Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Curd Lemon Cake

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.

Lemon Cake
adapted from Ina Garten
Ingredients
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

Directions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Macerated Strawberries
Ingredients
8-10 strawberries, clean and cut into desired size
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Directions
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.







16 comments:

  1. Hi, You are up late, so am I! :)
    Your cake is so pretty, cheerful and bright! Love it! I love lemony citrusy cake, so I would definitely love the sourish tangy of the lemon and I absolutely love lemon curd! Definitely my kind of cake! Thank you for baking Bake-Along's anniversary cake. It really is wonderful to know that Bake-Along has somehow reached out to lovely bakers like yourself who is not afraid to widen their horizon in the baking zone! It makes Bake-Along a worthwhile event! Thank you! I really look forward to our bakes together! Wish you a lovely day tomorrow (actually it is today!!) :)
    And a great idea with the link at Cook Like A Star! :)

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  2. Ina's recipe again? All her recipe really is a success. I like strawberries too.

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  3. Ina's recipe again? All her recipe really is a success. I like strawberries too.

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  4. This is such a successful attempt. The cake looks certainly great for me. It should taste wonderful too.

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  5. This is such a successful attempt. The cake looks certainly great for me. It should taste wonderful too.

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  6. I'm drooling looking at your dripping lemon curd... It looks so sinfully delicious :D

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  7. First time baking the cake and yet delivered it like a pro~

    I love the combination of strawberry and lemony taste :)

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  8. Wow, I love the idea of strawberries and lemon, really sounds like a great combination. Lovely photos!

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  9. kitchen flavours - Thanks! I love the color too! Looking forward to our bakes together as well!

    Angeline - yes, Ina's recipe is very easy and doable!

    Yan - Thanks for the compliment. The cake was citrusy! If you love lemons you will love this too.

    Zoe - It wasn't really that sinful, its just eggs, sugar and lemon juice :D

    yvonne - Thanks for the compliment! you should try this too!

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  10. hi,it certainly looks cheerful and a happy cake! I feel like the strawberries are smiling at me:D Am also very glad to hear that you are baking a layered cake for the first time and also for the event. I hope the event will bring you more challenges that you've never thought of doing. I love tangy, citrusy bakes! I will love eating this cake!Thanks very much for baking along with us and hope to see you again. Cheers!!

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  11. You are welcome! Glad to join and improve my skills together!

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  12. Love that citrus yellow! Delish!

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    1. I love it too! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  13. i love how vibrant your cake looks - yellow and red and my favorite combi of fruits too!

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    1. Thanks! The combination is delicious, ain't it? :)

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Thank you for spending some time to let me know who you are, and what you think. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Hope to see you again soon and have a wonderful day. Cheers.