It was my parents anniversary today and of course I had to make them something, and what is more perfect than a cake! Since my dad really likes lemon I first thought about making a lemon tart or lemon bars but then I remembered this cake recipe. What I liked so much about it was the meringue frosting. Not only was it entertaining to torch, but it is lighter than other frosting recipes I use. This is a perfect cake for a lemon lover or any celebration.
What you need:
For the cake: Makes one 3 layer 8-inch cake
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seed
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup boiling water
For the lemon curd:
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, diced
For the meringue:
Notes: You may want to make a plain vanilla buttercream for the layers like I did. You could make extra meringue and put that in between the layers, but I am not sure how it will turn out.
What to do:
Make the lemon curd: Can be made ahead of time.
Place the juice, zest, yolks, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. While stirring, heat over medium. Continue to stir until mixture begins to thicken, about 6-8 minutes. Curd should coat the back of a spoon when done cooking.
Once thickened, remove from the heat and add in the butter. Stir to combine.
Strain curd into a heat-safe container. Discard the zest.
Cover curd by placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until cool and thick.
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8″ round cake pans and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and cardamom.
In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and lemon zest.
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Add the boiling water and stir to incorporate.
Evenly distribute the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
Make the meringue:
Place the whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler.
Whisking constantly, heat the egg white mixture until the sugar dissolves and it is warm to the touch.
Once warm, transfer the bowl back to the mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until medium-stiff glossy peaks.
Add in the salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Use immediately.
Assemble the cake:
Make vanilla buttercream before assembling. Recipe up top.
Place a little bit of the vanilla buttercream on your surface to hold your cake in place. Put one layer of cake down and spread icing in an even layer.
Add the lemon curd to the center.
If you place it to close to the edges it may leak out the sides of the cake. Repeat with all three layers.
Use the rest of the buttercream to make a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Pipe the meringue around the cake and smooth with a bench scraper like I did or make any designs. Torch the meringue with a blow torch. Hold the torch 6-8 inches from the cake and make sure not to leave the flame in one spot for too long. Then enjoy!
Recipe from: The Cake Blog