Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Curd

Since I happen to love raspberries...and have them in the freezer at all times...I am always on the lookout for yummy new raspberry recipes.


I found this one on-line a few years ago...I believe it had originally been featured in Bon Appetit magazine. Since my son and son-in-law both have a birthday on July 9th...at the height of raspberry season...I have baked this cake for their birthday on occasion. I would normally make it with four layers...but after seeing how someone baked a fourteen layer cake for Valentine's Day, I decided to try this recipe as an eight layer cake in honour of Lovella's jubilee (since 50 layers seemed a bit of a stretch!).

Here's the other thing...you can't really pay a whole lot of attention to how much butter...and cream goes into this cake. Once in awhile...you just have to forget about calories and enjoy a slice of rich goodness!


Lemon Layer Cake

4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Preheat oven to 350' F. Spray two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; spray again.

Whisk eggs, yolks, milk, lemon juice, and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk oil and butter into flour mixture. Add egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes on racks 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature.)

Filling

2 6-ounce baskets fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups chilled whipping cream

Stir 1 basket raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened and beginning to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Strain raspberry curd into medium bowl, pressing on solids in strainer. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. (I processed my berries in the blender before cooking...and never strained them after.)

Whip cream and 1/2 cup sugar until peaks form. Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into raspberry curd. Reserve remaining whipped cream.

Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side down, on platter. Spread 1/3 of raspberry filling over. Repeat with 2 more cake layers and filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
Spread all but 1 cup plain whipped cream over top and sides of cake. Place remaining whipped cream in pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe design around bottom edge of cake. Arrange remaining berries atop cake. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and keep refrigerated.)

* * * * * *

So that was the recipe as originally given...and here is my variation for this time around:

I mixed the batter as specified...and divided it equally among eight 9-inch cake pans with parchment liners (sprayed with Pam).

I spread the batter to cover bottom evenly...and baked at 350' F for about 12 minutes. Since I have a convection oven...it was easy to bake many at one time. However, even with a conventional oven you can bake three at a time...and be all done in just over half an hour. Allow the cakes to cool before removing from pan. If you aren't using them right away...leave parchment in between layers...stack and wrap.

I cooked a double batch of raspberry curd...since I thought I would be needing more for the additional layers. I also added a little more whipped cream...

...and had far more filling than I could use. (If the raspberry curd seems a little too thin...add about a tablespoon of vanilla instant pudding powder and blend, before folding in the whipped cream.)

I spread a generous amount on each layer...

...and continued building my tower cake until I reached the top. Several hours before serving...I frosted the top and sides with whipping cream...piped on a little trim around the bottom...added a few fresh raspberries on top for the finishing touch (product of the USA, according to the package...where do they grow raspberries in March?).

Slice and serve to your favorite people. And don't worry too much about doing it at the last minute...since we are still thoroughly enjoying the cake several days later.