On Sunday my 3 year old and my husband were singing the ABC song. My daughter has decided that instead of the letter K, we should say cake. I agree. Cake should be included in everything, even the alphabet. *sigh* She is so smart.
I was houding my husband asking him if he wanted to bring cake or cupcakes to work. He said, “Make that lemon thing.” While I doubt he’s going to bring this in for the guys (and girls), I had to make it. It’s lemon, it’s delicious and includes one of my very very favorite things, Lemon Curd.
Lemon curd doesn’t sound appetizing…nothing ‘Curd’ does. But in the middle of winter (for many of my easterly readers), lemon can really brighten your mood. It brings back a little hint of summer, and the yellow of a lemon is so cheerful! Even here, where the sun shines almost everyday, I can always use a little bit of lemon in my day.
I also really love layered cakes (about as much as I love filled cupcakes) and this – this cake looks delightful.
Lemon Layer Cake
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
1 tsp gelatin (I used 1 tsp agar powder)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 large eggs
6 large egg yolks (save the whites to the side)
8 Tablespoon unsalted butter (cubed and frozen)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup whole milk, room temp
6 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cold, cut into 1 T slabs
2 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T corn syrup
1. FOR THE FILLING: Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolks in large nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl (you should have 3 cups). Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.
2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line with parchment paper. In 2-cup liquid measure or medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, and vanilla.
3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible butter chunks. Add all but 1/2 cup milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running at low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture; increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer. Divide batter evenly between cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.
4. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
5. TO ASSEMBLE: Cut each cake into even layers (use a serrated knife). Place bottom layer of 1 cake on cardboard round or cake plate. Using icing spatula, spread 1 cup lemon filling evenly on cake, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Gently replace top layer. Spread 1 cup filling on top. Slide bottom half of second cake into place. Spread remaining cup filling on top. Place top layer of second cake. Smooth out any filling that has leaked from sides of cake; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making icing.
6. FOR THE ICING: Combine all ingredients in bowl of standing mixer or large heatproof bowl and set over medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and transfer mixture to standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until mixture has cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 minutes longer. Using icing spatula, spread frosting on cake. Serve. Refrigerate leftover cake.
I probably should have refrigerated it before I attempted to cut it…
But it looked and smelled WAY too good to have to wait any longer to eat it.
A bright ray of sunshine in my kitchen that is consumed with pot and pan boxes, kitchenaid boxes, etc.