Mary Berry's iced lemon tray bake, as baked by EJ
One of the great things about Mary Berry's Baking Bible is that it contains a fair few lemony cake recipes (or 15 to be precise). To me this is awesome, because I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't love a citrus sponge. Citrussy cakes somehow manage to be cakey and refreshing at the same time and can be eaten in pretty much any context (you know how some cakes are so borderline-desert-like that you can't eat them at your 10am tea break? Lemon sponge will never go there).
I baked Mary Berry's iced lemon tray bake to bring to the bake sale at work.... I think everyone liked it! The sponge was zesty and fresh even two days after baking and the icing was an excellent balance of sweet and sharp. I was quite surprised to see milk as one of the sponge ingredients, as I never usually put milk in a citrus cake, but I actually think it softened the flavour a little and probably helped to keep the sponge moist.
As with the other recipes, this one was very easy to follow. The only thing that bugged me is that MB's standard recipe instruction seems to be to 'measure all of the ingredients into a bowl and beat until well blended'. Usually this is ok (and let's face it, if you have a fancy food mixer, this is always ok), but this tray bake contains four large eggs, which actually made it really difficult to mix the ingredients into a smooth batter without ending up with lumps of butter, as the rest of the mixture was quite liquid (and I'm not sure any recipe is really worth 20 minutes of solid mixing by hand, which is what I had to do to get rid of those annoying lumps of butter).
I also had to add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to the icing to get it to the correct consistency, I guess that following the instructions precisely will sometimes teach you that approaching a recipe with a little common sense is always a good idea.
I wanted to decorate these with those little jelly lemon and orange slices, unfortunately someone had raided my baking cupboard and eaten them all. So yep, you guessed it, I went for the default gold and silver sugar pearls. I need to start buying these wholesale.
Overall, an awesome sponge and one I will definitely bake again.