Monday, March 12, 2012

Lemon Celebration Cake for my 100th post!

This is my 100th post! I can't believe I have written so many already, and it makes me a little proud that I stayed put. It is very rewarding to have you, my readers here and sharing my little baking and photography adventures. I am also very happy each time I see one of my picture showing up on sites like pinterest or other sites and see my work is recognized. So, for celebrating this occasion a great cake is in order.

But this is not the only special occasion. I made this cake for my Mom, who had a special birthday last Wednesday. She is a great baker herself, and I learned a lot from her. I have a picture from me as a toddler standing in the kitchen and helping her bake. Well, I was just licking the whisk, but I definitely inherited the baking gene from her.

I wanted to make a cake which I could decorate with a colorful bunting. This is such a cute trend, and I wanted to make it for some time now. My cousin gave me some beautiful fabric scraps from her sewing projects. I cut double triangles and glued them together over a ribbon band. Then I attached it on two tall lollipop sticks with a knot. Really easy!

For the cake I chose to make a four layer lemon cake. The cake is filled with a silky lemon cream and creamy caramel. The frosting is made from lemon cream and mascarpone, and is so delicious, that you could eat it with a spoon. There a quite a few components to be done, but everything can be made in advance. I made the cake and fillings the day before and just made the frosting on the day when I served it.

I found that beautiful petal frosting technique at "La Receta de la Felicidad", where you can also find detailed pictures on how to do it.

Lemon Celebration Cake
(Cake and fillings adapted from "Tartine", frosting adapted from "The Art and Soul of Baking")

- makes one 20 cm (8-inch) round 4 layer cake -

Lemon Chiffon Cake

160 g flour
150 g sugar
1tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
60 ml vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
60 ml water
30 ml lemon juice
1tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
5 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 160° C (325° F). Line two 20 cm (8-inch) springform pans with parchment paper.

In a big bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 125 g of the sugar and the salt and whisk to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice and zest. Add the mixture to the flour mixture and whisk together for about a minute until smooth.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the cream of tartar and the remaining sugar. Continue beating until the whites are firm and glossy. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter between the two springform pans and smooth the surface.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden stick comes out clean when put into the center. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack. When cool remove the cakes from the pan.

Lemon Cream

155 ml lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
170 g sugar
pinch of salt
225 g butter, cold and cut in small cubes

In a bowl over a water bath on medium heat whisk together the lemon juice eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken. If you have a thermometer it should register 80° C (180°F). Remove from the heat and let cool while stirring from time to time. If the thermometer registers about 60° C (140°F), you can start adding the butter, using an immersion blender to mix. Add the butter one piece at a time and mix with the blender after each addition. Put the cream in the fridge until using. Reserve about 150 ml (2/3 cup) for the frosting.


75 ml heavy cream
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
120 g sugar
30 ml water
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
30 g butter, cut in small cubes

In a small pot over medium heat bring the heavy cream and vanilla to boil. Take off the heat and keep warm.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat stir together the sugar, water, salt and corn syrup. Stir until it starts to boil then cook without stirring until the mixture turns to an amber color. Remove from the heat and slowly add the heavy cream. It will start to boil very heavy, so be careful to not get burned. Also add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Add the butter one piece at a time and whisk to combine. Keep in an airtight container until using. If it gets to hard for spreading on the cake you can warm it up again in a water bath.

Lemon Syrup

35 ml water
30 g sugar
35 ml lemon juice

Bring the water and sugar to boil in a small pot. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take of the heat and let cool until lukewarm. Stir in the lemon juice and keep cool until using.

Lemon-Mascarpone Frosting

250 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
250 g mascarpone, at room temperature
150 ml (2/3 cup) of the lemon cream

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip until combined. In another bowl whisk the mascarpone until smooth, add the lemon cream and whisk together until blended. Now gently fold in the whipped cream until your frosting is thick and smooth.


Cut both chiffon cakes lengthwise into two layers. Put one layer, cut side up, on your cake plate. Using a pastry brush spread the top with some lemon syrup. Next spread about 1/3 of the caramel on top with a spatula. Then spread 1/3 of the lemon cream on top. I used a little less and had some leftover from the caramel and lemon cream. Repeat with the next two cake layers. The top cake layer (4th) is just spread with lemon syrup.

Wrap the cake in plastic foil and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To frost the cake remove the plastic and start with a thin layer of frosting all around the cake. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then apply another layer of frosting.

Fill the remaining frosting in a pastry bag with a medium round tip. Pipe a vertical row of three big dots on one site of the cake. Using a small spatula or spoon spread each dot to one side. Remove the frosting from the spatula after each spread. Now add another row of dots and repeat until you frosted the whole cake.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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