For my mum’s birthday cake, she put in an order for something with lemon curd. Lemon curd is also known as lemon butter. I had been wanting to experiment with macadamias in a cake for a while and thought a macadamia cake would compliment a tangy lemon butter beautifully.
Macadamias are a nut that are native to Australia and a few other countries in South East Asia. In Australia we are able to readily buy the nuts, either roasted and salted, raw or chocolate covered, and also buy macadamia nut oil, which is good for baking. I used both the raw macadamia nuts and macadamia oil in my cake. Because of the high oil content in the nuts, I processed them with the flour so that I did not end up with a macadamia nut butter type concoction.
This is my twist on recipes that use ground almond meal. I used 2 x 20cm or 8″ round cake tins to bake my cake. I used the lemon curd as a filling with cream for the middle and poured instead of icing over the top. My cake ended up looking quite rustic, because I was too impatient to let the lemon curd set fully and poured it over the cake while it was still quite runny.
To test if something is at “coats the back of a wooden spoon” stage, take your wooden spoon you have been using to stir out of your liquid, and draw a line across the back of the spoon with your finger. If the line you have drawn stays there, and liquid isn’t bleeding down and distorting the line, it is ready.
Macadamia Cake with Lemon Curd Icing
- 300mls double or extra thick cream
- Lemon jelly or jube lollies to decorate
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup macadamia oil plus extra to grease your cake tins
- zest from 1 or 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 200g raw macadamias
- 100g butter, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C, grease 2 x 20cm or 8″ cake tins with a generous coating of macadamia oil and cut out 2 circles of grease-proof baking paper to line the bottom of the tins.
- In a food processor, blitz the macadamias and flour until the macadamias are finely chopped and resemble almond meal.
- Add the baking powder, sugar, lemon zest and blitz to combine.
- Add the eggs, lemon juice and macadamia oil and blitz to combine.
- Divide the cake mixture between the 2 cake tins and smooth the tops.
- Bake the for approximately 25 minutes. When the cake bounces back when touched and is cooked, remove from the oven.
- Leave the cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the tin.
- Turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Your cake is ready to serve, enjoy it while it is still warm or once it has cooled.
- To make your lemon curd, add your curd ingredients to a heat proof bowl.
- Half fill a saucepan with hot water and place on the stove top over a medium to low heat, to great a gentle simmer.
- Set the bowl over a saucepan of hot water to create a bain marie.
- Stir the curd over the saucepan of hot water until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove the curd from the heat and the bain marie. Refrigerate the curd until you are ready to assemble your cake.
- To assemble your cake, place one cake on your serving plate.
- Coat the first cake with lemon curd and cream.
- Set the second cake on top of the cream and lemon curd, and coat the top of the cake with extra lemon curd to ice.
- Decorate with your lemon lollies if using.
- Your cake is ready to serve. Refrigerate until you are ready for the birthday candles and singing.
What is your favourite birthday cake? Has this post inspired any new ideas?