This past week was the beginning of the spring birthday season at our house. My birthday, along with both of my daughters' birthdays, fall in the months of April and May. And since my youngest daughter had a destination birthday this year, we weren't able to celebrate until two days later with a Sunday dinner.
The post birthday meal was built around Mac & Cheese, and included Turkey Meatloaf layered with Spinach and Prosciutto, a salad of greens with apples and caramelized walnuts, and the most important course... dessert; spongy lemon layers with raspberry curd cream between.
As Claire said... the cake tasted like spring. I almost went with chocolate. That may or may not have been a mistake. I don't know if chocolate can ever be called a mistake.
I also made the lemon cakes twice. I am never going to use 9-inch cake pans again when called for in a recipe. The results are always disappointing... short layers. Eight inch pans are usually the way to go, at least for me.
... above, the mac & cheese before baking
The original cake recipe called for 3 cups of heavy cream to layer and frost the cake, but I didn't need close to that amount. I'll do my best to explain the amounts I mixed together for frosting.
Lemon Cake with Raspberry Curd and Whipped Cream
• recipe from Epicurious, adapted
• Vegetable or coconut oil spray, for the pans
• 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 or expeller pressed canola oil
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 6-ounce basket fresh raspberries, plus additional raspberries for garnish
• 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
FOR THE CAKE:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick vegetable or coconut oil spray. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper.
2. Whisk eggs, yolks, milk, lemon juice, and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a 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, 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes on racks 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Cool completely. (Cakes can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature.)
1. Stir the 6-ounce basket of raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened and beginning to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, strain raspberry curd into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to release all liquid. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours, but preferably up to 1 day. See NOTE below.
2. Whip cream and 1/2 cup sugar until peaks form. Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into raspberry curd. Reserve remaining whipped cream
3. Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side down, on platter. Spread a thick layer or raspberry filling over. Repeat with 2 more cake layers and filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
4. I had approximately 1/4 cup raspberry curd remaining and folded all but about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the curd. Spread this over top and sides of cake. You can use the remaining whipped cream (totally optional) by placing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and to pipe design around bottom edge of cake. Decorate cake, if desired, with additional raspberries. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and keep refrigerated.)
NOTE: If you would like more raspberry curd in the frosting for the cake, double the recipe for the curd and add to whipped cream before frosting.
TAKE a LOOK: