Lemon and Almond Cake
I halved this recipe and made three 6" cakes.
2 1/2 c (355 g) flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c (177 g) butter, room temp
1 c (210 g) sugar
8 egg yolks
2 Meyer lemons, zest and juice
1 Tbls vanilla
3/4 c (177 ml) whole milk
Preheat oven to 375F and oil three 9" round baking pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the egg yolks and continue beating about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla and beat for another minute.
Add one third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine, then add half of the milk. After incorporating, continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter between the three cake pans and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Flip out onto wire racks and let cool before frosting.
Lemon Curd via Alton Brown
5 egg yolks
1 c (210 g) sugar
4 Meyer lemons, zest and juice
1/2 c (118 g) butter, cubed and chilled
Add enough water to a medium saucepan (or a double boiler) to come about 1-inch up the side and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl (that will fit well over the simmering water without touching it) and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. Whisk constantly until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next.
Transfer to a clean container place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Almond Italian Meringue Buttercream For step-by-step directions for making Italian Meringue Buttercream, please click here!
1/4 c (63 ml) water
1 c (210 g) sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 c (53 g) sugar
1 c (237 g) butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla, more if desired
1/2 tsp almond extract
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer.
Heat the 1 c sugar and water on the stove to 245F stirring occasionally only after the sugar has been dissolved. When it is within the range of 230F to 235F, begin whipping the egg whites. When they get to soft peaks, begin adding the remaining 1/4 c sugar and continue whipping to medium peaks, being careful not to overbeat. When the syrup is the correct temperature, slowly pour it into the eggs with the mixer on high. After fully incorporated, beat the frosting 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temp (I usually go a little longer than this; often times the bowl is not room temp when I begin adding butter. If the mix seems to soupy, put it in the fridge for a few moments or try briefly chilling some of the butter in the freezer before adding). Begin adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, beating until fully incorporated. The frosting will deflate a little, but it's ok. Keep whipping until the frosting comes together (you may not need to add all of the butter), add the extracts and continue whipping until it's light and fluffy.
Cut domes off of cakes. Place one on the platter you plan to serve on and spread with a thin layer of lemon curd (be careful not to add too much as it may cause the layers to slip). Top with a layer of frosting, then place another cake round on top. Spread again with lemon curd and frosting, then top with the final cake. Crumb coat with a thin layer of icing, and refrigerate, if possible, 10-15 minutes to set (if you don't have fridge space, it is fine to just continue frosting without refrigerating, but I like the extra insurance that it offers). Frost with remaining frosting as desired.