(from nick malgieri)
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
18 Tbs unsalted butter--softened
2 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
9 large egg whites
1 1/8 cup milk
preheat oven to 350. whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. in a mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until very soft and light. beat in vanilla. whisk together the egg whites and milk until just combined. reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and milk in 4 batches, starting and ending with the flour. in order to not over mix, do not fully incorporate each addition before adding the next one. scrape down the sides in between each addition.
i bake this off in thin layers, making it easier to stack when putting the cake together. you can make 2 layers and slice into layers if you prefer...but i feel that the thinner layers, while taking longer to bake, are easier and fuss free, in the long run. this will make 6-7 thin cake layers. each layer should be less than 1/2" thick --i use about 3/4 cup batter or each layer. spray 9" cake tins with pan spray and place a circle of parchment in the bottom. if you only have 2 pans, you will have to wash in between bakings. bake each layer about 10 minutes, but carefully watch, as the layers are so thin, they will brown easily. once you pull the pan from the oven, wait just a few minutes, then turn it out onto parchment, wash and dry the tin, then start the process again. let the layers cool.
grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup lemon juice
11/4 cup sugar
12 Tbs unsalted butter--cut into small pieces
12 large egg yolks
beat the yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a bowl. place bowl over bain marie and cook, stirring continually until the liquid thickens to a nappe (coats the back of a spoon and retains shape when you swipe your finger down the middle). do not let it boil, as the eggs will scramble. remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl. toss in the butter while the curd is still hot. stir until the butter is full incorporated. cover with a bit of plastic wrap placed directly on the top of the curd.
italian buttercream icing
(if you have a favorite icing, use it and add the matcha and lemon curd)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites--room temperature
2 cups unsalted butter--room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp green tea matcha powder (optional--i don't recommend if you are a purist)
about 1/2 cup lemon curd (you will have to taste and decide how lemony you want the buttercream)
place egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment
combine 3/4 cup of granulated sugar with water in a heavy saucepan. bring to a boil over medium heat and continue cooking until it reaches 235 (just before soft ball)
meanwhile, while the sugar is boiling, begin whisking the egg whites. once frothy, "rain" in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. whip to soft peak.
when syrup reaches 235, remove from heat (it will continue to get hotter and reach the desired 240f). with the mixer on medium speed, begin immediately pouring the hot syrup into the egg whites. be careful not to hit the whisk directly. once all the syrup is incorporated, kick the speed up to high and whisk until it cools to room temperature.
change the attachment from whisk to paddle, and begin adding butter, a few bits at a time. once all incorporated and it looks like buttercream, mix in the vanilla and matcha green tea powder.
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Make sure the beater and bowl are extremely clean and free of any oil or fats. Beat whites on low until foamy. Add salt and then kick up the speed to medium. Add cream of tartar. Begin to slowly add the sugar "raining" it into the egg whites. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, then add vanilla. Beat to stiff and firm peaks.
If you over-beat, you will see moisture starting to "weep" from the whites. If this happens, start over!