It is Valentines Day this week and everything should be red and hearts. But here I am with a lemon layer cake! Just think of lemons as puckery food!
Lemon on lemon on lemon. How can it get any better? This is the ultimate cake for the lemon lover. Follow it step by step for your Lemon Dream. I candied lemon peel to use as a garnish but I didn't feel it was showy enough so I bought a yellow rose to add as a garnish with the candied peel. I like the look.
Triple Lemon Layer Cake
2 1/3 c. cake flour 550 mL
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder 13 mL
1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
1 3/4 c. sugar 430 mL
2 tbsp. grated lemon zest 30 mL
3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature 180 mL
1 c. whole milk, room temperature 250 mL
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar 1 mL
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened 45 mL
1 c. sugar 250 mL
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice 160 mL
1 tsp. grated lemon zest 5 mL
1 c. unsalted butter, softened 250 mL
2 tbsp. grated lemon zest 30 mL
3 1/2 c. sifted confections sugar 875 mL
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 45 mL
Make the lemon curd first so it can chill. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and yolks. Beat 1 minute more, then stir in lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled but don’t worry.
Cook in a double boiler until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Press plastic wrap on surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming and chill thoroughly.
Make cake by preheating oven to 350F(180C) and place a rack in the middle of oven. Butter and flour two 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 of the sugar with lemon zest in food processor.
In large bowl, beat butter and lemon sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add remaining sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in 1/4 of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add flour mixture alternatively with milk in three batches, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat until just blended.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer until whites are foamy and add cream of tartar. Continue to beat until the whites form stiff peaks. Add one quarter of the whites to batter and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Continue to fold in the whites one quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centres comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Loosen edges of cake along sides of pan and invert onto a rack. Flip right side up and let cool completely.
Carefully remove cake from pans and cut horizontally, using a long serrated knife.
Place one layer on serving plate, cut side up and spread a generous 1/3 cup of lemon curd (160 mL) filling on it. Add each layer in the same manner until the final layer is placed and do not top with filling.
In a medium bowl, beat butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar in batches until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and beat for one minute.
Up to a few hours ahead, spread thin layer of frosting on cake. Chill about 1/2 hour. Spread remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and silver dragees, or garnish as you like. (Adapted from Fine Cooking)