Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White summer cake with Berries and Lemon Curd

One of my best friends defended her PhD thesis. I baked this cake for celebrating. The frosting did not cooperate much due to the crazy summer heat, but the flavors were perfect for the summer.

Parts: Cake, lemon curd, frosting, berry filling and toppings.

Cake: I cheated and used boxed mix. I used Betty Crocker classic white cake. Follow the instructions on the back, but add a few tbsps of lemon juice and some lemon zest. Either make three layers, or bake two uneven layers, and slice the larger one into two to make three layers.

Lemon Curd: This recipe came from David Libovitz. It took longer than expected, but note to self - do not overcook, or the butter will separate.

1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (65 g) sugar (or 1/2 cup, 100 g, if using regular lemons)
2 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt.
3. Add the butter cubes and set the pan over low heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted.
4. Increase the heat and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to become jelly-like. It's done when you lift the whisk and the mixture holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk.
5. Immediately press the curd through the strainer. Once strained, store the lemon curd in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to one week.

Frosting: One and half packs of cream cheese + one and half stick of unsalted butter, let it soften at room temperature. Add some lemon zest, vanilla extract and add 5-6 cups of icing sugar while mixing with a hand mixer. Adjust sugar according to the taste and consistency.

Berry Filling
: Chop Strawberries, raspberries, black berries and a few blue berries and mix. Add a little lemon zest.

Toppings: Sliced mangoes, kiwi, strawberries cut into vertical quarters, other berries.

Assemble: Take the first layer of the cake, spread some of the frosting, and then spread the berry filling, which will stick thanx to the frosting. Add the next layer of the cake and spread the lemon curd. Add the third layer, frost it completely and then arrange the mango slices, in a circle, followed by concentric circles of the berries. Add a slice of kiwi in the middle.
Of course feel free to decorate as you like it (I just did it this way and came out very pretty, except for the melting icing).

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