Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

Here's the other cake, again from Beantown Baker, I made for my grandmother's birthday - and this one was especially for her. She loves fresh fruit and sweet frosting and this has both! (Again I didn't get to taste the whole thing due to Ida's sensitivities but I did get to taste the cake itself and I love this white cake recipe!  That almond flavoring does wonders to enhance it!)
(Don't you like my nephew's finger pointing to which raspberry he wants?)
(Again, I assembled these super late at night while we were doing a Settler's of Catan tournament, so they aren't they smoothest or most level cakes ever.)  My notes are in italics.
Recipe after the break

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake - cake adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles - serves 12
Printable Recipe
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add cake flour, baking powder, and salt to mixer bowl and mix at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Assembling the cake
Make a double batch of the vanilla buttercream. Recipe below. (I only used one batch since it was so rich. It covered really well - only a few spots I had to fudge.)

Make a batch of raspberry curd (recipe below) and allow to cool completely.

Once cake layers have completely cooled, use a large serated knife to slice each layer in half horizontally.

Scoop about a cup of frosting into a piping bag with a large round tip (you can also use a ziplock bag and snip off the corner. I wouldn't recommend doing that if you are piping swirls on top of cupcakes, but in this situation, it's ok. No one will see what you're piping).

Place strips of waxes paper around the plate or cake disk that you will be using for the cake. Pipe a small amount of frosting onto the center of your cake disk. This will serve as glue to hold the cake in place.

Place your first layer of cake, cut side up, on the disk. Pipe a thick ring around the edge of the cake. This will serve as a dam to keep the filling in the cake and prevent the layers from sliding around.

Spread ~1/3 to 1/2 cup of raspberry curd onto the cake. Add the top half of that cake and repeat. Add the bottom half of the other cake, cut side up again, and repeat. Place the top layer on the cake.

Apply a very thin layer of frosting on the cake. This will serve as a crumb coat and will help the final frosting to be smooth. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Next, coat the cake with frosting and smooth it out. Decorate how you'd like!

Easy Vanilla Buttercream - from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Cooks Illustrated April 2007 - makes 3 cups
Printable Recipe
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups Confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
1/8 tablespoons table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.

Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Raspberry Curd - from Notes from My Food Diary, originally from Luscious Berry Desserts by Lori Longbotham - note I doubled this recipe, but a single batch would be sufficient for filling a cake with some leftover
Printable Recipe
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Two 1/2-pints ripe raspberries or one 12-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tsp fresh lemon juice

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt and cook, mashing the berries and stirring frequently at first and them constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate, covere, until ready to serve, or for up to 1 month.

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