Astonishingly good lemon curd cake
I wish I had a photo to share, but I don’t. THIS is the lemon cake I have been dreaming of!
I wanted a lemon cake for Shabbos – initially, just to make Elisheva happy, and then for me because I was a little over chocolate (don’t worry; the mood only lasts a few minutes…).
But what I did NOT want was the taste of boxed cake mix. Not boxed lemon cake mix or white cake mix, even with real lemon juice. My mother, at supper, kept insisting she makes great lemon cake, and she DOES, and I DO. But there is a taste that I don’t like in regular lemon cakes, from a box or not. They are too fluffy and, well, I dunno.
The words came to me yesterday like in a dream: “Lemon Curd Cake.” I just KNEW: it needed lemon curd to stop it from being crumbly and horrid.
So I googled: Lemon Curd Cake.
And found this recipe, which I have slightly adapted to make it pareve (it just called for a little butter).
It is very dense and VERY moist, and the crispy crust when it is fresh flakes off and tastes unbelievably light – like a lemon cake topped with a lemon cookie. I sprinkled icing sugar over the cake and it was just perfect.
I actually poured the batter into three loaf pans and froze two for Yom Tov. But it would be much nicer in a big round pan; maybe 8 or 9”, and that’s probably what I’ll do from now on.
It is more potchkedik than my regular cakes… but SOooo worth it!
- Use only fresh lemon juice!
- This cake will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Lemon Curd Cake
originally adapted from Four-Star Desserts by Emily Luchetti, adapted by me from the Pastry Studio blog.
(You can make the lemon curd a day ahead and fridge it overnight. Bring to room temperature before using in cake.)
4 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
- In a heatproof bowl whisk together 4 egg yolks and 2 eggs with a 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in 1/2 cup lemon juice.
- Place over a double boiler or bain marie of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water.
- Cook until the curd thickens, stirring constantly.
- Pour the curd into a clean bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Cool to room temperature.
The Actual Cake:
Dry stuff: mix together in a bowl.
- 2 C sifted cake flour (I used 270g all-purpose, and did not sift, but I did make sure to shake it well in a sealed container with the other dry ingredients to super-aerate it)
- 3/4 C sugar (for the dry stuff)
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 oz (4 T) Crisco butter-flavoured shortening @ room temperature
- 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 t lemon zest
- 6 egg whites @ room temperature
- 1 1/2 C sugar (for the egg whites)
- Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 9” x 3” cake pan with butter, flour and parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Increase speed and when the egg whites begin to look opaque, slowly sprinkle in the sugar. Whip until the egg whites are shiny and form soft peaks. (Lazy-baker note! Most recipes have you do this step at the end, but by then, the beaters usually need washing… if you do it first and then mix the rest quickly, the egg whites won’t lose much volume, and you won’t have to stop and wash the beaters between steps.)
- Sift cake flour and measure out 2 cups. Then sift cake flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt together.
- Beat together butter, lemon juice and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Mix in lemon curd.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Gently fold the whipped egg whites into cake batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth evenly.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out fairly clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool completely and turn out onto a cake platter.
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