Monday, July 21, 2008

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Curd

This is a fantastic, light, and airy lemon cake. And the curd is perfect! You may notice the alarming amount of butter in all three elements, but hey, that's what makes it so good.

It's a bit time intensive but I never mind that when things come out this good!

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Raspberry Curd
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Curd (make the day before)
  • Melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add raspberries, yolks, sugar, and salt. Mash raspberries. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Pour through a strainer, pressing to extract as much as possible.
  • Cool to room temperature then stir in lemon juice. Chill.
  • Heat oven to 350. Prepare two 8x2 round cake pans. (I did not use parchment rounds this time and I regretted it. No huge harm done, they just didn't release as nicely as I would have liked)
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with lemon zest in food processor until finely ground.
  • Beat butter and zest mixture with electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add remaining sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk and beat until just blended. Reduce speed to low and alternately add flour and milk in 3 batches. Beat only until blended, no longer.
  • Beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat to stiff peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the batter carefully. (The point of "folding in" is to keep the air bubbles in the eggs, so do this carefully. If you're not sure how to do this, check here). This is really a very pretty batter!
  • Divide batter between the two pans and bake about 35 minutes.
  • Cool 10 minutes in pan then remove and cool completely.
  • Beat butter and zest until fluffy.
  • Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add lemon juice and beat for one minute.
  • Cut each cake into two layers.
  • Spread curd in between layers, leaving about a 1/2 inch border.
  • Frost. I used a zig-zag on the sides and smooth on top, but whatever floats your boat works.

A few tips:
  • Butter at "room temperature" does not necessarily mean YOUR room temperature. It needs to still be somewhat firm, just not solid and definitely not squishy. I usually take it out 20 minutes before I start and it's perfect. If I forget, 12 seconds on my microwave is perfect.
  • Separate eggs while they're cold, then let them come to room temp. It's easier to separate them when they're cold.
  • It's absolutely necessary to have a perfectly clean bowl when whipping egg whites. ANY fat or soap residue will make them stay flat. So, to make sure, wipe out the bowl with white vinegar then rinse with water.
I found this recipe in Luscious Berry Desserts


Janice Marin said...

I love reading your delicious recipes! wish I could taste them too!!

Ingrid said...

This is another recipe that's right up my alley. Love that you made your own curd. You go girl! You've made quite a few things I've dragged my feet on trying.