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For the filling
2 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs, yolks only
75g caster sugar
2 lemons, juice (50ml) and finely grated zest
30g unsalted butter
For the lemon sponge
200g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, cubed and softened, plus extra for greasing
Finely grated zest 2 lemons
3 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs, beaten, at room temperature
200g self-raising flour, sifted
For the sugar topping
Juice of 4 lemons (100ml)
75g granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. To make the filling, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a small, heavy-based pan, using a wooden spoon, until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, zest and butter, and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time until thickened into a lemon curd. Allow to cool, cover and chill until needed.
For the sponge, grease a 20cm, round, springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Beat the sugar, butter and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, or an electric hand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating well after each addition. Finally, fold in the flour to give a very thick mixture – this is perfect for a dense sponge, so there is no need to loosen it with any milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until shrinking away from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and prick with a cocktail stick or skewer about 20 times.
To make the sugar topping, stir the strained lemon juice into the sugar so it dissolves slightly, but not fully. Slowly drizzle over the warm cake, waiting a few moments before adding more, so that it all sinks in. It should leave a crust on the cake as the juices sink in. Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Using a serrated knife, slice the cake in half horizontally. Finish the filling by placing the mascarpone in a small bowl and swirling in the lemon curd. Lift off the top half of the cake and spread the base with the curd and mascarpone mixture. Replace the top half. Cover and leave at room temperature until ready to serve.
If you want to keep the cake for longer than a few hours, wrap well and don’t fill it with the mascarpone until ready to serve.
Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe
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