Lemon Lust Cake

My youngest sister dropped me a bombshell - a lemon cake for her birthday. I went "what?!?!?!" It was a challenge as I've not tried a fully frosted lemon cake. Panick sank in. Challenge sprang up.

I flipped through my cakes recipe books one by one. Looking for "THE" recipe. Nope, this won't do...that wasn't good enough... Then BINGO! This looked like the ideal one. I re-read the recipe, okay... Looked like quite a fair bit of work to be done, though it seemed manageable. Good.

Presenting to you, Lemon Lust Cake, adapted from "The Cake Book".
I must say I'm very happy with the overall taste and texture. However, there were mixed comments from my family members. Half of my family members, including my birthday sister, love the zesty sour taste. The other half found the taste too sour, and would prefer it to be sweeter. For me, I love the tangy prominent lemon taste. However, all of us agreed that the cake would definitely appeal more if it is lighter and fluffier (aka chiffon style).

Introducing the "characters" from this cake.
Recipe for Lemon Lust Cake, slight modificiation from "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle.


Lemon Cake
342g Top flour (original is Cake flour)
2 1/2tsp Baking powder
1/2tsp Salt
227g Unsalted butter, softened
5 Medium eggs (original is 4 large eggs)
2 tsp Lemon zest, finely grated
60ml Fresh lemon juice, strained (approx. 1 large lemon)
160ml Whole milk

Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" round cake pans.In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 secs.Gradually add the sugar and beat at high speed until well blended and light, about 3 mins.Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and mixing until blended.Beat in the lemon zest and lemon juice until blended. (My batter curdles when this was added. However, the final batter turned out to be thick and creamy. So it was still alright.)Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with milk in two additions and mixing until just blended.Scape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.Bake the cakes at 180C for 22 mins, until they are golden brown around the edges and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 mins. Then invert the cakes onto the wire racks and let it cool completely.Lemon Curd
(Makes 480ml)

10 Medium eggs yolks (original 8 large eggs. My eggs weigh approx 50g without shells)
180g Fine sugar (original is 250g)
2tsps Lemon zest, finely grated
180ml Fresh lemon juice (approx. 3 large lemons)
Pinch of salt
113g Unsalted butter, cubed

Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside.In a medium saucepan, whish together the egg yolks and sugar until blended.Stir in the lemon zest and juice, salt and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 7 to 10 mins (do not let the custard boil, or it will curdle).The mixture should leave a path on the back of a wooden spoon when you draw your finger across it.Immediately strain the mixture through the sieve, pressing it through.Set the bowl containing the lemon mixture in a large bowl filled about one-third of the way with ice water (be care that the water doesn't splash into the lemon mixture).Stir the mixture frequently until it is slightly chilled, about 15 mins.Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.Lemon Soaking Syrup
(Left about 1/3 after I generously brush on four cake layers. Therefore, you can safely make 3/4 of this recipe.)
80ml Water
60ml Fresh lemon juice, strained (approx. 1 large lemon)
60g Fine sugar (original is 100g)

In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice, and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool until room temperature.Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
180ml Whipping cream
113g Cream cheese, softened (I dumped in my remaining 135g)
1/2tsp Vanilla extract
240ml Lemon Curd

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream at high speed until firm peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a smaller bowl, cover and refrigerate.In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash it), using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 mins.On low speed, beat in the vanilla extract.Add the lemon curd and beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 min.Remove the bowl from the mixer stand, using a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until almost completely blended.Cover the bowl and refridgerate until ready to use.Lemon Buttercream
(Left about 1/3 of the buttercream after I coat the cake thinly, and piped big rosettes. Will use the remaining buttercream to spread on breads. :))
340g Unsalted butter, softened
240ml Lemon curd
Pinch of salt

100g Almonds slices, toasted (optional)
2 Lemon slices, quartered (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 mins.At medium speed, gradually add the lemon curd, a large spoonful at a time, then add the salt and beat at medium speed until creamy and light, about 1.5 mins.
Set aside at room temperature while you assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake
Using a long serrated knife, trim off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are even (save any cake pieces and crumbs for snacking).Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers.Reserve one of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake.Place a cake layer on a cake board.Generously brush with some of the lemon syrup.Spoon the fillings onto the cake, using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2" border around the edge of the cake.Top with another cake layer and repeat #5 & #6, and for the rest of the cake layers.Frost the sides and top of the cake with buttercream.Coat the sides with almond slices.Pipe rosettes onto the top, and decorate with lemon slices. Refrigerate.To serve, let it stand at room temperature for about 30mins before serving.
Warning: This lemon cake is dense, thick, rich and tangy. You have have been warned. Create at your own risk!

Looking at the recipe that I made, you can understand why it's tangy and zesty because I cut down on all the sugars used. If you like it to be sweeter, go ahead to add in more sugars. Now, I understand why some bloggers like Ju and Shirley love their lemon curds! When I tried the lemon curd, I was totally blown away! I wondered why I hadn't try this much earlier!
I'm also submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers #5 Fruity March.

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