With all the hype in the blogging world about DIY, and Ireland’s own “Franc” flying the Do it Yourself flag, more and more couples are looking at DIY as a legitimate way to bring personality to their big day, while keeping costs down. If you’re considering taking on some wedding projects yourself, be sure to read this post about the realities of DIY first, to get the most out of the experience without losing your sanity!
One of the DIY projects that my husband decided to take on for our big day, was, believe it or not, our wedding cake! How this ambitious project came about is a whole other story, but I thought for those of you who might be considering baking your own wedding cake, I’d share our chosen recipe, an Iced Lemon Curd Layer Cake, courtesy of Delia Smith. This isn’t a traditional wedding cake, but it’s a relatively straight forward recipe and I can guarantee that it tastes amazing, whatever the occasion!
Iced Lemon Curd Layer Cake
Equipment: You will need to grease two 18cm/7in sandwich tins 4cm/1½in deep, lined with baking parchment, also greased.
For the cake
- 1 lemon, zest only, grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 175g/6oz butter, at room temperature
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
For the lemon curd
- 1 large juicy lemon, grated zest and juice only
- 75g/3oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 50g/2oz unsalted butter
For the icing
- 1 large lemon, zest only
- 50g/2oz sifted icing sugar
- 2-3 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
- Measure all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat – ideally with an electric hand whisk – until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Then divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake them on the centre shelf of the oven for about 35 minutes or until the centres feel springy when lightly touched with a little finger.
- While the cakes are cooking, make the lemon curd, place the sugar and grated lemon zest in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, then pour this over the sugar. Then add the butter cut into little pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently till thickened – about 20 minutes. You don’t have to stay with it – just come back from time to time to give it a stir.
- When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds turn them out on to a wire rack. When they are absolutely cold – and not before – carefully cut each one horizontally into two using a sharp serrated knife. Now spread the curd thickly to sandwich the sponges together.
- For the icing, begin by removing the zest from the lemon – it’s best to use a zester to get long, curly strips. Then sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually stir in the lemon juice until you have a soft, runny consistency.
- Allow the icing to stand for 5 minutes before spreading it on top of the cake with a knife, almost to the edges, and don’t worry if it runs a little down the sides of the cake. Then scatter the lemon zest over the top and leave it for half an hour for the icing to firm up before serving.
One of the things that I had always heard before our wedding, is that something will always go wrong. But did we believe them? Of course not. We thought that by being uber organised, bringing most of the ingredients from Ireland, and having lots of trial runs (I was a very willing guinea pig!) that all would work out perfectly. With the help of his brother and best friend, all was going fine with the cake baking saga in our little French Gite, until my husband dropped the first layer of the cake as it came out of the oven! In hindsight it’s one of the funniest things that happened, but it certainly made for a few stressful hours! It all worked out great in the end, and was so lovely to be able to eat his handmade cake on the day! So best of luck with your DIY adventure, and remember no matter what happens, what’s important is that you get to marry the person of your dreams, everything else is just the icing on the cake!
Image credits: Brosnan Photographic