Lemon and Strawberry Cream Cake

This is a phenomenal cake that’s the epitome of summer. It’s light and fluffy, and chock full of flavour with the tangy lemon curd filling which provides the right burst of flavour amidst the nuanced flavours of the sponge and the cream. The cake consists of two layers of vanilla sponge, sandwiched between a filling of lemon curd, then frosted with whipped cream, and finally, decorated with strawberries.

Makes a two layer 9″ cake

Cake recipe from: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/sponge-cake-layers.html
Lemon curd recipe from: http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonCurd.html

Ingredients:
For the sponge cake:
1 cup cake flour (or, make cake flour from scratch by adding 2 tbsn starch to 1 cup all purpose flour)
Pinch of salt
6 eggs separated, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the lemon curd:
3 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the whipped cream:
3 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Sliced strawberries, to decorate

Procedure:
For the vanilla sponge:
1. Grease and line two 9″ round pans with baking paper
2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
3. Sift the flour (and cornstarch, if making from scratch) and the salt into a medium bowl.
4. In a large bowl, on medium speed whisk the egg whites until foamy.
5. Increase the speed to high, and whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
6. With the mixer still on, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks form.
7. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar together, until it becomes thickened and pale.
8. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
9. Fold the egg white mixture into the whisked egg yolks, until well combined.
10. Fold in the flour and salt mixture as well.
11. Pour the batter into the 2 cake pans, dividing evenly.
12. Bake the cakes for 18-22 minutes, until lightly brown, and when an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
13. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool.

For the lemon curd:
1. In a steel bowl placed over a saucepan of water (double boiler), on medium-high heat, mix the eggs, lemon juice and sugar until well incorporated.
2. Stirring constantly, cook the curd until it thickens, cooking for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat, and put through a strainer or sieve, to remove any lumps in the curd.
4. Add the lemon zest and chopped butter to the curd, and mix it in until all the butter is melted and well incorporated.
5. Let the curd cool, and place a piece of plastic/saran wrap on the surface of the curd, in order to prevent a skin from forming on the curd.

For the whipped cream:
1. Freeze the bowl for the whipped cream and the whisk attachment of an electric mixer for 15 minutes.
2. Mix the whipped cream, vanilla extract and sugar using the mixer until stiff peaks form.

Assembly:
1. Place one of the sponge cake layers on the base/cake stand.
2. Using a piping bag or a spatula, spread some of the whipped cream on the bottom layer of the cake.
3. Place about quarter to a third of the strawberries on top of the bottom cake layer.
4. Carefully place the top sponge cake layer on top of the bottom layer.
5. Using a piping bag or a spatula, cover the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream, and decorate by piping designs if you wish to.
6. Decorate with sliced strawberries.
(You could use the design I used, or search up images to gain inspiration for the decoration of your cake. Or, if you feel confident, just let your imagination and creativity run wild).
7. Let the cake set in the fridge for a while (this cake tastes best chilled), and enjoy!

LemonStrawberryCake4

Gluten Free and Eggless Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake

Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake

There’s a lot going on here. And in a good way. There are two batters in this cake, chocolate and orange (derived from the same vanilla cake batter), marbled together in a single layer cake to produce a phenomenal looking delicious cake. The flavours of semi-sweet chocolate and orange meld together sensationally, producing a lovely end product. (Apologies for the sort of ugly picture, I had forgotten to take the picture earlier).

Also, I may or may not have tried to make this a zebra cake, as we’re going to Tanzania for safari in a couple of days, but well the different batters blended and now its a scrumptious marble cake 🙂

Recipe adapted from:  http://www.joyofbaking.com/VanillaCake.html

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups gluten free flour
1/2 tbsn baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
7/8 cup white sugar
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Zest of 1 orange
3 tbsn orange juice
2 tbsn cocoa powder
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F), and grease and line a 9″ round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft. Then add the sugar, and mix on high speed until fluffy. Add the egg replacer mixture and vanilla extract, and continue to mix on high speed. Next, alternately add the flour (in 3 instalments) and the milk (in 2 instalments), mixing between each addition.

Divide the batter into 2 halves, to make the orange and chocolate batters. To one half, add the orange zest and the orange juice, and mix well using a spoon.
To the other half, mix in the cocoa powder until well combined, and then stir in the melted chocolate.

Pour the chocolate and orange batters into the prepared cake pan in layers, using a skewer to swirl the layers if you wish to (I didn’t, as I wanted the layered effect you can see in the images).

Place the cake pan in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and until an inserted skewer comes out clean, with a few crumbs attached.

Enjoy!

(You could decorate this cake with chocolate and orange swirled frosting as well, like as was done here. However, I chose not to).

CHocolate and Orange Marble Cake Slice