Buttery cakes like this have a deliciously soft
crumb with loads of flavour. White chocolate cream and lemon curd
add a celebratory flourish.
500 gmchilled unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing220 gm (1 cup)raw caster sugar160 gmfloral honey6eggs460 gmself-raising flour, sifted180 ml (¾ cup)milkLemon curd150 mllemon juice (about 4 juicy lemons)Finely grated rind of 1 lemon2eggs2egg yolks150 gmgolden caster sugar90 gmsoftened butter100 mlbrown butter (from quantity above)White chocolate cream400 gmwhite chocolate, finely chopped, or white chocolate buttons400 mlpouring cream300 gm (1¼ cups)crème fraîche, whisked to firm peaks
Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add butter and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until foaming and nut brown (5-7 minutes), then pour into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool.
For lemon curd, whisk juice and rind, eggs, yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl to just combine, then place over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk occasionally until thickened (25-30 minutes). Cool briefly (10 minutes), then whisk in softened butter and brown butter. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until thick and chilled (3-4 hours). Lemon curd can be made a day ahead.
For white chocolate cream, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a rapid simmer in a saucepan, pour onto chocolate, stand for 5 minutes, then stir to combine. Cover and place in the freezer to cool (20-30 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until thick, then cover and refrigerate to set (at least 4 hours or overnight). Fold crème fraîche into chocolate mixture just before icing cake.
Preheat oven to 150C, and butter two 20cm-diameter cake tins and line with baking paper. Beat 300gm brown butter (you may have a little left over), sugar, honey and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (3-5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in flour and milk in batches. Divide batter among tins, tap to spread evenly, then bake, swapping tins during cooking, until golden brown and centres spring back when gently pressed (55 minutes; cover cakes with foil if they brown too quickly). Rest in tins for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely (30 minutes).
To assemble, spread a thick layer of lemon curd over one cake, then a thick layer of white chocolate cream. Sandwich with remaining cake, then ice top and sides of cake with remaining white chocolate cream, ideally 30 minutes before serving so it can set a little. This cake is best eaten the day it’s made.