Monday, May 16, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Lime Curd & Swiss Meringue


This cake was a slight adaptation of one that I previously made. My sister requested a lemon and vanilla cake like the one I’ve made previously for her daughter’s birthday. I decided to use the same recipe but adapted it slightly.

From what I recall, the first one I made had thick layers of cake. I wanted to fill the layers in between with some more curd, so I made a lemon layer and a lime layer. You can’t really tell, but they are two different flavors. I also took into consideration my family’s tastes since they don’t like sweets. I decided to make a Swiss meringue buttercream to use up the extra egg whites from the extra layer of curd. It was a perfect complement to the cake!

Although the curds tasted different when I was making them, they sort of meshed together in the end and tasted the same. None-the-less, the cake was a nice an refreshing spring cake.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon and Lime Curd Filling and Swiss Meringue Frosting
cake and frosting adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
curd fillings from: Williams Sonoma


cake: lemon curd: frosting
3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour 5 egg yolks 5 egg whites
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup plus 2 TBSP granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice pinch of salt
1 TBSP vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean Grated zest of 2 lemons 1 pound butter (4 sticks)
1 cup plus 2 TBSP milk 6 TBSP (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp    
1 3/4 cups sugar lime curd:  
5 large egg whites at room temp repeat above, replacing lemon w/lime (about 3 limes)  

prepare curds:
In a heavy saucepan before turning on the heat, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk vigorously for 1 minute.

Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk for 1 minute more. Set the pan over low heat and cook gently, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly and refrigerate before using. Makes about 1 cup.

repeat with lime curd

*make sure the remaining 5 egg whites are in separate bowls. 5 will be for the cake, 5 for the frosting.

bake the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour or spray two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir vanilla seeds into milk.

Cream butter in your mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture to batter, alternating with the milk, and betting until just combined after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in 2 batches.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleanly when inserted in the center. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

make the frosting:
Place egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of your stand mixer. Place over over a small pot of simmering water. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is warm to the touch and no longer grainy. (test this by rubbing it with your fingertips.)

Transfer the bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, starting at low speed, and gradually increasing to medium-high. Whisk until stiff peaks form and continue to whisk until fluffy and glossy, about 10 minutes. At the end, the bottom of the bowl should be cool.

Reduce the speed to low. Cut the butter into tablespoon sizes, and gradually into the bowl. After adding all the butter, whisk in the vanilla.

Switch over to the paddle attachment, and continue to beat on low to get rid of all the air bubbles. Scrape the bowl, then continue to beat until completely smooth.

assemble the cake:
Cut each cake in half. You should have 4 layers now.

Place one layer on a cake board. Place some frosting in a piping bag or freezer bag. Pipe a line of frosting along the edge of the cake layer.

Pour lemon curd in the center and spread into an even layer. Place other cake layer on top. Spread a layer of frosting. Add the third cake layer, then top with the lime curd. Add the final cake layer, frost cake with remaining frosting and decorate as desired.

Store in fridge until serving.

1 comment :

  1.  This looks lovely! Lemon curd is one of my favorite fillings, and I have recently developed a love for swiss merignue buttercream! This would be a great dessert for a bridal shower and spring brunch.


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