I just finished making a b-day cake for my best friend this morning - from the yellow Gourmet cookbook. Triple-Layer Devil's Food Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream. I've tried a few "crumbs" with the buttercream and it is unbelievable! The nice thing is that you can make the cake in just about any configuration. Layer cake, 9x13, cupcakes, etc...
re: Laura D.
Timely topic. I am making a cake for my sister's 30th birthday tomorrow. I am making one of my all time favorite cakes, it is delicious and very impressive:
Triple-Lemon Layer Cake
Adapted from Fine Cooking
For the Cake:
9 1/4 ounces (2 1/3 cups) cake flour;
more for the pans
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lightly packed finely
grated lemon zest
6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
5 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon creme of tarter
For the Filling*-
3 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
For the Frosting-
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter,
2 tablespoon lightly packed finely
grated lemon zest
3 1⁄2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Make the lemon curd first so it can chill.
*This lemon curd is actually from an earlier Fine Cooking. It is in first
place in e-gullets lemon curd bake-off.
I like to use my mixer bowl as a double boiler when making it. That way when its done I can put it back on my mixer and whip it until cool. I think it gives it a creamier , fluffier, texture.
Don’t omit the unusual creaming of ingredients at the beginning. Fine Cooking found it eliminated the curdled bits of egg you usually have to strain out.
Beat the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic.
Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you’re looking for 170 F.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerate.
Make the Cake:
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 by 2 inch round cake pans. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 1 1⁄2 minutes). Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth (about 1 1⁄2 minutes). Beat in a quarter of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; beat just until blended.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer (with clean beaters or a whisk attachment) on medium speed just until foamy. Add the creme of tarter, increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula; continue to gently fold tin the whites, a quarter at a time , being careful not to deflate the mixture.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes. Run a table knife along the sides of the pans and carefully invert each cake out onto the rack. Flip them right side up and let them cool completely.
With the palm of one hand pressed on top of a cake layer, cut each in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. Put one of the cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. With an offset spatula or a table knife, spread a generous 1/3 a cup on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another generous 1/3 a cup, and repeat with third cake layer. (You will have extra curd, enjoy!) Top with the fourth cake layer.
Make the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat for one minute. (You can make the frosting a couple of hours early and keep it, covered, at cool room temperature.)
Frost the Cake:
Up to a few hours ahead, spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake, filling in any gaps as you go. Chill until the frosting firms up a bit, about 1⁄2 hour. Spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and silver dragees, or garnish as you like.
re: Laura D.
Thank you. Can you provide any thoughts on how the dates of this buttercream differs from that of a traditional, white sugar meringue buttercream? Sweeter, richer, more buttery, etc? I read all of the reviews on epicurious and they unfortunately all seemed to focus on how to make this recipe as opposed to what it really tastes like. Thanks again.