So yes, we are moving to the other end of London (well, if i can still call it London), to Amersham. It is a beautiful lil place, the kind i love- quaint cafes, nice shops, no high street brands etc etc. But its on the last possible stop on the Metropolitan line, is an easy 45 minute to an hour trek into c. London and worse of all, i have to start driving. I have been so used to hopping on a bus from right in front of my apartment and now with this move i have to drive and do all the formalities that come with it. I thought i'd left behind driving and traffic back in India!
Anyhoo, we move end of the month and it takes 3 weeks to get a darn Internet connection, so this is going to be my last post for a while. I baked this cake to take to a friends and it was well received. It screams of summer (wishful thinking) and takes absolutely no time to bake. Its apparently a German cake and gries means semolina. I baked it twice in a weeks time and that says a lot about the cake. Its quite versatile in the sense you can change the flavours from lemon to orange to passion fruit to plain vanilla, fill with fruits of choice, and end up with a gorgeous cake. There is no rising agent or oil or butter, its purely the eggs that give it the light and airy texture. Don't deflate the eggs and more importantly, don't over cook. If you feel that the cake springs back to the touch, just take it out of the oven irrespective of the time.
Recipe adapted from here
Caster sugar- 110 gms
Lemon juice- of half a large lemon
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp (optional)
Lemon zest- of one large lime
Fine semolina- 50 gms
Powdered almonds- 1 tbsp
Double cream- 150 ml
Icing sugar- 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
Lemon curd- 3 tbsp
Pre-heat oven to 180C, grease and line a 9 x 2 inch jelly roll pan (or 2 6 inch cake pans) with baking paper
Place the separated egg yolk into a large bowl and whisk well with the caster sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract till they turn pale and thick. I just whisked using a wire whisk but feel free to use a hand blender or free standing mixer.
Fold in the lemon zest, semolina and powdered almonds gently and keep aside. A spatula makes this easier.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. A hand blender or a free standing mixer with whisk attachment is advised or else you'd just end up with aching arms. That said, I've done it a few times before and its not as bad as it sounds.
Using a spatula fold the egg white into the yolk mix gently, making sure you don't deflate the batter.
Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake in the centre rack of the oven for about 17 minutes for the jelly roll pan and about 20 minutes for the 6 inch cake pans. Make sure you don't over cook or it becomes tough.
Its done when you gently press down the cake with your finger and it springs right back.
Take out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes after which you can turn it out on to a cooling rack, peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely.
Use a round cutter to cut out mini cakes of your choice and assemble.
For the filling, whip the double cream with icing sugar and vanilla extract till peaks form, again make sure you don't over do this or it will start to curdle.
Place the cake on a plate and spread the lemon curd generously.
Top with the whipped cream, spread it around, it really doesn't need to be all even.
Top with the second cake, sift some icing sugar on top and serve.
Notes: The cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving (if its not too warm) if possible.
The sponge can be made a day or two ahead , cooled, cling wrapped and kept in a container till ready to assemble.
Cooking time is crucial for a sponge cake. I took mine out in about 18 minutes and it had cooked a bit too much already. However, when i did the layer cake the first time, it took me 20 minutes and it was perfect consistency.
From the above measurement you'd get only around 3 cakes, and the rest of the cake was eaten up on its own. I suggest you double the recipe if you wanted to serve it as a dessert for a larger group. I did this method for some variety, but i strongly suggest the layer cake if you wanted to serve at a party. It would serve 6 to 7 people.
Replace the lemon curd with any curd of choice- mango, passion fruit etc.