Sunday, 6 November 2011

saint clement's star cake

Now listen, the 'star' element of this cake really only comes from the shape of the tin.  I was in Ikea yesterday and couldn't help myself to some of their seasonal gimmicks.  A couple of snowflake lampshades, a felt christmas tree and a star shaped cake tin later, I found that I had everything in my home to bring out the christmas spirit in even the most grinch like of characters.  Alas, it is still November and I have not seen the coca-cola advert on television yet, so christmas is not as close as Ikea may suggest.

In the south of England the summer refuses to relocate to the southern hemisphere and it has been muggy for the past month.  This weekend, however, I have seen an increase in hats and scarves on the streets of south-west London and for that reason, I felt it relatively reasonably to utilise the star tin.

On this occasion, as with many others, I look to lemons to form the focus of this culinary endeavour.  I have some oranges to spare and I think about combining them, something I have never done in a simple sponge before, reserved only for the likes of heavy fruit cakes and my spicy christmas carrot cake recipe.
So here we are.  A light autumnal sponge with orange, lemon and ginger to encourage Christmas along at a more appreciated speed.

6oz butter
8oz golden caster sugar
3 medium free-range eggs
1 tbsp of golden syrup
1 tbsp lemon curd
1 lemon
1 orange
1tsp grated ginger
8oz self-raising flour

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease the inside of our tin thoroughly.  You can line it with baking parchment instead, if you prefer.
Cream together to butter and 6oz of the sugar, in an electric mixer if you have one.
In a separate smaller bowl, lightly whisk the 3 eggs.  Add these, a little at a time, to the cake mixture and Bring together in mixer until combined.  Add the golden syrup and the lemon curd and mix once again.
To stop the mixture from curdling when the rest of the wet ingredients are added, mix in 2oz of the flour at this stage to hold it together.
Zest both the lemon and the orange and add to the mixture with the grated ginger.
Juice half the lemon, add and mix once again.
Now mix for two minutes until fully combined.
Sift in the remaining 6oz of flour and gently fold it in, with a wooden spoon, to keep the air in place and until it resembles a luscious cake batter.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes until golden and a clean skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2oz of sugar, lemon juice and the juice of the orange, to produce a thick syrup.
Using a skewer, or sharpe knife, make some small holes in the top of the cake and spoon over the syrupy mixture.  With the tin I am using, the cake is baked upside down so I thought I would use this drizzle on the underside of the cake and leave it to cool completely in the tin.

Turn the cake out, dust with icing sugar and serve.
(I've chosen coffee rather than tea to accompany this cake.  But then again, I've not fully recovered from Friday night).

Katie xx

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