Cake of the Week: Soak it Up Lemon Curd Sponge with Lavender Cream

Inspired by Easter, we get a little experimental for the Cake of the Week! This recipe utilizes a few valuable skills that no home baker should be afraid to try – whipping egg whites to stiff peaks, tempering eggs, and infusing milk. Get all your ingredients together first to make it easier on yo’self, and get crackin’!

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and paper, then grease again and flour an 8″ springform pan; set aside.

For Cake:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar (reserve for yolks)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (reserve for whites)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (reserve for whites)
  • 3/4 cup yogurt or sour cream (non low-fat, c’mon)
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cake flour (non self-rising)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (mix with flour)

For Lemon Curd Filling:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

For Lavender Cream:

  • 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried lavender

Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer fit with paddle attachment on high speed until pale and ribbony, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add in yogurt, lemon zest, juice and vanilla until just combined. On low, sift in flour and mix just until incorporated. Remove yolk mixture to large bowl and set aside. Wash and dry your mixing bowl thoroughly (or don’t if you have two mixing bowls, good for you!) and let’s continue!

Whip egg whites and 1/2 tsp of salt in electric mixer fit with whisk attachment this time. On high speed, whip egg whites until they are bubbly, then begin shaking in the 1/4 cup sugar little by little to allow the whites to absorb the sugar slowly and increase stability. After your sugar is totally added, keep the egg whites whipping until they reach stiff peaks, becoming firm and glossy.

Using a broad spatula, begin folding your egg white mixture into your egg yolk mixture. Start with about a quarter of the whites, the fold in the rest, being careful not to crush your beautiful stiff white peaks! Once just incorporated, pour the batter into your prepared springform pan. Smooth the top, and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bust up any large air bubbles. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, when the top will appear evenly golden brown. Stick a skewer in the middle to test it. When it comes out clean, you can pull the puffy-looking sponge out of the oven and cool on a rack.

While your sponge is baking, start making the lemon curd filling. Separate one egg yolk into a small bowl and measure your butter and zest. In a smallish saucepan, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat, and add the lemon juice slowly. Bring mixture to a boil, and keeeeep on whiskin’, until you notice it becomes obviously thickened and resistant to your lovin’ (this takes about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Add about a quarter of the mixture to the egg yolk to temper it. Whisk mixture with egg yolk, then add tempered mixture into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Gently boil this mixture for a quick minute, then remove from heat finally adding butter and zest. When the butter has melted into the mixture, you have lemon curd! Congratulations! Transfer it to a bowl and cover it closely with plastic wrap to prevent forming a skin, and put it in the fridge to cool at least a half an hour.

For the lavender cream, simply heat the cream, honey and lavender in a medium saucepan until the mixture steams. Remember that cream boils by rising not by bubbling – watch it close! Take off heat and cover with a lid to let the lovely soft lavender infuse the cream with its delicious herbal powers. Just let it sit there for a half an hour or so, then strain it into a bowl for serving. Keep refrigerated until you cut the cake.
So, you have just completed some risky tasks in baking – whipping egg whites into stiff peaks, tempering eggs, and boiling milk! You are a star! Why not put this cake together now and eat – I mean, reap – the fruits of your labours!
Turn the cooled sponge – which has deflated dramatically, don’t be alarmed! – out of the springform and place onto a cutting board. Use a long, serrated knife to slice the cake into two halves width-wise. Place the bottom of the cake on only that serving plate which you would wish to present to your dear grandmother. Spread the chilled lemon curd over the entire cake like butta and top it with the second half of the cake. Dust the entire sponge with powdered sugar. Use a sharp knife to slice it into wedges, and use a tiny ladle to pour a pool of the chilled lavender cream onto each plate.

If your grandma is impressed, you know you’ve done a good job.

One thought on “Cake of the Week: Soak it Up Lemon Curd Sponge with Lavender Cream

  1. Pingback: A Mature Recipe: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake with Lavender Cream | thefoodisoutthere

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s