Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Summertime Citrus Cake

♫ Summer time, and the living is easy ♫... And it definitely is when your weekend can be spent by the lake soaking in the sun at the cottage and enjoying the warm water!  2012 Birthday Bash was the perfect opportunity for me to try a citrus cake I had been thinking about.  Mmmm citrus!

Sponge cake with a hint of lemon, a citrus butter cream frosting and as you can see, slices of lemons, limes and oranges and a few pieces of fresh mint for decoration.

And here's the recipe! (and yes, I'm finally adding it like a year since I made it :-D... better late than never?!)

I have had this recipe saved for a long time, I believe some parts of it were found online but sadly I don't know where from originally (this was before the Pinterest days) but parts of it were altered as to how I did it too, so try it out - it is so yummy!  So thank you to the person who first inspired me to make this :-)

Citrus Sponge Cake

1 cup unsalted butter
2 1.2 cups all-purpose flour
Grated zest of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
Blood oranges, oranges, lemons, limes sliced for decoration on top of the cake.  Fresh mint to arrange around fruit.

1.  Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease 2 8",9" or 10" round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease again and also dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy.  Mix in the grated zests of the oranges and lemons.  Add vanilla and then the eggs one at a time.
4.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk.  Use mixer on low speed.  Mix together until just combined.
5.  Divide the batter between the cake pans and level it out before baking.  Bake until a skewer (or toothpick) comes out clean.  Between 20-30 minutes depending on your pan size.
6.  Cool the cakes for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Lemon Curd Filling

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1.  In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, juice and salt.  Add the butter.
2.  Set the bow over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened - 12 to 15 minutes.
3.  Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Place a piece of parchment paper right on top of the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate until completely cool.  At least 2 hours.

Citrus Buttercream

2 cups unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tabslespoons fresh orange juice
3 3/4 cups sifted icing sugar
Pinch of salt

1.  Beat the butter and lemon zest on high until light and fluffy.
2.  Add the orange juice.
3.  With the mixture on low, gradually add the sugar, then the salt and beat unti smooth.

Ice the cake and decorate, and enjoy :-)

Monday, 30 July 2012

A Very British Summer - Olympic Party!

Eeekkkk London 2012 is here!  It's the Opening Ceremony night and everything at our place is British.  We had a few friends over to watch the first night, to support England, Canada and Estonia!  I made some British bunting, we made some select English foods and got settled down to watch!

Savoury to start:  Chicken and Mushroom Pies.  Party sized made in a muffin tray.
Baked scotch eggs!  One of our favourite snacks, this time created in our very own kitchen!  Yum!  And this wont be the only time.
Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef
The full spread of British snacks!

 Although rather full we did still manage some Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes and Party Rings!

My favourite kind of cake to make.... and eat.
    Enjoy a British Summer celebrating the Jubilee year and London 2012.

MA Brains!

Jonathan just completed his Masters in Psychology - thesis submitted and passed he is now the proud owner of his BSc and 2 MAs!  So proud of him for finishing up on his latest studies!  ... Now just the PhD to go!!

As a lot of his research and coursework was on brain stuff I made cupcake BRAINS!  I guess I will tag these as Halloween cakes as most people might enjoy making these for that time of year but I thought it was appropriate for his end of school year congrats!

I used a vanilla sponge cake recipe and piped the brains on with butter cream.  It was VERY hot both outside and also inside our place that day, so some of the piping was a little squishy but most were okay.

And the main thing is, Jonathan liked them (and could tell what they were!)...  He also likes when the baking is all for him, so there we go - success on both counts!

Ryerson colours to say Congratulations Jonathan!! ♥