Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon Curd Cake

 I usually use lemons from my father's trees to create this cake and to my mind, it makes the dessert that much more special & tasty.  Now it's time to fill & frost those delicious layers that were made in the previous post.  It takes a little bit of planning, so I suggest you pace yourself.  The lemon curd can be made a day  in advanced (you'll need to make two batches of this) and the swiss meringue buttercream can also be made a day in advanced.  This is how I do it.



3/4 cups lemon curd is added to the swiss meringue buttercream.



With a silicone spatula, thoroughly mix the chilled lemon curd.  You want to blend this until it's creamy.

 
The buttercream is smooth & delicious.  It takes on a very appealing lemon color. 

 
I dab a bit of buttercream onto my turntable to help stabilize the layers.  Using a lazy susan like this allows
 me to turn the cake as I frost & decorate it. 

 
Since I'm going to transfer the decorated cake onto a cake stand, it helps to use a cardboard cake round as a base.  This also gets a small dab of buttercream so that my cake doesn't shift.


The first cake layer gets placed on top of the turntable.  I'm using a very wide spatula that is strong & sturdy to help me transfer the cake.  If you find your layers with a domed top, use a serrated knife to trim them level.
Fill a pastry bag with some of your buttercream and pipe a small "dam" around the top of the layer.  This will help contain your lemon curd.

 
Now add about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cups of your lemon curd.  Smooth it out with a small spatula and make sure you get completely to the edges.  The color of homemade curd is quite beautiful.

 
The second cake layer gets placed on top very carefully.  If you find your layers shifting a lot, insert a large bamboo skewer down the middle of the cake & snip off the tip.

Can you see how the lemon curd is just peeking through?  The dam of buttercream is preventing it from oozing out the sides.  A very good thing.

Quickly frost the top and sides of the cake with a small amount of buttercream.  This is the crumb coat.  The purpose of this is to keep any stray crumbs from marring the rest of the icing.  When you're done applying this thin layer of buttercream, chill the entire cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set it.



Once chilled, the cake can now take on more buttercream.  Pile the frosting on top of your cake and bring it down the sides with your offset spatula.  Having a lazy susan like this makes the job quite easy.

 
To create smooth, professional looking sides, use a bench scraper like this.  Hold it perpendicular to your pedestal and start turning.  The icing will flow smoothly & correct itself.  Any excess buttercream can be returned to your bowl.  The top of the cake gets treated in the same manner.

 
This is the end result.  Smooth, creamy & quite impressive if I do say so myself.  How easy was that?

 
Now for the decorating.  The smaller piping bag holds the remainder of my buttercream & is fitted with a #70 Ateco leaf tip.  The larger bag has a second batch of lemon curd.

Note: twist ties are placed at the ends of my bags.



Before I decorate it, the entire cake gets moved onto one my collectible Martha by Mail milk glass cake stands.  I'm using the same wide spatula to lift the cake--remember to pick it up from  underneath the cardboard cake round & transfer it.  A smaller spatula helps me push the cake off.

 
You can get as whimsical as you want when decorating a cake.  I'm piping a simple border around the top.  Hold your pastry bag with your dominant hand & squeeze from the top of the bag.  You can use your other hand to hold the piping tip & guide your design.

 
I piped the exact border around the bottom of the cake.

 
The bag holding the lemon curd was snipped at the end & no piping tip was needed.  Simple lemon drop shapes were haphazardly placed around the top.

Note: you'll have some leftover lemon curd.

 
A slice of the cake showing those scrumptious layers, the tangy lemon curd filling & that smooth buttercream.  Absolutely delicious!




It's really no wonder why aunt Marg likes this cake so much.  Perhaps the next time I make this, I may just pipe those lemon drops all around the cake and not do any borders.  The cake can be kept for about 3 days or so, but it may not last that long.  Try making one of these the next time you plan a birthday party or some other special occasion.  Everyone is going to love it.

9 comments:

  1. Doesn't Martha make this as a 4 layer cake?

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  2. In her Baking Handbook, she indeed splits each layer in two & creates a four layer cake. If you do that, you will end up using all of the lemon curd. It's totally up to you!

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  3. This looks wonderful David. I popped over after seeing your comment on Martha Moments.

    I will have to come back soon - but maybe not first thin in the morning as now all I can think about is lemon cake and lemon curd!

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  4. Pru: I'm going to miss the Martha Moments post immensely. Ha! Yes, lemon curd & lemon cake first thing in the morning may not be such a good thing. Thanks for being here!

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  5. Can you adopt me please and send me care packages? :) I love this but now it's past my bedtime and I will dream of this lovely lemon cake!

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  6. Risa: We'll adopt you! I foresee a care package in the mail sometime soon just for you.

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  7. David, this is just great! I especially appreciate the lemons after reading your more recent post about bringing the fruit home from your father's tree in SoCal. You're amazingly talented, my friend!

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  8. Ha! I love lemons Renee. I have to have them no matter what. I'm so jealous of people who can grow their own citrus in their yards, really I am.

    ~D

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  9. Gorgeous, David! I love your blog, and I love Martha, of course!

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