Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Layered Lemon Curd Cake

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I have some super busy school weeks coming before my midterm, so I'm going to be swamped with studying (Ugh!). But I managed to make the most delicious cake this weekend. A couple weekends ago, Clayton, Peej (my mom), and I made a daily trip to Charleston for some food, shopping, and well, just some exploring. That's what is so nice about Savannah, its just a short drive to Charleston, St. Simons, Atlanta, and Jacksonville. But, every time we go to Charleston, we always have to stop by Peninsula Grill for their Famous Coconut Layer Cake. The cake is 12 layers and each piece weighs about a pound (Ya, I know... So ridiculous), and unfortunately, each piece is like $20, but it's worth the money. Well after we got back from Charleston, we went to the Gryphon Tea Room for lunch the next day. If you ever come to visit Savannah and want to go to a cute cafe with great salads, sandwiches, tea, and desserts, you should definitely try it! Anyway, we got a slice of their lemon creme cake, which was a small layered cake with vanilla cake, lemon curd, and cream cheese frosting. So I decided to put Peninsula Grill's Coconut cake and Gryphon's Lemon Creme cake together and make a large Layered Lemon Curd Cake. It's wonderful. The cake is moist, the lemon curd is tart, but still sweet, and the cream cheese frosting just mellows out all of the lemon flavors. I know it's a lot of work and a lot of steps because of the 12 layers and 4 different components, but trust me, it's oh-so-worth-it! Well, enjoy :)
Layered Lemon Curd Cake 
For the Lemon Curd:
6 Lemons, Zested
2C Sugar
2 Sticks of Butter, Room Temperature
10 Extra-Large Egg Yolks
1C Lemon Juice, Strained
1/4t Salt

For the Lemon Simple Syrup:
¾C Water
¾C Sugar
1 Lemon, Zested

For the Cake:
4 Sticks of Butter, Room temperature
3C Sugar
6 Large Eggs
4 ½C AP Flour
1 ½T Baking Powder
½t Salt
1 ½C Heavy Cream
1 ½T Vanilla
1t Lemon Extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 Blocks of Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Stick of Butter, Softened
2C Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1t Vanilla

1. To make the lemon curd, zest 6 lemons and place the zest into a blender or food processor along with the sugar. Blend these together until you have a lemon sugar mixture. Put this sugar mixture into a mixing bowl and beat in the butter until it is light and fluffy. While still beating, mix in one egg at time a time, and then slowly drizzle in the lemon juice and salt. Once incorporated, pour this mixture into a deep sautĂ© pan and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until it thickens (it should thicken at 170 degrees), while also making sure that you constantly whisk, so that the eggs don't curdle. Once cooked, let the mixture completely cool in the refrigerator before you use it on the cake, preferably overnight. 
2. To make the lemon simple syrup, constantly whisk the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a pot and bring it a to a boil, then down to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Let this syrup cool in the refrigerator completely before using it on the cake, preferably overnight. 
3. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325 and line three 10-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with Pam, and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Next, add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy, while also scraping down the sides. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, mix together the heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon extract. With the mixer on low speed, alternate the flour mixture and cream mixture into the butter (make sure you begin and end with the flour mixture). Beat until just combined. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before you remove them. Then take them out of the pans and let them cool on the cooling rack for another 1-2 hours before you cut (or the cake will crumble). Next, lightly trim off the tops, bottoms, and sides of the cakes. Then, thinly slice each cake into 2 thinner slices of cake (you should now have 6 thin slices of cake).
4. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Next, slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar and finally the vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside for assembly.
5. Now, start layering the cake. Place one slice of cake on your cake stand and brush on some of the lemon simple syrup. Next, spread on about ½C of the lemon curd, and then repeat with cake, syrup, and curd until there are no remaining components.  Finally, spread the cream cheese frosting all over the cake until a thick layer surrounds it. 
6. Place the cake in the refrigerator and let it firm up for about 2-3 hours (this will help for slicing). Once the cake has cooled, slice the cake into 12 slices (very big, but amazing) and let your slice of cake come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. The cake tastes better at room temperature, but make sure to refrigerate your cake for storage.
7. Serve & enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. lemon cake is the greatest! I'm saving this for later...