Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Lemon Lover's Cake


It is starting to feel like Fall around here.  This last weekend, I went to Pennsylvania with a couple of friends.  I wore a jacket almost the entire time.  It was brisk.


One of my friends and I went white water rafting.  It was a rush.  I have done white water rafting before, but this was the most exciting section of river I have ever rafted.  It seemed like the rapids were almost constant.

It was loads of fun.  It is nice to get away from the city too.  I made this cake for a barbecue a few weeks ago.  It was with my old coworkers.  One of my coworkers doesn't like chocolate.  Very weird, I know.  I made a lemon cake so she could have some too.




The recipe came from a booklet from America's Test Kitchen called Great American Cakes.  I used a recipe from this booklet to make a confetti layer cake earlier in the summer.


The ingredients for the cake are 4 large eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk, 2 cups cake flour, 1  1/2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons lemon extract,  and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest.  For the filling, I used about 2 cups lemon curd.


For the frosting, I used 20 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, 1 tablepoons grated lemon zest, and 1/4 cup lemon juice.  The original recipe only called for 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, but I did not think that was enough.


To make the cake, I whisked together the milk, lemon extract, vanilla extract, and eggs.




 I added the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a stand mixer.  I stirred it together with the paddle for a few seconds.



I added the softened butter one piece at a time.  I mixed continually.  I continued to mix until the batter looked like coarse sand.


I added half of the milk and egg mixture.  I stirred for about a minutes.  I scraped the sides with a spatula.


 I added the remaining egg and milk mixture.  I stirred for about 30 seconds.


 I then mixed in the lemon zest.


 I poured the batter evenly between two nine inch cake pans.  I lined the cake pans with parchment and greased the pans.  The directions said to use eight inch pans, but I just reduced the baking time a little bit.  I baked the cakes for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


While the cakes baked and cooled completely, I made the frosting.  I added the softened butter into stand up mixer.  I whipped this until smooth.  This took about a minute.  


I beat in the lemon and vanilla extract.  I also beat in the heavy cream.



I gradually beat in the confectioners sugar.  I kept adding confectioners sugar until the frosting reached the desired consistency.


I then mixed in the lemon zest and lemon juice.


I cut the cooled caked in half.


I laid on half onto my serving plate.  I added about a half or three fourths of a cup of lemon curd on top of the first layer.  I spread it out evenly.  I added the top of that cake and spread on another half to three fourth cup of curd.  I added the next half and then the same amount of lemon curd.  I added the remaining cake half cut side down on top of the lemon curd.



I covered the cake in a thin layer of frosting to capture all the crumbs.  You are supposed to let it cool in the fridge after this step, but I didn't have enough space in my fridge.  Instead I proceeded to cover it with a thicker layer.  I first added the frosting on top of the cake.



I evened the frosting on the top and pushed extra frosting onto the sides.  I spread out the frosting on the sides, adding extra frosting when needed.  Once it was thoroughly coated, I smoothed out the sides as best as I could.


This was an utterly scrumptious cake.  It was so bright, lemony, and fresh.


 Every component and tang and citrus flavor.  The cake was tender and moist.


The curd was a little sour and sweet.  It was creamy and smooth.  It melded and infused a little into the cake layers.


The frosting also carried a good lemony kick.  It was luscious and mousse-like.  All the components married wonderful well together.  It was decadent and delightful.  Each bite was like having a party in my mouth.


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