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A Mother's Day cake that is brimming with sweetness, tanginess and instantly recognisable Earl Grey tea. Covered with a bright, zingy lemon buttercream, you can't go wrong with this bake. See method
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Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins with nonstick baking paper.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan with 3 tbsp loose-leaf Earl Grey tea; set aside to infuse for 30 mins.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp flour with each one, mixing between each addition, to combine. Gently fold in the remaining flour, the baking powder, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt until no white streaks remain; stir in the milk.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 tins and level the tops. Bake for 25-30 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Meanwhile, use an electric whisk to whisk 3 large egg whites and 250g caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until thickened slightly and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat; keep whisking until cooled to room temperature, thick and glossy. Whisk in 350g softened unsalted butter to make a buttercream. Spread 1 sponge with buttercream and 150g lemon curd; top with the second sponge. Cover the top and sides with buttercream. Pipe on 12 rosettes with a large star nozzle; decorate with the zest of 1 lemon.
Tip: If the Swiss meringue buttercream is lumpy or curdles, it’s too cold. Put the bowl back over the pan to melt at the edges, then whisk again. If it’s too soft, chill in the fridge for 20 mins at a time until hard at the edges, then whisk together.
Freezing and defrosting guidelinesFreeze un-iced sponges. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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