Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Turning 26! (Been there, done that.)

Mine has already passed, and now... on to the next one!

And we celebrated the one way we always celebrate - food, friends, and fun. Usually pretty low key. In fact, I can't really remember back to when we've been off-the-wall ridiculous. 22? 23? Lightyears ago it seems.

Anyways, on to the quintessential birthday cake!

Triple Layer Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Italian Buttercream
Cake recipe from Tender Crumb
Lemon Curd - recipe to follow
Italian Buttercream - recipe to follow

This cake took me an entire afternoon. That's what happens when you have no ingredients and bake completely from scratch. (I might as well have also churned the butter myself!)

I wasn't 100% confident in my chiffon cake abilities, since my cakes generally turn out to be more dense than light. SO! Here we go:
BOWL FULL of fluffy cake batter
out of the oven! Cakes pull away from the pan as they cool. (the tops of mine were still sticky - so i worried a bit).

Lemon Curd:
4 Eggs
4 Egg Yolks
1C Sugar
Zest from 2 Lemons
3/4C Lemon Juice (took me about 5 lemons, why?!?!?!?!)
8oz butter, cubed

Combine eggs, yolks, sugar, zest and juice over double boiler.
Add butter and cook. Stir until thick - a light sour cream consistency.
Strain (in case of any unfortunate cooked egg chunks, or pulp.)
Hmmmm. Note to self: Distribute cake batter EVENLY among pans.
Italian Buttercream:
5 Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1lb Butter, room temp
1/4C Sugar + 3/4C Sugar
1/4C Water

Combine water and ONLY 3/4C Sugar in small pot. Heat to boiling.
When sugar starts to cook, turn on stand mixer with egg whites and pinch of salt. Let beat to fluffy meringue.
(Should get soapy looking - if not, re-do with CLEAN egg whites.)
Continue to boil sugar until it threads in ice water, and you can pick up the piece in your hand. (detailed explanation to follow)
Egg whites should be "soft peaks" by this time. CAREFULLY, pour in the hot sugar to the egg whites.
Continue to beat until the mixing bowl cools back down to room temp/comfortable to the touch.
Throw in butter cubes as mixer continues to beat. BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT! And.... DONE!
In my experiences, the meringue does deflate once you throw in the butter. I haven't been able to get it back to being as light and fluffly as I did in class - the first time I've ever made this buttercream. (Maybe I misremembered the texture...)
Iced Water Test:
So you got the sugar boiling - HOT HOT HOT - use a metal spoon and dip in to scoop up just a bit of the bubbling sugar. Drizzle into the bowl iced water. You should be able to SEE the thread of sugar in the iced water. Try to pick up that sugar. If  you can pick it up, and roll it into a ball - its ready to be poured into the meringue! (I forget what the exact term would be... "hard ball", "soft ball"?)

Final Notes - yummy! Cake was light and fluffy - success!

1 comment:

ila said...

SO. EFFING. GOOD. so much that i had it for breakfast. twice.