Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kate's Birthday Lemon Cake

 I woke up on Sunday and all I could think about was making myself a birthday cake. 
So I did, since I knew I would have time during a weekday evening. 
 23 is going to be a wonderful year. Guess what I bought myself as a present?!
 A fire engine red Kitchen Aid Mixer! Because an official website is in the works ( so get ready for big things people! 
Oh Miss Kate is about to become a legit business woman. 
No doubt about it, 23 is going to be a good year...of course I expect every year just keeps getting better! 
 Oh my gosh I was so happy with my cake. I just sat down and cut myself a piece and smiled the whole time I ate it!

Kate's Birthday Lemon Cake: Makes 1 double layered 8" 
Cake Ingredients:
  1. 1 cup softened butter
  2. 1 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  6. 3 cups flour
  7. 1 tbps baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp of salt
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons + zest of lemons)
Lemon Curd Ingredients:
  1. 6 egg yolks 
  2. zest of three lemons
  3. 1/2 lemon juice
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
Icing Ingredients:
  1. 6 large egg whites
  2. 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 1 pound butter, softened
  4. 1/4 cup lemon juice 
  5. 1 tsp lemon extract
  6. 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 8" cake pans (mine are 8x2) with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. (This step means the cake will easily pop right out of the pan when it comes out of the oven.)
  3. In a an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar and butter.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  6. In a separate large bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly ass to the wet ingredients, then add milk, zest, and lemon juice. 
  7. The batter will be fairly thick, but don't over-mix.
  8. Bake for 35-40 min. Mine actually took about 45 minutes. 
  9. Allow to cool for five minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. (I hate waiting).
  10. Make the lemon curd by whisking together the yolks, zest, juice and sugar in a small saucepan. 
  11. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and can coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. 
  12. Remove an from heat and add butter and stir like crazy until its incorporated fully. 
  13. Cover with clear wrap (making sure the wrap is flush with the curd) and put in the fridge to cool at least one hour...which is fine because your cake is still cooling down. The waiting continues. 
  14. For the icing whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a glass bowl over a medium pot of boiling water. (A double boiler if you are fancy enough to own a real one...maybe that should have been on my birthday wish list. Maybe I'll wait until Christmas). 
  15. The mixture needs to reach 140 degrees but if you're me and don't have a thermometer (shame on Kate) then I just stick my finger in the mixture and wait for it to be hot but not scalding. 
  16. Throw that delicious mixture into your kitchen aid and whisk it on high speed for several minutes until you have a glossy and fluffy meringue. 
  17. Add the butter one piece at a time; I usually do one inch thick pieces. 
  18. Add in powdered sugar by 1/2 cups and beat on a lower speed to incorporate. 
  19. Add lemon juice and extract. If the icing is too stiff don't be alarmed just add a little milk as you go. Start with 1tsp at a time. A little goes a long way. 
  20. When the cakes have finally, finally cooled, cut off any rounded tops and slather on all that delicious lemon curd onto the bottom layer. You don't want it to ooze out so it's okay to keep it a little away from the edge. When you ice the cake the icing will fill in any cracks.
  21. Put the top layer on with the bottom of the cake facing up. 
  22. Scoop out icing and cover whole cake with a thin layer (crumb coat) and put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up. 
  23. Take the cake out and repeat with a heavier layer of icing. I alway do at least two coats and usually three. Then I pipe on my boarder. I have found it makes a huge difference if you have cake rounds for the bottom of the cake and a turn table for decorating. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Lemon Bars (by Ina Garten)

 Lemon is one of the fruit flavors I truly enjoy. 
 That intense sweet and tart combo...I'm all about that glory. 
 How darn delicious does this bite look?!
 Can I get an Amen for lemon bars?
 Such a cute little treat, and I love when they are cold. I pop them into the freezer sometimes

 With a cup of coffee I may have had them as a morning treat.
 So many treats. 

Lemon Bars: Makes 1 9x13 pan of heavenly joy
Crust Ingredients:
  1. 2 sticks softened butter
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. pinch of salt
Filling Ingredients:
  1. 6 large eggs
  2. 3 cups sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp lemon zest 
  4. 1 cup lemon juice (it took me 5 large lemons)
  5. 1 cup flour
  6. powdered sugar for dusting 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
  3. In a an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar and butter.
  4. Mix in flour and salt. When everything is well combined into a slightly sticky dough press into the pan; the dough should be about 1/2" thick. Prick the dough several times before placing in the oven.
  5. Bake for 15-20 min and then refrigerate while you make the filling. 
  6. Whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add in lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the flour last. 
  7. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, pour over the crust and bake for 30-35 min. Remove and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I usually let it sit overnight. 
  8. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.