Serves 10 to 12
On Festa della Donna which is the 8th of March it is common to give a small sprig of Mimosa to female friends as it is a symbol for strength. I love those beautiful small fluffy yellow blossoms. The cake traditionally is fully covered in cake crumbs, but in this recipe I have just sprinkled them on the top, as I like the look.
For the cake
9 eggs, separated
225g caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
225g plain flour, sifted
50g potato flour
3 tsp baking powder
For the lemon custard cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 strips of lemon rind
7 egg yolks
180ml single cream
3 tbsp limoncello
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line the base of 3 x 20cm loose base round cake tins and brush with melted butter and dust the sides with flour.
To prepare the cake, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Seperately whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean paste until pale and fluffy. Sieve the flours and baking powder in a bowl and fold into the egg yolk mixture. Then gently fold the egg whites through.
Divide the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. To check insert a skewer into the centre of the cake when it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Transfer to a cooling rack, cool for 15 minutes in the tins and then remove and cool completely before assembling.
To make the custard cream, heat the milk, vanilla bean paste and lemon rind in a medium saucepan to just below boiling point. In a separate large bowl cream the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Whisk a little hot milk into the egg mixture and pour the rest in, briskly whisking all the time. Pour the milk back into the saucepan, gently cook over low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Stir from time to time during the cooling process to prevent a skin from forming. Remove the lemon rind strips.
Pour the cream into a medium bowl and whisk the cream to form stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the custard mixture and set aside.
Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or plate, using a small knife, cut the cake 1cm from the outer edge and 2cm deep, and scoop out. Reserve the cake for the topping. Repeat for a second layer.
Pour some limoncello evenly over the scooped cake layers. Spoon a third of the lemon cream over 2 layers.
Place the other layer of cake on top. Spread the rest of the lemon custard cream on top. Crumb the pieces of cake that were scooped out. Sprinkle over the top of the cake to resemble mimosa flower blossoms.