Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lemon Joy Cake

Ahh, blogger how I have missed thee! But I am back now. And with lemony goodness from above! T'was my youngest brother's birthday on Tuesday so we had a dinner for him yesterday. The siblings were supposed to come down from the city but the weather did not cooperate so we had a lot of Leftover Lasagna (to be shared with you next week) and leftover Lemon Joy cake. So I managed to snag a couple photos to share with the recipe(s).

Lemon Joy Cake

The cake was inspired by the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes I made on Christmas day from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Book. Those were incredible. So tasty, but messy (My icing kept sliding off the lemon curd) but when Matt asked for a non-chocolate cake, I thought this was as far from chocolate as we could get.

The cake is a combination of three different recipes in the Joy of Cooking cookbook. The first is the Lemon Chiffon Cake (pg. 710). I doubled the lemon zest amount and substituted a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice for a half cup water. If you have never made a chiffon cake I urge you too. So light, so airy so wonderfully moist. I made it the day before and left it in the pan with plastic wrap to seal it and it was still super fresh when I pulled it out to fill.

The filling is a simple lemon curd recipe (pg. 687) made mostly of cornstarch, water and a bit of lemon juice and zest. I may have doubled the zest called for in this recipe as well, but maybe not. Super simple though. To fill the cake, I slice of a layer off the top, cut a channel with a serrated knife, pulled out the spare cake and filled with curd. Replacing the top piece was easier than getting it off in one piece and once done, you would never have known I hollowed it out.

The icing is Seven Minute Icing (pg. 790). Let me tell you, Joy of Cooking's recipe is super simple compared to the recipe in Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book. I managed to screw that up on Christmas day, but this one was easy peezy lemon squeezy. It is super sticky, and hardens super fast though so you need to work quick on a light and delicate cake like chiffon. I found the trick was to dollop generously, then spread with a wet spatula and 'slice' the icing off the spatula with a butter knife. After making the cake I realized a video tutorial would have been helpful. Next time, I promise.

The reason I used Seven Minute Icing was so I could brown it with my kitchen torch like meringue. The cake had so many lemon elements I thought a meringue like topping was fitting. It looked wonderful. It tasted wonderful too. It was rich though. The chiffon cake was the perfect base for the lemon curd and super sweet icing. You definitely wouldn't have wanted a sweet buttermilk vanilla cake under that.

Lemon Joy Collage