Friday, March 20, 2009

Triple Lemon Chiffon Cake (TCS)

The Cake Slice bakers voted, and our selection for March is Triple Lemon Chiffon Cake. When I bake recipes out of the Sky High book, I can serve the finished cakes to an army of people, as most of the cakes in this book are beautiful, delicious and GINORMOUS! Well, that's not the case this time around. Surprise --- this is a triple layer baby cake:
The full recipe (see below), is enough to make a 9 inch triple layer cake. I had intended to cut the recipe in half and make my usual 6 inch cake. I didn't pay close attention to the instructions (too busy watching old episodes of Dexter and prepping this recipe --- I'm not an accomplished multi-tasker), and sprayed my 6 inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Non-stick is a huge no-no with chiffon cakes (and angel food), as the cake needs to "climb up" and stick to the sides of the pan while it bakes and cools to retain its shape. If you go the non-stick spray route, you will end up with a fallen, shrunken and mis-shapen cake (I'll spare you from my disaster).

I didn't notice my mistake until I had filled both pans with cake batter. I ended up retreiving some batter from the 6 inch pans and used two 4 inch springform pans (and yes, they were properly prepped).

Once the cake rounds cooled, I cut the cakes crosswise and slathered the curd and lemon cream between the layers:

Maybe I'm yearning for spring, but this cake really hit the spot for me. The chiffon cake and lemon cream frosting were both light and not overly sweet. This was fine by me, as the cake is punctuated by the terrific lemony tang and sweetness from the lemon curd.

{On a side note, I never realized what a FAT BOMB lemon curd is until I started making it from scratch. Until now, I thought it was just like jam --- the eggs and butter did me no favors}
Perfect portion control --- one slice = 3 bites:
If you love lemony desserts, this is cake is a must!!! Better yet, go get yourself a copy of Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes and bake this cake--- you won't regret it.


adapted from: SKY HIGH - IRRESISTIBLE TRIPLE LAYER CAKES by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
makes a 9 inch triple layer cake

For the Cake

8 eggs, separated
1/4 cup walnut oil**
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1 ans 3/4 cups of cake flour*
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
[*1 cup of cake flour is equal to 3/4 cup of AP flour plus 2 tablespoons of corn starch]
[**equal amount of either almond oil, hazelnut oil, or canola oil]
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottoms of three 9-inch pans with parchment paper but do not butter or grease the pans.

In a med-large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until light and frothy. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Sift the flour, remaining sugar, baking soda , and salt into a large bowl. Whisk gently to combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and mix to create
a smooth paste. Add one-fourth of the egg whites and fold in to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites and divide the batter among the three pans.
Bake for about 16 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks to cool in the pans. Once cool run a knife around the cake to in order to un-mold the cakes. Carefully pull off the parchment paper from the bottoms of the cakes.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand. Top with a heaping 1/4 cup of lemon curd and spread it evenly. Repeat with the remaining layers. Frost the top of the cake and the sides with the lemon cream frosting.

Rich Lemon Curd
makes 1 cup

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
grated zest of three lemons
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temp.
Whisk together the whole eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice , and lemon zest together in a medium bowl. Transfer to a small non-reactive saucepan. Gently heat the mixture, whisking until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. make sure not to boil the mixture. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the butter and cover the curd with plastic making sure the plastic touches the curd. This should prevent a skin from forming on the curd. Refrigerate until cold. Then remove 3 tablespoons of curd and set it aside for the icing.

Lemon Cream Frosting
makes 3 1/4 cups

1 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoon of lemon curd
Whip the cream and sugar in a large chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in the lemon curd, forming a stiff frosting.


Danielle said...

That looks so good and refreshing! Great cake for spring or Easter.

Cristine said...

What a cute little cake!!! Perfect for spring!

Unknown said...

A perfectly beautiful lemon cake. Your decorating skills are very good.

Engineer Baker said...

That is one adorable slice of cake. I love how summery and fresh it looks!

Jo said...

Oh dear but it's a good thing you managed to salvage it before it went into the oven. I love the baby cake idea and the decoration is simply too cute!

Anonymous said...

I love making mini cakes for the sole fact that they are perfect for portion control! Your cake is absolutely GORGEOUS! Seriously beautiful.

vibi said...

WOW! You must be lidding me Linda! For there is NO way, I could stand for only a piece of that cake... considering the mini size... leave me alone for a couple of minutes, and it's GONE! LOL

It is abolutely, beautifully, preciously, delicate and dainty!

Huge bravos for such tiny results!

The Food Librarian said...

Oh my! This is soooo pretty! I love it!

Katie said...

Your mini cakes are sooo cute! Love how you added the extra lemon curd on top too.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

That sounds heavenly! Good job on the save and I didn't know that about chiffon cakes. Thanks for saving me from making the bsame booboo!

Love how sweet your babycake looks!

farah said...

Beautiful cake, i love how you decorated this :)

Jacque said...

Oh no! Well, it looks like it turned out fine anyway.

It does look fabulous :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! It looks absolutely divine.

Steph said...

I love how you decorate your cakes. They always look so elegant and pretty. I never knew how fattening lemon curd was either.. totally thought it was jam too until I made some for a cheesecake. It tastes even yummier when you add a touch of heavy cream in the lemon curd too!

Unknown said...

Mini cakes are the best. Yours looks wonderful!! I really want to make this one.

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks fabulous. I love the lemon curd on top. YUM.

Gigi said...

Awe, I love all your baby cakes! I have to buy a set of 4-inch pans! Great on the cake! Gorgeous.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

way to save the cake--the baby is super-cute! love how you decorated it. the curd--i know...all that fat is why it's so good, unfortunately!

Lulu the Baker said...

Your cake looks beautiful, and your photos are just stunning! I'm seriously wowed!!!

a quiet life said...

its beautiful and the perfect size cake! wonderful pics, i have 2 lemon trees and will be making this soon~

Sihan said...

what a tiny rendition of the sky high classic! but still lovely nonetheless. I Love that you smothered the top in lemon curd too. Almost like a glaze. Too beautiful!

Stephanie said...

I love the baby cakes!

symphonious sweets said...

Hurray for baby cakes!

Caroline said...

I love the little dots on your cake - you decorated it beautifully. Your mini cake is just adorable, too cute to eat!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous pretty little cake.

Mary Jo said...

I really like how you decorated the cake, lets you know what it's all about even before the first bite :)

TeaLady said...

Linda, I did the same thing, but caught it before i put the batter in. Still didn't rise much,but had great lemon flavor. Yours is very pretty.

oneordinaryday said...

Your little cake is definitely irresistible. What a beautiful presentation.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous cakelet! No doubt you'd succeed immensely if you opened your own pastry shop!

On another note, how would one go about joining the Cake Slice Bakers? Last I looked, they didn't give any info on how to join, so I'm assuming they're not taking new members at this juncture?

annie said...

My dad loves lemon chiffon cake; I know what I'll be making for Father's Day! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

your babycake is so adorable! thanks so much for the info about not spraying the pan for chiffon cakes; i never knew that!

Rachel said...

Your cake is gorgeous! I love love love lemon cake, and the Sky High Book, so this is definitely going on my list!

betty geek said...

Very darling cake! Love it! :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous cake!

Dexter can be pretty distracting so I understand.

Anonymous said...

I love the lemon curd on top! Looks lovely.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

hi, i just wanted to say i am a lot like you..pastry chef dreamer. Anyhow i made lemon curd today for my other pastry ..but I was looking for a lemony cake for my husbands bday and this is perfect! thank you for the inspiration. Keep up the passion!!!

Creative Classroom Core said...

What a gorgeous cake! I want to reach out and grab a slice to taste! Thanks for sharing! Great pics!

Y said...

What a pretty cake. I love how you decorated it, and it looks so light!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning!

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

I'm making cupcakes of this cake RIGHT NOW. 1/2 the recipe yielded 24 (well, 25 if I hadn't licked so much batter off my spatula) baked for 14 min. I'm going to let them cool in the car and then make a quick whipped cream frosting with the lemon curd in it at my friends house, toping it off with a pitted black cherry (local and in season) once they're all frosted. Yum, thanks for sharing!

CarinE said...

My mom loves light and lemony cakes. She'll definitely love...this cake.

Anonymous said...

measurements for cake flour are incorrect.

1 cup = 16 tablespoons.
So, 3/4 cups of AP flour = 12 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of cornstarch = 14 tablespoons of cake flour.
14 tablespoons = 3/4 cup, you've just made 3/4 cups of cake flour instead of the 1 cup.

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