Thursday, August 6, 2009

Big Brother's Birthday Cake

My big brother. Smart, handsome, dentist, bachelor, and now 31 years old. If this sounds like a personals ad, it should. Do you have a lovely lady in your life? Single, southern, conservative, sweet? Perhaps we need to set them up?

Hahahaha, this past weekend was my big brother's birthday. Every year, I make him the same cake. White cake with lemon curd filling and white mountain frosting. And every year, I tell him what a pain in the patootie it is to make this thing. And every year, I take that first bite of cake and remember, all over again, that it is completely worth the effort to make this masterpiece of a cake!!! Tender, fluffy white cake . . . tangy, tart lemon filling . . . light, melt-in-your-mouth frosting . . . what more could a boy want?!

Here's a cute pic of big bro with his sweet Australian Cattle Dog - Scout! She is the only lady in his life at the moment . . .

Big Brother's Birthday Cake

2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
5 egg whites

Lemon Curd
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup cold water
6 egg yolks (save 2 whites for the icing!)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

White Mountain Frosting
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoons vanilla

For the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round pans with butter and flour (seriously, don't skip the flour!).

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat the butter in with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and the vanilla, and continue to beat until fluffy. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternately, starting and ending with the flour.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans, like so . . .

Then bake for 25-30 minutes, until cake springs back when gently touched near the center.

For the lemon curd:
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the water and whisk in the egg yolks, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, boiling the mixture for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Strain the mixture and cool to room temperature.

For the frosting:
In a small saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and water. Cover and apply medium heat until the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Do not stir, but uncover and continue to boil until the mixture reaches 242 degrees on a candy thermometer and/or the mixture spools 6-8-inch threads when drizzled from a spoon.

Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Very gradually stream the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites, beating constantly, until thick and glossy. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until desired consistency is reached.

To assemble the cake, put half of the lemon curd over the first layer. Top with the second layer, and ice the entire outside with the frosting. Serve with the extra lemon curd on the side.

Don't you just love how shiny and gorgeous the icing is?

Sources: The cake and curd recipes come from my sister-in-law. The frosting is from my tried and true, vintage Betty Crocker cookbook.


Southern Aspirations said...

LOVE cake with lemon curd. One of my faves. Didn't know your bro was single... now I'm thinking... ;-)

Take Your Sweet Time said...

umm single brother, looking for a southern girl...I might be interested.hehe

Creative Classroom Core said...

Nothing beats a homemade birthday cake!

Anonymous said...

So sweet! And I had no idea you had an ACD! I did too, for years and years... he was HYSTERICAL. My first baby!

Kristen said...

Oh that looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

What a nice sister you are! This cake looks delicious!

Colleen said...

I love lemon curd - I'll take a slice please!hid


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