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Method1. For the lemon curd: put the lemon zest and juice, eggs, butter and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place this over a pan of simmering water and stir continuously until all the butter has melted – don’t let it boil or it will curdle. Continue stirring for about 15 minutes until the mixture is creamy and thick. Strain it through a sieve into a clean jar, and leave to cool before using it in the Victoria sandwich cake. This curd will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
2. For the cake: preheat the oven to 170ºC / gas 3, and grease and line two 20 cm sandwich cake tins.
3. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, then add the grated lemon zest. Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture but do this gradually, a little at a time, and add a tablespoonful of the flour for each egg to stop the mixture curdling. Beat it well after each addition. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the remaining flour and baking powder, and then fold in as much lemon juice as you need to give a soft, dropping consistency.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and level the surface with a knife. Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes. You can tell when the cakes are cooked because they should shrink slightly away from the sides of the tins and the tops will feel springy to the touch.
5. Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Once they are cold, spread with a generous layer of lemon curd and sandwich the 2 cakes together. Sprinkle the top with icing or caster sugar before serving.
For the lemon curd
- 2 unwaxed lemons, finely grated zest and juice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 175 g caster sugar
For the cake
- 225 g butter, softened
- 225 g golden caster sugar
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- icing sugar or caster sugar, to decorate