|Lemon Curd Layer Cake. I forgot to the fresh lemon slices on top|
Friday, July 6, 2012
My cake is slipping
Today I finished making a lemon curd layer cake. I had promised a celebration birthday cake for Anita and Marsena, but then life got complicated and I didn’t get around to it until this week. This recipe is complicated, too. For me, anyway. But if you do it step by step the resulting cake is memorable. Four days ago I made the required six cups of lemon curd which is so good you have to hide it from yourself. Using fresh farm eggs makes the curd bright as oxeye daisies. Yesterday I made the three cake layers. Today I whipped the cream, blended in some of the curd and topped each level with curd followed by cream frosting. The final layer is covered in cream frosting, the remaining curd is spread on the top and then rest of the whipped cream is piped around the edges. So beautiful.
Maybe because it was too hot in the house, or perhaps it is just me, but the cake is sitting in the refrigerator slipping its top. Oh, and another thing, my layers came out of the oven tall and beautiful and promptly fell. It will still taste marvelous.
Beloved, my projects, my life is never quite perfect.
I’m posting the recipe in case anyone else is in love with lemon deserts. Just know – you really need to start this a day in advance because the curd needs to cool and the frosting needs to set up for 3-4 hours. From Bon Appetite magazine…
Lemon Curd Layer Cake
2 1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 c. fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks (save whites for cake)
¾ c. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter cut in pieces
¾ c. powdered sugar
2 c. whipping cream
1 ½ c. cake flour
1 ½ c. sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
¼ c vegetable oil
¼ c. orange juice
1 ½ tsp grated lemon peel
8 large egg whites
¼ tsp cram of tartar
Lemon slices, halved, patted dry. ( I forgot them!)
FOR LEMON CURD: Combine 2 1/3 c. sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium pan. Gradually whisk in fresh lemon juice. Whisk in eggs and yolks; add butter. Whisk over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, abut 12 min. Pour into container or jars, cover refrigerate. Can be made 1 week ahead.
FOR FROSTING: Beat powdered sugar and 1 ¼ c. curd in large bowl just until blended. Beat cream in separate bowl until firm peaks form. Fold cream into curd mixture in 3 additions. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours.
FOR CAKE: Oven 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9 inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, b. powder. Add 4 yolks, oil, orange juice, lemon peel and ¾ c. curd. (Don’t beat it quite yet because you need to use mixer to beat egg whites.) In another large bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining cup of sugar, beating until stiff. Using same beaters, beat yolk mix until smooth. Fold whites into yolk mixture in three additions. Divide batter into the three pans. Bake about 25 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 min. Turn onto racks, peel off parchment. Cool completely.
Spoon 1 c. frosting into pastry bag fitted with plain round tip. Refrigerate while you put the rest together. Place 1 layer on cake plate. Spread top with 1/3 c. curd and 1 c. frosting. Do same with the next. Top with third layer and spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Spread remaining curd on the top leaving a ¾ inch border around. Pipe little mounds of chilled bagged frosting around edge. Place lemon slices between mounds. Can be made a day ahead.