21 June 2017

Lemon Tart


Pressure is for tyres my Mom will always say. There's no need to put yourself under pressure. But I don't heed her words and put myself under pressure is exactly what I did this month. I had read the recipe for Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart, some time ago when I say it in Roger Pizey's book, World Class Cakes. I knew the minute it came up for choice with the Cake Slice Bakers, it would be what I picked. Having spotted it on June's list. I gave it no more thought.. until I came to bake it.

I picked the hottest day of the year ever to make this tart. Irish people don't get really great weather. We get pockets of sunshine here and there, but global warming stepped up a notch this week and we got temperatures hotter than the Mediterranean. I am not complaining about the weather (Irish people also do a lot of that!!) but merely stating that the heat put me under pressure...

Not great when you are trying to keep pastry cold!

Anyway... this tart was a pure delight! It has this light, lemon flavour that tasted so much better the following day. I did have some trouble with this tart from the start, but the spoils at the end were delicious.

During the baking process I dropped my bowl of zest into the filling bowl, resulting in this crazy splash spillage of sticky lemon filling. No process photos as a result but I do plan this again so will pop them in as soon as! The recipe also called for way more filling than was actually needed, I had a lot left over, even after the spillage so I have adjusted this for you in the recipe below. I also substituted my own Short Crust Recipe in for Marco's because I didn't like how the pastry sounded in the book and didn't have the 24 hours to rest it either!!

Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart- 
adapted from page 246 World Class Cakes

Short Crust Pastry

240g plain flour
50g icing sugar
150g diced cold butter (+ a little extra for greasing)
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4.
Put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until looks like breadcrumbs.
Crack in the egg and bring together until a soft ball forms.
Wrap in clingfilm, pat down and leave in fridge until needed.

Lemon Filling

225ml double whipping cream
6 large eggs
240g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 large lemons

In the bowl whisk the cream and mix until it forms a ribbon.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth.
Add the lemon juice to the egg and sugar batter and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture through a strainer onto the cream.
Whisk everything together and then add the lemon zest.
Let the bowl of filling stand in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator, grease up a 10 inch, loose bottom, round pie dish with some butter.
Roll out a larger circle than your pie dish and place it into your dish pressing the sides gently as you go. Cut off any excess. Chill for the remaining time on the filling.

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F or gas Mark 3.
Remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and line with parchment paper, fill with baking beads and bake blind for about 20 minutes, or until the inside of the tart becomes golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then carefully remove the beads and the parchment paper.
Turn the oven down to 120C/250F or Gas Mark 2.

Remove your chilled lemon filling from the refrigerator and whisk again. Pour the lemon filling into the warm pastry shell and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. There should be a slight wobble in the centre when it is cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the tart is fully cooled remove it from the baking dish and douse in icing sugar.

*yours will not turn out as brown as mine on the top.. My oven was too hot for the tart when I put it in. Ensure you have sufficiently cooled your oven to avoid this. 

So what do you think? Another Cake Slice Bakers success month from World Class Cakes? I think so.. despite the pitfalls and stops and starts I encountered. There wasn't much left by the time I got to photographing it.. that's a good sign I reckon!

Please scroll down to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebook Page. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send an email to Felice at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and she will send you all the information you need! We are a great bunch of bakers, happy to make new friends!

17 June 2017

Lemon, Berry and Mascarpone Layer Cake

Did you know that from July and for a period of time all of the berries available in ALDI will be grown in Ireland? How cool is that.. Local produce, from local growers making my dessert table very happy!

I wanted to show you how to take those colorful summer berries and turn them in dessert a BBQ party would be proud of. Think of this as a dessert to serve at a dinner party or summer lunch, on the porch with prosecco pouring. 

Ok.. ooohhh kaaayyy... I know it's Ireland. So you might have to scatter indoors and stay out of the rain but the sentiment for sunshine is still there and that can never be a bad thing.

The cake starts off with a basic soft set jam filling. No fiddling about with thermometers and jam sugars here, just heat it up, nice and thick and let it cool! BINGO! You’ve got a jam. 

Smoosh that jam in between layers of luscious lemon cake and sandwich them together with a whipped cream, mascarpone frosting. All the taste of a sweet buttercream but much, much lighter. Lads, I am not joking you this is such an easy bake. 

This really delicious dessert is so easy to set up. Honestly. Follow the steps that follow and not only will you be in possession of a super cake to wow your friends… you’ll have a super cake you could keep to yourself!

Though I do recommend sharing it, it’s nice to be nice right?

Berry Jam Filling

240g strawberries, blueberries and raspberries (80g of each) +extra for decoration
45ml water
125g regular sugar
3 tbsp cornflour (45g)
Add the berries and water to a food processor, or use a hand blender and puree until smooth. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Stir in the berry puree. Mix it all smooth.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring consistently until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes. Allow to boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Cake

325g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
250g soft butter
1 tsp baking powder
225ml milk
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
2 large free range eggs

Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350F 180C or Gas Mark 4. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This cake can have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I strongly recommend the parchment paper on the bottom.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, not adding the next until the yolk of the first has disappeared.

Combine the flour and baking powder together, sift through and set to one side.
Add half the flour and milk, mix until just combined. Add the rest, followed by the lemon juice and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes on a middle shelf until golden on top, or until a cake tester comes out clear.

Remove the cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 

Mascarpone Frosting

500ml double cream, cold
125g icing sugar
250g mascarpone cheese, chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract


Add the double cream and icing sugar to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Set whipped frosting in the refrigerator until needed.


When the cakes are cold place the first layer upside down on a serving plate, or cardboard cake round. (If your cake has a slight dome in it, use a serrated knife to level it off as best you can before you start layering).
Using a disposable piping bag, fill it with some frosting and pipe a little wall of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.
Spread some of the cold berry jam filling evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the frosting wall.  

Add more of the frosting to the top of the berry filling and spread into an even layer to cover over the berry filling.

Add the second layer of cake in the same way.
Add the final layer of cake on top, smoothing out the frosting on the sides. Use some left-over frosting to cover and fill, then smooth out the frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
Finish off the cake with swirls of frosting and extra fresh berries.

Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

***Disclaimer: Sponsored Post*** 
Aldi very kindly, provided me with the ingredients to bring this post together.
All comments and views however, are completely my own.

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