Yesterday was my mom's birthday (Happy birthday mom! On your new computer, it is imperative you learn how to leave blog comments! You should start right now!), so I made a cake. I love making cakes, and would do it every few days, if not for the many reasons why that would be a bad idea. In this case I made a lemon layer cake with lemon curd and fresh raspberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting, and it was awesome, if I don't say so myself, so the recipe is below. Yum.
We all went for pizza at one of Portland's *best* pizza places, and it was really, really good -- Italian style, very thin-crust and not smothered in ingredients, just a light bit of fresh mozzarella and paper thin prosciutto, that sort of thing. (In the recent Mix article on Portland's best pizzas, I was sorry not to see Dove Vivi listed, because although on paper it doesn't sound like it would be my favorite -- cornmeal crust -- it is so awesome and different -- if you're here in the Rose City, try it.)
[end pizza aside]
Then, Mom opened her pile of loot and we ate cake. She was very happy that her younger daughter took note of hint-dropping while they were in Anthropologie together recently!
Leroy was of course overjoyed to have company, though he was kept very busy, as usual, adoring Jim:
It was a lovely evening (even if Alexandra was trying to train my niece Isabella in meanness).
Speaking of Isabella, did you know my niece is a rockstar? Oh yeah. Last week was Rock n Roll Camp for Girls, and last Saturday we went to see the bands perform. It was awesome -- such a great experience for adolescent girls. They write their own songs, and the lyrics are always such a hoot.
We make some noise
We don't need boys
We eat pretzels all day long
Hanging out with friends
Hope it never ends. . .
Yeah! Who needs boys?
Was Heath Ledger a nationalist?
The mystery's enticing as a strawberry kiss
Smash patriarchy with a hammer
And ride through the day in a Sunny D blur. . .
What??? I don't quite get that one, but it's funny. I never thought about it before, but now I can't help wondering: was Heath Ledger a nationalist? (???) (Neither of those snippets were from Izzy's song, by the way.)
And here I am, at dinner after, with rock stars and friend:
And here is the cake recipe. I promise awesomeness. This is one of the best frostings I've ever had:
Lemon Layer Cake w/ Raspberries
2-1/2 c cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. butter, soft
1-1/2 c. gran. sugar
3 lg. whole eggs
2 lg. egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 c. unsalt. butter, soft
3-1/2 c. confect. sugar
2 tbl. heavy cream (I used more like 4, for a fluffier frosting)
2 tsp. fr. lemon juice (I used more)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 c. fresh raspberries (or more)
1 jar lemon curd
1. Oven 350; butter & flour 2 9-in. cake pans.
2. sift: flour, b.p., b.s., salt together, set aside.
3. Beat butter well, add in sugar, beat about 3 min.
4. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating between; add vanilla and zest; beat. On low, beat in lemon juice. (batter will look curdled at this point. Don't worry.)
5. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions; adding milk after 2 additions.
6. Bake in prepared pans for 20-25 min., until tooth pick comes out clean.
Frosting: Soften butter until creamy, beat in sugar, add cream, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest. Beat about 3 min. *note* I used more of each butter, cream, and lemon juice than the recipe called for, because the frosting seemed a little thick. I probably doubled the cream and lemon juice, but I would suggest following the recipe, and then adding more wet ingredients until you get a consistency you like. Oh, and I also added yellow food coloring just to get a soft lemon yellow hue.
Putting the cake together: I slathered the first layer with a whole jar of lemon curd, then plopped on a lot of raspberries. I overdid it, and all the filling wanted to squish out the sides:
So I had to do some creative scooping to get it under control, and then I ended up not frosting around the sides, but just on top. So, do what you will.
Seriously delicious. Wonderful summer birthday cake.