Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Vanilla Cake, Lemon Curd filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting = Delicious!
I was asked to make dessert for a friend's anniversary last week, and I made this cake. It is simply delicious, even better the next day...
- For the Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
(I made a three layers cake, so I did a recipe and a half)
- For the Filling:
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced
- For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
(Makes about 4 cups)
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two (or 3, if you're making a 3 layers cake) 9-x-2-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
To Make The Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
To make the Lemon Curd Filling: Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don't let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken, this process will take quite some time. Hang in there. It is totally worth it. Once the consistency is thick, remove from heat and allow to cool (It will thicken even more once cooled).
To make the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Whip the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until slightly thickened and pale yellow, 4 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes.
Without letting the hot sugar mixture cool off, turn the mixer to low and slowly pour the warm sugar syrup into the whipped egg yolks without hitting the side of the bowl or the beaters. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy and the bowl is no longer warm, 5 to 10 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the vanilla and salt. Gradually add the butter, one piece at a time, until completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the buttercream until smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. (If the mixture looks curdled, wrap a hot, wet towel around the bowl and continue to whip until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes).
Assembling and Decorating the cake: Start by adding like a tablespoon of your frosting on the center of your cake plate. This will prevent your cake of moving while you're working on it.
Place the first layer, cut side down, on the cake plate. (Moist the cake with simple syrup if desired). Pour half of the lemon curd filling and spread it evenly leaving about 3/4 of an inch from the edges. Then, place the next layer on top, cut side down. (Moist with simple syrup if desired). Add and spread the rest of the lemon curd filling. Top with the third layer. At this point, you can smooth the sides if any filling is coming out. If you have a brush, it would help to get rid off any crumbs that you see around the sides or top of the cake.
Spread a thin layer of the frosting all over the cake. I personally start doing the top and then going down the sides. It does not have to be perfect, it is a very thin spread in order to avoid crumbs to the final coat. Once you are done with this part, chill the cake until you touch the frosting on top and leaves a little mark.
Once the cake is ready, give the final coat of frosting and decorate as desired.
- Perfect Party Cake - Recipe Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan.
- Lemon Curd Filling - Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen.
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - Recipe Courtesy of The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.