Ok, I'm completely embarrassed about recycling the same photo three times now so this will be my last post about the cricket tea :) I'm glad we were on the rota last weekend though as it's tipped it down this time round and I would have been sorely disappointed (not to say rolling in lemons).
As I already mentioned, we decided that we were going to go for a sliced no-bake (the chocolate biscuit cake - so ubiquitous as to not need a recipe though v yum and I'll probably post about it another time if I haven't already), the scones, and one large sponge cake. Initially we thought carrot cake or Victoria sponge, but I've had uncooked-in-the-middle horrors with carrot cakes before, and I thought the Victoria sponge would be too like the scones. In the end I plumped for a lemon sandwich, which is another of The Scientist's favourites. I used a recipe from the Cream Teas and Boundaries book I found on amazon for the cake, but I made two and sandwiched them together with lemon buttercream. Rather than putting more icing on the top I used the 'lemon crunch' which the recipe suggested - just a mix of sugar and lemon juice, painted on to the top of the still-warm top layer.
It was a really easy recipe - bung everything in a bowl, mix up thoroughly and stick in a cake tin. It baked nicely (I covered it towards the end as it was beginning to brown) and - more importantly - baked all the way through. Plus you use both the lemon zest and the juice which I prefer. I made it in a big 22 inch round tin so it stood nice and tall when it was sandwiched together. I was rather proud of how it looked, although it was lighter in colour than the photo makes it look - and also looked more impressive before I sliced it into a zillion thin slices. It was popular with the cricketers which was very pleasing. It was nice and light and moist which is what I'd been aiming for, but the slices were small, so the buttercream didn't wipe you out. The Scientist actually forewent it as he was batting shortly after tea, but I'll happily make it for him another time as it was so easy and tasty.
And so endeth the lesson on cricket teas. I am still camera-less, so unless something happens on that front rather pronto, I'm afraid I'm going to be reduced to drawing my dinner. And you really don't want that.
Crunchy Top Lemon Sandwich Cake (based on one in Cream Teas and Boundaries)
For each cake (make 2)
100g soft margarine
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
4 tbsp milk
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Crunchy Topping (just make one quantity to top the upper cake)
Juice of 1 lemon
100g granulated sugar (I used caster)
Lemon buttercream - I didn't write down the quantities but it's just butter, sifted icing sugar and lemon juice
Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Base line a deep round sandwich tin with greaseproof paper [I used a spring-release 22-incher so just sprayed it lightly with oil].
Measure all cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until smooth and well-blended. Turn the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake springs back lightly when pressed, or when a skewer comes out clean [watch out that the top isn't browning too much, and cover if it is]. Let one cake cool and then turn out, and pain the other one with the topping (below) while it's still warm. When both are cool, sandwich together with lemon buttercream (it will go runny if you do it while the cake is still warm)
Measure lemon and sugar into a bowl and stir until blended. When the top cake comes out of the oven, spread the lemon paste over the top while the cake is still hot. Leave in tin until cold, then turn out.