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Lemon Layer Loveliness

NOT for a common meal. But for a special occasion in lemon season, this is tops.

I learned this recipe from my friend's angst-filled cooking blog. It's hilarious, in its own special way. And this cake is one of the best cakes I've ever made, which isn't saying much, but trust's delicious. I really impressed Ryan's mom with this cake.

To read her story of making this cake, click here.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake
from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates!

Lemon Curd:
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsps confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel

Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon peel, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan. Cook the mixture on medium heat, whisking constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and becomes foamy, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a tablespoon at a time, until the curd is smooth and uniform. Cover and refrigerate the until you’re ready to fill the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour; tap out the excess. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the reserved egg whites in a separate bowl until they begin to form stiff peaks; set aside. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form. Gently stir in the buttermilk, lemon peel, and vanilla into the whipped cream; then fold in the egg whites. Add the flour mixture in thirds and stir just until the batter is uniform. Pour half of the batter into each of the prepared pans.
Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the edges of the pans and a knife tests clean in the center, about 30 mins. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes; then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.
With a long serrated knife, use a sawing motion to carefully slice each cake in half horizontally to form four layers in all. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread it with one-third of the lemon curd. Stack the second layeron top and spread with another one-third of the curd. Repeat for the third layer, and then top the cake with the fourth layer. Set aside.
Whip the heavy creamy for the frosting with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form. Fold in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and lemon peel and continue to whip just until stiff peaks begin to form. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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