Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Cake

This cake is a real hit at the restaurant; I make it once a week. I love how the red raspberry filling pops with color next to the white frosting and cake. Eating this cake feels like summer, so make it soon as a farewell tribute to this hottest of seasons.

And really, though those of you up north may be mourning the end of summer, I am still dying from heat here. Last weekend we stole up to North Carolina and Virginia for a few days, and the crisp air there hinted at fall in a way that is torturing me still. I am so ready for the trees to change color, for the necessity of cardigans, for halloween, for my birthday, for woodsmoke, for pumpkins...

Excuse me, what was I talking about? Oh yes, back to the summery Lemon Raspberry Cake. It's very good. The frosting is fluffy and and not too sweet, the same one that's on the Golden Summer Cake, with the addition of lemon juice.

Lemony Layers (from the Baked cookbook)

2 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup AP flour
1 T bakng powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temp
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 T vanilla extract
grated zest of one lemon
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups ice water
3 large egg whites, room temp
1/4 t cream of tartar (or lemon juice or vinegar)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line three 8 in cake pans with parchment rounds.

Sift together the flours, baking powder and soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and shortening together in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and beat another 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the egg, beating until just combined.

Using low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the ice water. Scrape the bowl and mix for a few more seconds.

Using a spotless bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks (not stiff peaks) form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter among the three pans and bake for 30-40 minutes (keep an eye on it, if your pans are 9 in instead of 8 then they'll bake faster). Test with a toothpick or thin knife. Let cool for 20 min and turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Lemony Frosting:

1 pound butter, softened
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 to 1 pound confectioner's sugar, to taste
juice from three lemons

Combine the first three ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip the the whisk attachement for at least ten minutes, until the frosting is smooth and creamy and light. Add the lemon juice and whip until combined.

To assemble cake, spread the lemon frosting on each layer, topping each one with raspberry jam or filling. Finish with swirly peaks of lemon frosting on the top.

It's the perfect birthday cake for those who don't care for chocolate. (Whoever those people are).

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