Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe
So, yesterday I reviewed Peggy Porschen’s latest cake book and today I am happy to share with you an extract from the book for this yummy and oh so pretty cake. I just know you guys are going to love it! Thanks to the publishers Quadrille for giving me permission.
By the way I forgot to mention two things yesterday about the book that I really love.
No. 1 – The book is styled by my friend Vicky Sullivan who has styled all of Peggy’s books (I think?) She’s a stylist with amazing talent and a natural eye, expecially when it comes to cakes. She really captures the look and feel you want when you display a cake. It needs to look too good to cut and Vicky nails it every time!
No.2 – The book was photographed by Georgia Glynn Smith. I’ve never worked with Georgia but having seen her work in many, many books (and having been told that she’s reeeaaallly lovely by people who have worked with her) I really want to. I’m sure one day our paths will cross. You never know, maybe I’ll have a book of my own to shoot one day!
Anyway, on with the cake…
LEMON LIMONCELLO CAKE
THIS IS A VERY LOVELY CAKE – LIGHT, MOIST AND FULL OF FLAVOUR. A SCATTERING OF CUTE SUGAR DAISIES COMPLEMENTS THE REFRESHING PALE LEMON BUTTERCREAM ICING.
Makes one 15cm (6in) round cake, serving 8–12 slices
For the decoration
- 150g white sugar florist paste
- Small amount of white vegetable fat
- Green and yellow paste food colour
- Small amount of royal icing
For the sponge
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
For the sugar syrup
- 150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 150g caster sugar
- 50ml Limoncello liqueur
For the buttercream filling
- 80g unsalted butter
- 80g icing sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 40g Peggy’s Lemon Limoncello Jelly or any other good-quality lemon jelly or lemon
Basic baking kit
Three 15cm (6in) round sandwich tins
Cake leveller or large serrated knife
Flat disc to place on top of the turntable
(I (Peggy) use the loose base of a 30cm (12in) springform cake tin)
15cm (6in) round cake card
Metal side scraper
Make the simple daisies and leaves decoration at least one day ahead of assembling and serving. Bake the sponges one
day ahead of serving. Make the sugar syrup whilst baking the sponges. Prepare the filling and assemble and decorate the cake on the day of serving.
To make the decoration
Mix two thirds of the sugar florist paste with a small amount of white vegetable fat. Mix the remaining third with the green paste food colour to a pale green shade. Mix the royal icing with the yellow paste food colour to a pale lemon shade. Using a daisy plunge cutter, leaf cutter and veiner,
make approximately 12 simple sugar daisies and small leaves. Leave to set in a cool dry place.
Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4.Prepare the sandwich tins by greasing and lining them with greaseproof paper.
To make the sponge
Place the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2–3 tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
Divide the batter evenly between the sandwich tins. If you find it difficult to measure by eye, use your kitchen scales to weigh out the amount of sponge mixture for each tin.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on your oven. If you are using deeper cake tins, the sponges will take longer to cook. The sponges are cooked when the sides are beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tins and the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.
To make the sugar syrup
While the sponges are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly and then add the Limoncello liqueur.
Once the sponges are baked, let them rest for about 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with syrup while they are still warm; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.
Once just warm, run a knife all the way round the sides of the tins, remove the sponges from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, wrap the sponges in cling film and then rest them overnight at room temperature. This will ensure that all the moisture is sealed in and the sponges firm up to the perfect texture for trimming and layering. When trimmed too soon after baking, the sponges tend to crumble and may even break into pieces.
To make the buttercream filling
Place the butter, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy. Add the lemon jelly to the mixture and stir through until combined and smooth.
To assemble the cake
Trim and sandwich together the three sponge layers using one-third of the buttercream filling and the limoncello syrup for soaking. With the remaining buttercream filling, cover or mask the top and sides of the cake.
Arrange the sugar daisies and leaves around the circumference of the cake top andstick them down with a dab of buttercream.
Serve the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days of baking, but it can last for up to 1 week
Decorations made from sugar can attract moisture and may collapse when exposed to humid conditions. Therefore, do not store the cake in the fridge once decorate if it is not being eaten on the same day.
BOUTIQUE BAKING by PEGGY PORSCHEN, published by Quadrille (£20, hardback)
Photos ©GEORGIA GLYNN SMITH