February 11, 2011

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting

If you like lemon, you will love this recipe--very yummy!
by Gourmet Magazine

Makes 1 (8") Layer Cake

Lemon Curd: (needs to be made ahead  of time)

1/2 c fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butted, cut into bits

For Cake Layers:
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c whole milk
2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs

For frosting:
1 c heavy cream
1/2 cup confections sugar
Lemon curd (following recipe), chilled

TO MAKE LEMON CURD:  Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.
     Note--Can be chilled up to one week

MAKE CAKE LAYERS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 (8"x2") round cake pans and line the bottom of each with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir together milk and lemon juice (mixture will curdle).
Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour, mixing at low speed until just combined.
Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops. Bake in middle of oven until tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert into racks, remove paper, and cool completely.

MAKE FROSTING: Beat cream and confections sugar with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold one third of whipping cream into lemon curd to lighten, then fold in remaining whipping cream.

ASSEMBLE CAKE: Put 1 cake layer, rounded side up, on a cake plate and spread with one fourth of frosting. Top with second layer, rounded side up, and spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
      Note--Can be assembled 1 day ahead and chilled in a cake keeper or loosely covered with plastic wrap (use toothpicks to hold wrap away from frosting). Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

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