I wish I could offer more in the way of prose but it’s exam season and the clock is ticking so I hope that the pictures are sufficiently descriptive. In essence, five years ago on my previous blog I made a strawberry white chocolate layer cake that was extremely well received for reasons I still can’t comprehend so I decided to do an updated version with blueberries.
To be honest, the decorating didn’t go quite as planned – I wanted to pipe those little simple four/five petaled flowers and plop a blueberry in the center but because I first piped swirls of frosting on top of the cake, I didn’t have a flat surface to work with, which I would learn is very essential to piping flowers. Hence the random ribbons. But the drips turned out pretty great so at least that was a consolation.
The cake is a hot milk sponge cake which delivers a buttery flavour with a lighter texture than a butter cake and the lemon curd is made directly in a saucepan, which is rather daring but as long as you keep an eye on it and don’t stop whisking, it’s hard to mess up. I would have used Pierre Hermé’s lemon cream recipe like I always do for all my lemon curd needs but I wanted the drips to have a translucent quality that I presume depends on the quantity of butter involved, so I opted for a different recipe that contains less butter.
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
makes a four layered 5 inch cake
For the cake layers:
165 grams cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
120 ml milk
56 grams butter
3 large eggs
150 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the lemon curd:
125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
65 grams sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
85 grams unsalted butter, cubed
For the frosting:
refer to this recipe, you will need just 3/4 of the quantity
Bake the cake: Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare two deep 5 inch round cake pans.
Heat the milk and butter together in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together twice. Set aside.
Whisk eggs until foamy, add sugar and vanilla and whisk until the mixture has tripled in volume. Sift in one third of the flour mixture and fold until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture in 2 additions.
Bring the milk mixture to just under a boil, pour into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
Divide batter amongst the two pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a cooling rack and let the cakes cool to room temperature before unmolding and refrigerating until cold.
Make the lemon curd: Whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs and salt together in a medium saucepan. Add the butter cubes and set the pan over low heat, whisking constantly until butter is melted. Increase the heat and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk.
Strain the lemon curd immediately into a bowl, store in the refrigerator till cold. You will probably have more than you need.
Make the frosting: Prepare frosting a few hours you assemble the cake. When the ingredients are mixed together at the right temperature (cream cheese and butter are cool and not too soft, melted white chocolate is no longer warm at all) you can use the frosting immediately but otherwise, all it needs is an hour or so of refrigeration to firm up enough to frost.
Assemble the cake: Slice the cooled cakes into half. Spread a layer of lemon curd on the bottommost layer of cake, top with another cake layer, spread some blueberry jam on top, top with another cake layer, spread a layer of lemon curd on, and finish with the top layer of cake. You can alternate the jam and lemon curd the other way around if you prefer more blueberry than lemon.
Crumb coat the entire cake and refrigerate until the frosting is set, about half an hour to an hour. Chill the remaining frosting in the fridge while waiting. Coat the entire cake in a second thicker layer of frosting and chill again until set.
Heat up the remaining lemon curd in a microwave until it’s warm and runny enough to drip down the sides of the cake. Use a spoon to create the drips around the perimeter of the cake then fill the center of the cake. Refrigerate until the lemon curd is set before piping frosting on top, or if you’re planning to just arrange a whole bunch of blueberries over the lemon curd you can do so right away.
Note: cake recipe is adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle, lemon curd recipe from David Lebovitz.