Delightfully tangy rhubarb takes this layered lemon sponge cake to new heights. What could possibly sit better on a table set for tea?
- 250 gm butter, softened
- 400 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of 3 lemons, juice of 1½
- 5 eggs
- 400 gm plain flour (2 cups)
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 150 ml milk
- 450 gm sour cream
- 60 gm pure icing sugar
Whipped lemon curd
- 5 egg yolks
- 150 ml lemon juice
- 110 gm caster sugar (½ cup)
- 1½ titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
- 150 gm butter, softened
- 500 gm rhubarb (about 1½ bunches), trimmed, cut into 5cm lengths
- 300 gm caster sugar
- 120 ml dessert wine
- Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1For whipped lemon curd, whisk yolks, lemon juice and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until pale and very fluffy (4-5 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatine and whisk into yolk mixture. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, a little at a time, until combined. Refrigerate in a sterile container until chilled (3-4 hours).
- 2For roast rhubarb, preheat oven to 200C. Toss rhubarb, sugar, dessert wine, citrus juices and vanilla seeds in a bowl to coat well, place in a roasting pan large enough to fit rhubarb in a single layer and roast until rhubarb is just tender (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool completely.
- 3Reduce oven to 170C. Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Beat in half the flour and half the baking powder to just combine. Whisk milk, lemon juice and 150gm sour cream in a separate bowl until smooth, then beat into batter. Beat in remaining flour and baking powder to just combine. Divide between two 22cm-diameter cake tins that have been buttered and bases lined with baking paper, and smooth tops with a palette knife. Bake, swapping placement of tins halfway through cooking, until golden and the centres spring back when lightly pressed (45-50 minutes). Cool slightly in tins, turn onto wire racks and cool completely, then trim tops flat with a knife.
- 4Whisk lemon curd in a bowl until smooth, spread over the top of one cake, then sandwich with second cake. Whisk icing sugar and remaining sour cream until thick, spoon on top of cake, top with a little roast rhubarb and serve with remaining rhubarb.