as evidenced by the previous post, my dear friend nuria joined with her beloved jesse in matrimony recently. to celebrate the occasion, i made the cakes. it seemed right, you see. from the moment of nuria's arrival here in the US, i have made her a welcome cake, birthday cakes + treats, even a live angry birds game.
as she embarks on this new adventure, i wanted to create flavors that would mainly punctuate the milestones of their life together: sweet, but not cloyingly so, just saccharine enough that the everyday mundane still appears bright. richly tart, their lips puckered always ready for kisses. smooth, that the trials of any hardship would bypass them completely. there was also a chocolate cake, for variety, for safety, and mainly, for the deep depth of Love.
the Spring season is in swing, i can feel it in the air, i can taste in the produce and fruits. had there been time enough, i would've picked the raspberries myself, each fruit lovingly plucked for freshness, ripeness and jewel tone. before the summer fully sets in, go fruit picking, taste what the earth has given birth to this season. in the meantime, have some of this cake.
i will tell you, this lemon chiffon cake was a dream to make. weigh the ingredients carefully, use the freshest of eggs, buy organic lemons for their peel/zest and by all means, celebrate your life, your love and each other.
Lemon Chiffon Cake + Raspberry Curd + Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Cream
i used 8X2" round cake pans and a 6X3" cake pan. i ended up with 3 8X2" cakes, cut horizontally. i used 5 layers
1 cup lemon zest simple syrup
2 cups raspberry curd
Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Cream
Lemon Chiffon Cake
14.5 oz cake flour, sifted
8.75 oz powdered sugar
6.75 oz whole milk
6 oz veg oil
3.25 oz eggs (equaled to about 2 1/2 eggs. i beat them first & then weighed...)
0.5 oz baking powder
13 oz egg whites (it came to about 10 large eggs, amount of eggs may vary...)
9.5 oz granulated sugar
3.5 oz lemon juice
preheat oven to 375F. grease pans with butter, also use parchment. (*note*: for the 6" pan i did not bother with parchment and it came out clean.) in a mixing bowl, whip egg whites + granulated sugar on high until medium peaks form. meanwhile, sift remaining dry ingredients in large bowl. mix in the eggs, oil & milk until incorporated. fold egg white peaks into batter gently. divide mixture into cake pans, bake for about 25 minutes.
the sides will pull from the pan cleanly. remove from pans and allow to cool completely on rack. cut rounds horizontally, as evenly as possible. i did end up with six layers, but one of the layers was all sorts of wonky so that was left out to nibble on, along with the 6" cake. end result was a five layer cake.
Lemon Zest Simple Syrup
1 TBL lemon zest
1 cup of water
2 cups sugar
heat water + sugar in sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. bring to a gentle boil. allow to cool. add in the zest.
approx 3 cups of crushed/rough pureed raspberries, seeds included (this was leftover from the raspberry reduction that i used to color the butter cream for the chocolate cake)
1 scant cup sugar
2 oz butter
4 TBL cornstarch
splash of water
heat up raspberry puree and bring to a gentle simmer. stir sugar + butter. in a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water. you'll end up with a slurry paste. whisk into berry mixture, stir until thick. it'll take a few minutes. take off heat. allow to cool.
Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Cream
8oz cream cheese, room temp
4 sticks + 2 TBL unsalted butter, room temp
zest of about 6 organic lemons
lemon juice, as needed
2 lb + 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
i'm not gonna lie, i fudged a bit on the amount of powdered sugar and butter used... it's all about consistency people. use your best judgement.
beat the cream cheese + butter until fully incorporated. scrape down the sides of bowl often. in 1/2 pound increments, sift in powdered sugar + mix well. again, scrape down the sides of the bowl. add in half the lemon zest and if you need to loosen the mixture a smidge, add a teaspoon of lemon juice. you want the frosting to be fluffy. sift in remaining powdered sugar, mix, scrap, zest, mix, juice, scrape until reached desired consistency. my end result turned up smooth and airy, very lovely to spread. actually, it was a dream to use.
brush all layers with simple syrup. i did the process twice.
spread the curd on layers, i went stingy, concerned it would make the spreading of the butter cream difficult. i won't make that mistake again.
choose the sturdiest of layers to be the base, browned-side down on serving plate. spread layer of curd first, and then butter cream on top, i did pipe a border along the edges & had a blob in the center, spreading it out with off-set spatula (which is your best friend in this step). place second layer on top. repeat until all layers are on. between layers, i would pipe in butter cream to fill in gaps, to even out any floppy sides. just make sure the layers are as lined up as possible. crumb coat along sides and top of cake.
walk away from cake for at least 30 minutes. or go to dinner for about 2 hours.
finish frosting sides & top, decorate as you wish.
the decoration design i chose came from here, complete with tutorial. i did not use a tip, i just snipped off the end of the piping bag to the size i wanted the circles to be. the key is making sure the frosting is nice & pliable/soft.