My Favorite Cake
October 21, 2014
"This is my favorite cake, hands-down. The cake layers are absolutely delicious on their own. Here, they are filled with luscious lemon curd and topped with billowy meringue frosting. Not for the fainthearted - it is a lot of work."
- Optional "Cement" Frosting
- MERINGUE FROSTING
- Serving Size: 1 (166.5 g)
- Calories 586.6
- Total Fat - 23.9 g
- Saturated Fat - 13.7 g
- Cholesterol - 218.6 mg
- Sodium - 357.4 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 90.1 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2.4 g
- Sugars - 72.9 g
- Protein - 7.1 g
- Calcium - 117.1 mg
- Iron - 1.5 mg
- Vitamin C - 3 mg
- Thiamin - 0.1 mg
Equipment needed: Two 9" cake pans, a pyrex bowl that will sit on top of one of your saucepans, mixer, small ramekin, cereal bowl, and a 2-cup bowl.
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, paper and flour the cake pans.
Beat butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy, at least five minutes. I just leave mixer going while I do the next three few steps.
Separate the eggs. For this, you will need a ramekin, a cereal bowl, a 2-cup bowl, and a pyrex bowl large enough to whisk curd ingredients. Separate 4 eggs, one at a time into ramekin. If no yolk in the egg white, pour the whites into the 2-cup bowl, and pour the yolks into the cereal bowl. Separate 6 more eggs in same manner, adding whites to same 2-cup bowl, but keep these 6 yolks in the pyrex bowl, separate from other yolks.
Add the 4 eggs and the 4 egg yolks to the batter, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Whisk dry ingredients together, and measure the milk. Beat into creamed butter and sugar at low speed in 3 batches, alternating with the milk.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until done. Let cool for 10 minutes on racks, then remove from pans.
Curd: Fill a large bowl up almost half way with water and ice, to be used for the water bath later. Bring a saucepan filled with 2" water to simmer over medium-low heat. Slice butter and put in freezer to chill.
Meanwhile, in pyrex bowl, whisk together six egg yolks with sugar, lemon juice and salt. Place pyrex bowl over saucepan and whisk vigorously until curd thickens, doubles in volume and deepens in color. It should take about ten minutes. Do NOT let it boil.
Immediately set the pyrex bowl in the water bath to cool, adding butter. Continue to whisk until butter is melted. Cover and refrigerate.
Assemble: When cake and curd have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to trim one of the cake tops so it is level. Then, using quilting thread or floss, halve each cake horizontally to end up with four layers. Hold the thread all the way around the cake, make sure it is level, then pull ends toward each other so they cut completely through the cake. The levels must be level or the cake will fall over. (I had that happen once, had to make a parfait instead.)
Put bottom layer on cake plate, cut side up, spread with 1/3 of curd. Place matching layer on top, cut side down, spread with 1/3 of curd. Put 3 toothpicks in to give cake structure. Repeat with next layers, ending with uncut top layer. Don't put any curd on very top. Add 3 more toothpicks.
If desired, make "cement" frosting, so sides and top of cake won't let any crumbs escape into meringue frosting. Cream butter and just enough powdered sugar so that frosting is thinned but will stick to sides of cake and harden. Immediately spread thin layer of cement frosting on sides and top of cake. I do this step for company, but I don't bother if it's just family.
Meringue Frosting: In same saucepan, bring 1 inch water to a simmer. Meanwhile, in clean bowl of mixer, whisk sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice.
Set mixer bowl with egg whites over saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 6 minutes.
Return to mixer and beat at medium speed for 10 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature. Continue beating at high speed until the meringue is thick, shiny and billowy, about 15 minutes longer. Frost cake immediately.
Tips & Variations
- Two 9" cake pans
- Pyrex bowl (that will sit on top of one of your saucepans)
- Small ramekin
- Cereal bowl
- 2-cup bowl