From Episode 1 – Reproduced from the BBC Food Website
Miniature versions of the classic lemon drizzle cake are filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with a lemon thyme syrup and candied lemon slices.
Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 12-hole muffin tin (as straight sided as possible), two piping bags and a small round nozzle.
For the lemon curd:
2 free-range eggs
2 large unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
110g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
For the sponge:
Cake release spray or butter, for greasing
175g baking spread
175g caster sugar
3 medium free-range eggs
175g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp finely chopped lemon thyme leaves
½ lemon, zest only
For the syrup:
100g caster sugar
A few sprigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves picked
1½ lemons, zest and juice only
For the topping:
35g caster sugar
1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
12 candied lemon slices
Thyme leaves, for decoration
For the filling:
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g icing sugar
100g mascarpone cheese
100ml double cream whipped
- For the lemon curd, whisk the eggs together in a small saucepan. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, sugar and cornflour. Stir over a low heat until the curd thickens. Pour into a bowl and then chill in the fridge.
- For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spray the muffin tin with cake release spray or grease with butter. Line the bottom of the trays with small circles of baking parchment.
- Put the baking spread and sugar in a freestanding mixer and cream together until smooth and pale. Mix in the eggs, then fold in the flour, salt, baking powder, thyme and lemon zest.
- Fill each hole of the muffin tin until three-quarters full (it’s easiest to use an ice cream scoop, if you have one). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown and springy to the touch.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tins, then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.
- For the syrup, heat the caster sugar, thyme, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup forms.
- Using a fork or skewer, pierce the sponges then use a pastry brush to brush the warm syrup over the cakes.
- For the topping, mix any remaining syrup with the sugar and lemon zest. Drizzle it over the tops of the mini cakes to create the classic lemon drizzle topping.
- For the filling, use an electric whisk to cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the mascarpone and then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the filling into a piping fitted with a small round nozzle.
- Slice the cakes in half and pipe small rounds on top of the bottom half of each cake. Spread the lemon curd on the top halves and then place on top of the creamed bases.
- Top with the candied lemon slices and a few thyme leaves and arrange on a serving plate or cake stand.