photo yesterday of a painting I did of Beloved behind the wheel in a boat, sailing on the high seas. But it has turned out all hazy, don't know why. Must get it down from the wall and lay it on the floor and see if that gives a sharper picture. Only then will you get to see it.

This has reminded me to thank Les for the battery details, although having tried using re-chargable batteries, they don't seem to last long either, although as time goes by it would obviously work out cheaper. Think we already have some of these batteries (and charger), but will have to wait for B's return to find out where they are.