Friday, August 01, 2008

Lemon layer cake, rock stars, dog adoration, etc.

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.

[Pizza aside]
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

for filling
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.


Jim Di Bartolo said...

Mmmmmm...leftover cake tonight. Yummmmmm...

LOVE YA wife o' mine!

tone almhjell said...

If I were there, I'd race you for it, Jim. I'm usually pretty slo mo, but I can be fast when I'm 1)getting cake or 2)saving kittens from horrid death. Well. I'm not there. But the cake goes on the list of stuff to think up while I'm watching "This is your life".

Jone said...

Thanks for the recipe. Making this for our book club meeting this month!

~Molly~ said...

Happy B-day Laini's Mom!!!! Lovely gifts you got there! Laini dear, you look JUST like your mother!!!

Have a great weekend!


Stephanie Perkins said...

Lemons. Raspberries. Cake.


That is the most delicious-looking dessert in the history of the human race. Seriously. I can't WAIT to try the recipe!!

(And your rock star niece is so awesome!)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh, and Jarrod and I agree -- Jim's shirt is sooo funny/cool!

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie about rock camp at the SIFF theater in Seattle a few months ago and it was fantastic; what an amazing experience for your niece!!! She must have a cool Mom as well as auntie. Your cake looks and sounds delic, BTW.