Sunday, March 30, 2008

Light and lemony!

As promised here are some recipes from the tea party. First up is the Little Lemon Syrup Cakes. These couldn't have been easier and were really lovely. I found the recipe on the site and made it up in small cake cases that I was sent all the way from Israel by the lovely Francesca! I think they turned out nicer as individual cakes as each one had lots more surface area to soak up the lovely lemony syrup. I doubled this recipe to make 24 individual cakes and they took slightly less time to bake. Speaking of baking, I have just had a lovely new oven installed which is why there are a few pictures of the cakes baking in this post, it is probably the last time my oven will look this clean!

Lemon syrup yoghurt cake

Ingredients (serves 6)

125g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 lemons, rind finely grated, juiced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup natural or Greek-style yoghurt
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour


Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 6cm deep, 20cm (base) springform cake pan.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter, 3/4 cup sugar and lemon rind until pale and creamy. Add egg, in 2 batches, mixing well after each addition. Stir in yoghurt.
Sift flour over butter mixture and stir gently until combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour half the warm syrup over warm cake. Allow to cool in pan. Transfer cake to a plate. Cut into wedges and serve drizzled with remaining lemon syrup.

Super Food Ideas - February 2006 , Page 29
Recipe by Janelle Bloom
To ice these I made a cream cheese frosting from the cupcake book mentioned below. It says it makes enough for 24 cupcakes, but I iced the 24 cakes and had enough to ice my two sponges as well! I added a little yellow food colouring and piped it on the top and finished them with some little icing flowers and leaves I had piped the weekend before.
Cream cheese frosting

(makes 4 cups-enough for 24 cupcakes.
Keeps 4 days)

125g soften butter
400g softened cream cheese
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
6 cups icing sugar

Cream the butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and half the sifted icing sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency. You can use the frosting immediately.

I finally found a sponge recipe that looked like it might be failsafe enough for me to try! I have never made a sponge before, it is one of those things you look at and know that if you don't have a real knack for baking then you are probably going to end up with a tough pancake shaped cake that is only good for the bin!

I found this recipe in the The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook, (you can find out more about them on a gorgeous book filled with tips and ideas on making and decorating cupcakes, as well as a few other tea party style cakes. I used it as 'bible' to guide me through all the goodies I made for the tea party, I was very pleased with the results too!

The sponge was easy peasy but I wouldn't advice attempting it unless you have a good mixer. The recipe requires the eggs being beaten for a total of 25 minutes! I was surprised at having to beat the eggs on their own for 10 minutes first, but it is obviously the key to getting lots of air into it, as these rose up beautifully and did NOT sink! I was ever so relieved as I test drove this recipe for the first time on the day of the tea party!

Over the top passionfruit sponge

6 eggs
1 c castor sugar
½ c plain flour
½ c self-raising flour
¼ c cornfour
¼ c custard powder

Preheat oven to 170 C. Lightly grease three 20 cm round layer cake tins.
Beat the eggs for 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat for a further 15 minutes on high speed. Gradually add the sugar, beating after each addition until dissolved. Once you have added all the sugar, beat for a further 10 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Combine flours and custard powder by sifting together three times. Using a slotted metal spoon, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the sponges have come away from the sides of the tins. Remove from the tins immediately and cool on a wire rack or 30 minutes before filling.

I took the three sponges and cut them in half to give 6 pieces and layered 3 to give 2 cakes (if that makes sense!). I added passionfruit pulp to the whipped cream and then iced it with the cream cheese frosting leftover from the lemon syrup cakes to which I added 1/2 c passionfruit pulp.

I was so impressed with the recipe that I made it again a couple of days later for the teachers at my daughter's daycare! I reduced it by a third, made it in one larger tin and it still worked out perfectly. This is a KEEPER recipe!


Anonymous said...

My oh my Linda that all looks stunning. Everything is so pretty, a wonderful birthday feast.

I think I may bake some of the lemon syrup cakes for my birthday on Wednesday :)

Nickki said...

That looks so gorgeous Linda. I must give those lemon cupcakes a try, they look so pretty! And you'd be hard pushed to see a prettier cake than that. x

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Stunning cakes Linda! I especially love the cupcakes, and a new oven jealous :)

Anonymous said...

love those cupcakes. i like the look of them, so simple and classic, especially the little leaves! makes it seem to fairy-tale like almost. great blog x

Brilynn said...

Those cupcake liners look great, and so do the cakes inside!

Anonymous said...

i *love* lemon yogurt cake, and those look great. i love the wrappers, i've gotta get me some of those.

Stef said...

The cupcakes look so elegant and they sounds so perfectly springy!

Thinking About Food said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, I was very happy with the way these turned out so it is great to be able to share them with a like minded 'audience'!

vonsachsen said...

Wow!!! I have just taken a look at the photos from the tea party and I am dropping my jaw!Wow! Lot of work behing all this, but it looks fantastic!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Everything is stunning. Such a huge undertaking. You must be very proud. It all turned out beautifully.

Anonymous said...

So many beautiful treats! I love the lemon mini cakes! I may try this recipe this weekend!

Anonymous said...

i thought the cupcakes were adorable and then i scrolled down and saw that beautiful cake! major points, everything looks exquisite!