|Strawberry Lemon Curd Lemon Cake|
Happy 1st Birthday to Bake-Along! Congratulations and many thanks to Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids for making Bake-Along a wonderful experience to all of us. My stint with Bake-Along was brief - this is the second theme that I have participated so far, and I am happy to say that Bake-Along motivates me to improve my skills and pushing myself to try baking things I have never baked before. I am looking forward to the many baking adventures ahead with Bake-Along. This is from me for Bake-Along # 25: "Bake-Along 1st Anniversary Layer Cake". This is my first time baking a layer cake. See what I said about trying new things?
The base cake was a lemon cake, layered with lemon curd and macerated strawberries. This a cheerful, colourful summer cake, and it certainly brightened up my day. I used Ina Garten's lemon cake recipe as I quite like the additional moisture provided by buttermilk in baking cakes. The recipe for the lemon curd was a rehash from my archive. My cake was rather short as I only baked half of the recipe. I also reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup and skipped the lemon syrup and glaze.
adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar (use 1 1/2 cups)
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the lemon syrup:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Baking Temperature: 180C/350F
Baking Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
- Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
8-10 strawberries, clean and cut into desired size
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix strawberries and sugar evenly. Let strawberries rest for 30 minutes, or until the juice from the fruit leached out.
I absolutely love everything about this cake: the bright yellow curd and red strawberries are so cheerful and happy. The cake, albeit slightly tart, was very refreshing and light. I like sour and tangy things so I was absolutely in love, but I can imagine that sourness is not a universally loved taste, so tone down the lemon juice or amp up the sugar for a milder taste, and use a plain cake base instead of lemon base for a more neutral flavour.
The curd was rather slippery so the strawberries started to move around and leach juice onto the cake, so this cake doesn't travel well. Surprisingly, this cake tasted better overnight. I suppose the flavour really mingled and produced a better, more complex and tastier cake. I served the cake to my May baby cousins, CousinKC and CousinLZ, and they loved it. My snarky CousinKC commented that I will be making a huge loss if I were to sell the cake! Hahahaha. I take that as a compliment.
I'm linking this post to Bake-Along and Cook Like A Star.