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For pre-christmas dinner with the girlfriends, I made lemon layer cake with mascarpone filling. I followed this recipe, used my new baking mold from Muji and tossed in some blueberries for good measure. The cake turned out a little dense, due to several errors I made which I highlighted below… but it still had a good lemony flavour, the soaking of the syrup and the mascarpone filling were definitely cake-savers.

You’ll need: 

For the cake: ¼ cup agave syrup, 5 eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2/3 cup all purpose flour. For the filling: 8 ounces mascarpone, zest of 1 lemon finely grated, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp agave. For the syrup: 4 tbsp agave, juice of ½ lemon, 1/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease your baking mold with butter and dust with flour.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Beat the agave with the yolks and vanilla until frothy, then gently whisk in the flour (I had a ton of trouble at this step, for some reason the mixture became so pasty… which made the next step more difficult). Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the yolk, agave and flour mixture (Here’s where I went wrong I think, because the mixture was so pasty, I lost so much volume with folding the whites in). Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake is cooked once it is browned and the sides of the cake start to shrink from the side of the mold – wait at least 25 minutes and if the cake had shrunk, it is done – no need to open and close the oven to check (I read this post-baking, after I had already committed all the cardinal sins for wrecking a genoise).

To make the filling, whisk the mascarpone, lemon zest, lemon juice and agave together.

When the cake is cooked, unmold it and cut the cake into two (or three layers if you prefer). Leave to cool.

Make the syrup by combining the agave, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Cook the syrup over low heat for about 5 minutes.

To assemble: Brush the bottom layer with the syrup, spread half (or a third if you’re doing a 3 layer cake or close to all if you don’t want to ice the top) mascarpone on the cake. Top it with the second cake layer, brush it with syrup and spread it with mascarpone. Repeat with remaining layers.  You can finish with a dollop of remaining mascarpone and blueberries, along with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar. 

I think I’m going to attempt this one again… hopefully, this time the cake will be light and fluffy! I’ll let you know how it goes.