Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes with Raspberry Curd Filling


I saw this http://annies-eats.net/2011/05/13/chocolate-raspberry-truffle-layer-cake/ on Annie’s Eats and I wanted to make it. In fact it has been on my mind for weeks. I finished a project and had been studying a lot this weekend. I wanted a break because my brain was turning in to mush. I decided I wanted to make a cake. Though I knew if I tried to make that raspberry cake I would fail. Why? I know that I need more practice and I knew if I choose such a time consuming cake I would get very frustrated. My husband made one request …no chocolate. Then I remembered this cake …. Lemon Poppy Seed cakes with Raspberry curd filling. I knew that this would be the cake to try out the techniques I have been watching on Monkey See.com . I have never been successful at frosting a cake till now. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than my previous endeavors! I am improving with every cake I make.

Though next time I think what I will do is make a double batch of frosting and keep a majority of it in the fridge until I need to use it.  Also I will take more breaks between crumb coating, frosting, and then decorating so the frosting will not get as soft and I will not get frustrated.

Overall this is the best cake I have ever made this year!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes with Raspberry Curd Filling
Ingredients:
For the cake:
2 1/3 cups cake flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
12 tsbp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk

For the raspberry curd:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the lemon buttercream frosting:
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Fresh raspberries, for garnish

To make the cake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9×13″ cake pan.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a bowl; set aside.   In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high.  Beat just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted.  Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl, clean the mixer bowl and reattach it with the paddle attachment.

Add the butter to the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.  Mix in the lemon zest.  Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat until just blended.  Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture.  Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites and gently fold in until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 24-26 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a thin knife around the outside of pan and gently turn the cake out.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the raspberry curd, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut the cake into rounds as desired.  Layer the rounds with the cooled raspberry curd.  Once layered, allow the assembled cakes to cool in the refrigerator to help them set.  In the meantime, make the frosting.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and zest on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the lemon juice and beat for one minute longer.

Frost the chilled cakes with the lemon frosting.  Garnish with fresh raspberries as desired.

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