Take a Deetour

"I write to find out what I think." - Joan Didion

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Luscious Lemon Layer Cake

I say again, I don't like sweets. But I do like the idea of sweets.

Inspired by yet another yummy mummy, Ms. Y, who baked the most scrummy lemon layer cake, I had to attempt recreating her creative cakery. So I went grocery shopping and bought all kinds of supplies to embark on my own cunning confectionary caper. With erm, very different results.

Where Ms. Y's cake was light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth-good, mine turned out like a brick - biscuity on the outside, dense and heavy on the inside. Maybe next time, I need to follow the instructions exactly. Maybe next time, I'll use an electric mixer, instead of a blender(?!). Bah.

Embarrassingly, I was so proud of my first attempt at baking, that I actually presented said cake to Ms. S as a birthday present. Note to self: next time, taste-test IMPERATIVE.

However, in the spirit of sharing - maybe you'll get it right - here's the recipe, adapted from cooks.com:

1/2 c. shortening
1 3/4 c. sugar
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. plus 3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. (or more, according to your taste) grated lemon rind
Cream shortening; add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer.
Combine flour, baking powder, add salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon rind.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick is inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven & cool for 10 minutes; remove cake from pan, and let cool completely.
Cut cake into 2 halves, ready to sandwich the frosting.

1 (6 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon extract
2½ c. powdered sugar
Combine cream cheese, butter, lemon extract; electric mix until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beat until light and fluffy.

Sandwich frosting between the 2 cakes-halves and spread remainder on the cake surfaces. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over assembled layer cake, if you have a sugar deathwish.

Et Voila!

Spot the Theme, Man
A movie of the same name that balances all that sticky, girlie sweetness. Not quite Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but pretty decent Cockney Gangster fare.

Reality Bites
You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son. - Eddie Temple, Layer Cake

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