Thursday, 30 June 2011

Oranges and Lemons

Dear Little Sis,

I’m not usually one to get sucked in by fancy labels and shiny bottles when it comes to food shopping, I mean I love them and lust after them but will rarely spend extra pennies on something just because of what you take it home in. So usually a packet (yes packet, cardboard AND plastic!) of ‘Lemons with Leaves’ would have made me wishwishWISH I lived in Tuscany and could buy such things from a wrinkly old lady in the sun, and then scoff at the silly people that would buy such things in ASDA in Scotland. But everything changes when I see that little yellow ‘reduced’ sticker which tells me that buying said lemons will be cheaper than buying normal ones. I simply had to save the scoffing for another day and allow myself to be whisked away to sunny shores and cliff top lemon groves.

So when life gives you lemons...make Oranges and Lemons Battenberg Cake. That’s how the saying goes right? This cake looks like she’s the product of many hours of pampering and preening. But I promise she’s much more low maintenance than she appears; easy peasy lemon squeezy you could say. She is also light as a feather and would be perfect served with your favourite sugary tea and chats with friends or perhaps take her with you on a picnic, I can imagine her basking in the sun on a warm rug. Enjoy...With Love and Cake.

Oranges and Lemons Battenberg Cake

A few notes: 
  •  Battenburg or Battenberg? Who’s to say.
  • I made the lemon curd as I was in full on lemon-mode, but you could just as well use bought stuff or any sort of jam you fancy, ooo or even marmalade, now there’s an idea.
  •   If you don’t fancy using marzipan (why? It’s amazing) then you could use shop-bought white icing. You could even paint it yellow with some colouring.

Makes one large cake

You will need...

1 small rectangle pan

150g softened butter
150g granulated or caster sugar
150g plain flour
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 lemons
2 oranges
2 tsp orange colouring
1 jar lemon curd
400-ish g of ready-rolled marzipan

·         -Preheat the oven to 180°.

·         -Line a rectangle pan (I used one measuring 29x18cm) with parchment paper, making a fold that runs along the centre so the pan is split into 2 sections, as above.

·         -Beat the butter, sugar and flour together until light and creamy. It may take a while to come together but it’ll get there eventually.

·        - Beat in the eggs, one at a time followed by the baking powder.

·         -Transfer half the mixture into another bowl.

·         -Into one half of the mixture fold the zest of both lemons and the juice of just one and into the other half fold the zest of both oranges, the juice of just one as well as the orange colouring.

·         -Gently pour the cake mixtures into each side of the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

·         -Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

·         -When it’s time to assemble the cake, lay one sponge on top of the other and trim so both rectangles are the same size and then slice down the middle to make 4 skinnier rectangles.

·         -Place the marzipan on a flat surface dusted with icing sugar and spread over a layer of lemon curd.

·         -Lay an one rectangle in the middle of the lemon curd and brush the 3 exposed sides with more curd.

·         -Lay a rectangle of the opposite colour snuggled next to it and brush with more curd.
·         Do the same with the remaining rectangles on top of those on the marzipan, making sure the lemon sponge is on top of the orange sponge and vice versa.

·         -Wrap the marzipan tightly around the sponge and trim the edges and seam neatly.
·         Press the seam together and turn the cake over so the join of marzipan is underneath.

·         -Stand back, feel proud and eat cake.

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