Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marbled Lemon Bluberry Cake

Just LOOK at this cake. I was so sad delivering it to the restaurant...I wanted to keep it and give it a nice home where it's appreciated.

I recently made another lemon blueberry cake, but if you had to chose one of the two cakes to put in your mouth, and one to donate to a clown show where they throw cake at each other, this cake would stay every time.
It features moist lemon layers swirled with blueberry, my homemade jam filling, and a divine lemon buttercream frosting. Topped with fresh blueberries, its irresistible.

This recipe adapted from Sky High. (a cookbook filled with a million incredible recipes.)

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Layers

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened.
2 cups sugar
1.5 t lemon extract
7 egg whites (yes, 7. with the leftover yolks, you can make creme brulee or icecream or pastry cream.)
3 cups cake flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and use parchment rounds 2 8 or 9-in round cake pans.

In an electric mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, lemon extract and zest until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisking gently to combine. In two or three alternating additions alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and the milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about a minute to smooth and aerate the batter.

Scoop one cup of batter into a bowl. Divide the remaining batter among the three pans, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.

Add two or three tablespoons blueberry jam to the reserved cup of batter and mix well. Drizzle heaping tablespoons over the pans of batter and use a butter knife to swirl the blueberry batter in short strokes. Don't over mix.

Bake for about 25 minutes (check early) or until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let the cakes cool in their pans for ten minutes before inverting onto racks and allowing to cool completely.

Once cool, spread the blueberry jam on two of the layers and stack them, putting the third layer on top. Then frost the cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting (Recipe follows).

Lemon Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Sky High)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
3 sticks softened unsalted butter
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 t lemon extract
2 cups confectioner's sugar, or to taste and consistency (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil without stirring until the sugar reaches approx 238 on a candy thermometer.

(I have just recently learned that sugar carmelizes around 350, so waiting until it looks like it might start turning colors is not the best method for those of us without a candy thermometer, but it has worked in my frostings so far.) (I now own a candy thermometer, purchased very cheaply at Walmart, and I must say it's nice to be sure.)

A couple minutes into the heating of the sugar, start beating the eggs in an electric mixer. When they have tripled in size and the sugar is heated, add the sugar in a thin stream while the mixer is going on high. Beat on medium high until the bowl feels cool. This can take up to 15 minutes.

Reduce the mixer to medium-low and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the butter is added, mix until smooth and them add the lemon juice and extract. Frost your cake!! Add some blueberries!