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Author Notes: There's nothing I love better than a lemon dessert. Lemon tart, lemon syrup cake, lemon mousse, you name it and I'm there!! But as much as I do love a lemon tart (and do think it's the ultimate lemon dessert), I find that pastry can be time consuming, so really wanted to create something faster but still zingy and with some texture, so I added a crumble topping to this cake. The cake base is delicious and buttery and is made extra luscious with the addition of creme fraiche and almond meal. The combination of beautiful lemon curd sandwiched between a super-moist cake base and crumbly topping is a match made in heaven! I like to serve mine with fresh berries, a berry coulis and a dollop of creme fraiche for extra indulgence. I imagine you could use good-quality store-bought lemon curd for this cake, but I also wonder why you would buy it when it's so easy and so delicious when home-made. It's so delicious that my housemate licks the bowl entirely clean when I make it! Please enjoy as this is a firm favorite amongst my friends and family, but I don't tend to make it too often as it can be quite an expensive endeavor!! —nhd91
Crumble Topping and Almond Cake Base
- 100 grams unsalted butter
- 50 grams brown sugar
- 80 grams caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200gm grams all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- Almond Cake Base
- 6 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 75 grams unsalted butter, softended
- 50 grams almond meal
- Preheat oven to 180°c or 160°c if using a fan-forced oven.
- Grease and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Alternatively, grease and line a 25cm tart-pan (this is what I used).
- For the crumble topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Remove from heat, add both types of sugar and stir constantly until dissolved into a smooth, toffee-like sauce. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour into a small mixing bowl. Sift the flour and salt into the toffee-like sauce and stir until the mixture resembles a biscuit-like dough. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the bowl and set aside to go cold. Alternatively, press mixture into small baking tray and place in refrigerator
- For the cake base, place crème fraiche, whole egg and egg yolk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix using an electric mixer until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sift in almond meal and stir through before gradually beating in the cream fraiche mixture until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and firm.
- 4 lemons, zest and juice
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1.5 cups caster sugar
- 160 grams unsalted butter, chilled
- For the lemon curd, zest and juice four lemons. Place whole eggs and egg yolks into a medium-sized saucepan and pour in sugar. Whisk until combined and place on low-medium heat on stove-top.
- Dice the chilled butter into medium-sized cubes and add to saucepan along with the lemon zest and juice. Cook this until thickened and the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to boil the lemon curd.
- When desired consistency is reached, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl as to remove any lumps and zest. This step is important as any little bits of cooked egg white are removed from the curd.
- When the almond cake base is golden, remove from oven and pour the lemon curd slowly over the cake.
- Break the crumb mixture into hazelnut-size pieces and scatter over the now lemon curd covered cake. I also find it nice to crumble small amounts of crumble over the cake with my hands, to the point where the crumble mixture resembles fine sand.
- When the cake is sufficiently covered in crumble, place in oven and cook until the crumble is golden and crisp, approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from cake tin. If you don't allow the cake to cool, the lemon curd will collapse and ooze out from the cake as it is still very hot. I would even recommend chilling the cake once it has reached room temperature to ensure it keeps its form.
- Remove cake from tin and dust with icing sugar before serving with coulis, fresh berries, and a dollop of crème fraiche if you want to go the extra mile.
- Eat with a guilt-free conscious and a big smile!
More Great Recipes: Desserts