Friday, July 4, 2014

Sunday Cake (on a Thursday!)

I made this week's Sunday Cake last night for our July 4th celebratin' and stuff.  I wanted something patriotic and I chose this lemon cake with lemon curd filling, butter cream icing with a raspberry blueberry flag!

4th of July Lemon Cake

3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups milk
5 egg whites (but I recommend using the entire egg...whites only caused the cake to be a little dry)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch can pans with nonstick spray.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend well.  Add the butter and 1 cup of the milk and mix to blend. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.   In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with the vanilla extract and the remaining 1/3 cup milk.   Add this to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate. 
Bake for thirty minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Butter Cream Icing

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place the egg whites in the clean bowl and mix on low speed until foamy.  Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons of the sugar and beat on high speed to medium peaks (the whites should be smooth, full and shiny and the peaks should curl a little).

Combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring briefly to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook just until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.

Immediately remove the syrup from the heat, turn the mixer onto medium-high speed, and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a steady stream, being very careful not to let the syrup hit the whisk.

Reduce the speed to medium and continue whisking until the whites are barely warm, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the butter 1 Tbs. at a time. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Lemon Curd Filling

2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cups lemon juice
8 tablespoons, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse for about one minute. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl such as a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk together for 30 seconds. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin whisking and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook and stir with a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl, until the curd has thickened and reached a temperature of 160 degrees.

Rinse and dry the bowl of your food processor. Using a mesh strainer, strain the curd into the food processor bowl. Pulse the food processor while you add the butter a piece at a time, until the texture is homogenous. Transfer the curd to a container with a lid and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd. Allow the curd to cool completely and then place the lid on your container and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or up to one week.

Place the blueberries and raspberries on the top of the cake in a flag pattern, fill in with icing stripes, pipe the stars right over the blueberries. Garnish the bottom border with more fruit if you want. 

It's definitely a labor of love, that's for sure!  Happy 4th, y'all!!

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