Simple yet sublime. This pound cake is infused with a tangy lemon syrup and is perfect to serve on its own with a cuppa or used as a base for a more elaborate celebration cake. This recipe was originally published in BakeClass.
Melted butter, to grease 250g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed 220g (1 cup) caster sugar Finely grated lemon zest of 1 lemon 4 eggs, at room temperature 250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour 2½ teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180 °C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm (base measurement) round cake tin or springform pan with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter, eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Use a spatula to fold half of the flour mixture through the batter mixture. Fold in the lemon juice and then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, to make the Lemon Syrup, combine the caster sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside until the cake is cooked.
Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, brush the top with a little of the syrup. Leave the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining syrup and set aside to cool.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
4 egg whites (from 59g eggs), at room temperature 220g (1 cup) caster sugar 250g unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal portions, at room temperature Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract Food colouring gel of your choice (optional)
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water). Stir with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 60°C on a sugar thermometer.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment for 10-15 minutes or until very thick and glossy and the mixture has cooled completely to room temperature.
Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle beater. Beat on medium-high speed using the paddle beater for about 10 minutes adding a portion of butter one at a time and beating well after each addition until completely incorporated and smooth before adding the next portion of butter. If the mixture becomes lumpy or looks slightly curdled at any stage increase the speed to high and beat until smooth before adding the next portion of butter.
Reduce speed to medium-low and beat for 3-4 minutes and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Tint with gel colour to desired colour if using.
This buttercream will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months. Before using bring to room temperature/thaw and then beat with the paddle attachment on low speed for 4-5 minutes or until smooth again.