Wednesday, 18 November 2009

ICCHFC - Week 14: Lemon squares

Hannah was back to close round 2 and gave us a children's theme:
Lemon squares won the day reasonably convincingly. I was dying to try the cake cones but the democratic process had to be followed. Perhaps I'll make some and take them in.

Anyway, the lemon squares were good. Very tall and the sponge had a good texture. I was surprised at how well the dolly mixtures worked. There were enough for two each as Hannah had baked the two layers separately (my preferred option) rather than trying to split one. Yet again Hannah, despite her protestations, pulls another gem out of the bag!

NOTE: Jo was on hand modelling duties as John was in a meeting. Who timetables a meeting when there's cake to be had?

Hannah's lemon squares
8oz unsalted butter
8oz caster sugar
3 eggs
About 150ml (¼ pt) milk
9oz self-raising flour
1½ tsp baking powder
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2oz sultanas
For the filling:
3-4tbsp good-quality lemon curd
For the frosting:
4½oz mascarpone
9oz icing sugar
3¼oz unsalted butter
Few drops of vanilla extract
1-2tbsp lemon juice
1 drop of pink food colouring
1 pkt sweets (eg Dolly Mixtures), to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Grease and line a 20cm (8in) square cake tin.
2. Put the butter and caster sugar in a food mixer and beat until pale and light. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the milk. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the lemon zest and sultanas and mix well.
3. Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook for 25-35 mins or until golden brown, or when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out on to a wire rack.
4. When cold, cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread one half with the lemon curd, then sandwich it back together.
5. Place all the ingredients for the frosting in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cake. Then cut into 16 squares and decorate with colourful sweets.

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