Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mr. Hawthorne Makes A Birthday Cake For Rosie.

Every year for my birthday, Mr. Hawthorne makes a lovely cake for Rosie. The one he made in 2009 was one of Mama Hawthorne's favorite posts. She would always ask me to find it for her when I was visiting so she could re-live the video of Mr. Hawthorne's fumbling of the pans. She loved that video. This year, Mr. Hawthorne, knowing my love of lemons, decided on a Triple Layer Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd for the filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Frosting.
The cake, the curd, and the frosting all have lemon juice and zest in them and Mr. Hawthorne gave an extra zesting of an orange over top.
The cake was tender and oh so moist.
I have a feeling it's going to get even more moist what with the curd inside. Did I mention it had lemon in it?
Mr. Hawthorne's lightning-fast hands were all over the place.
First, he buttered and floured three cake pans and started on his cake batter. Triple Layer Lemon Cake 2 sticks butter, softened 4 eggs 2 1/3 cups flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 2 cups sugar 2 TB + lemon zest 2 TB lemon juice 1 cup + buttermilk Lemon Curd (Recipe to follow.) Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe to follow.) Let butter and eggs come to room temperature. (About 30 minutes.) Grease and lightly flour 3 9-inch cake pans. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high for about a minute. Slowly beat in sugar until well combined. Add in lemon peel and lemon juice. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to beaten mixture, beating at low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then remove from pans and cool completely on racks. To assemble, place a cake layer on plate. Spread with lemon curd. Top with second layer and spread with curd. Top with third layer and frost tops and sides with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
When measuring dry ingredients, Mr. Hawthorne correctly shows the scoop and sweep method of measuring. Get a big scoop in the measuring cup, then sweep the excess off with a knife. Here, his 2 1/3 cups of flour are going in.
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt Set dry ingredients aside.
Beat 2 sticks of softened butter. That's Mama Hawthorne's bowl.
Slowly add in 2 cups of sugar.
Grated zest going in. About 2 tablespoons.
Mr. Hawthorne juiced his lemons ...
... and added in 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
You know how much I like egg-drop shots.
A total of four eggs went into the batter. Beat well after each addition.
Flour mixture and buttermilk go in alternatively in about 3 additions each.
Mr. Hawthorne added in the 1 cup of buttermilk and felt the dough was too stiff, as in not pourable, so he made an executive decision to add a little bit more. Good call, Mr. Hawthorne.
And Rosie gets to lick the beaters.
Mr. Hawthorne poured his batter evenly into three prepared pans.
Tap pans to even out the batter.
Into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Perfect. Next up, Mr. Hawthorne makes the Lemon Curd. Lemon Curd 1 stick butter 1/2 cup lemon juice 2 TB lemon zest 1 1/2 cups sugar 4 whole eggs 2 egg yolks Melt butter in double boiler. Add juice, zest, and sugar. Stir over medium low heat until sugar is dissolved. Beat eggs and yolks together until thick. Then whisk a little of the butter/lemon mixture to the eggs to temper. Pour the eggs into the pan and, over low heat, whisk constantly until mixture becomes quite thick. Mr. Hawthorne didn't bother with a double boiler. He was confident enough with heating the eggs to do it directly over the heat. Just hold the pan in the air over the heat so you don't scramble the eggs.
Mr. Hawthorne juices his lemons. 1/2 cup of juice.
He knows how I love my lemons, so he's doing extra zest for me.
The butter is melting and Mr. Hawthorne has assembled 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 TB lemon zest, and 4 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks.
Whenever I whip eggs, I tilt the bowl and the beaters. allowing for maximum aeration of the eggs.
Butter is melted and ready for ...
... lemon zest ...
... lemon juice ...
... and sugar. Gradually add in sugar ...
... whisking until dissolved.
Whisk in a little of the hot mixture into the eggs to temper them.
Slowly add egg mixture into butter mixture, whisking constantly.
Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick. Notice Mr. Hawthorne has his pan hovering over the flame. When properly thickened, set aside and let cool while you prepare the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1 stick butter, softened 1-2 TB lemon juice 1-2 TB lemon zest 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar Combine cream cheese, butter, juice, and zest. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar until you get the proper spreading consistency.
Cream cheese goes into mixing bowl.
Mr. Hawthorne zests his lemon.
Add in lemon juice to cream cheese and butter.
Gradually add in powdered sugar on slow speed.
Mr. Hawthorne decided to add in more lemon juice.
A little more powdered sugar.
And finally the zest goes in.
Mr. Hawthorne is ready for assembly: 3 Lemon Layers - Check Lemon Curd - Check Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting - Check
Cover first layer with lemon curd.
Place second layer on top.
Layer with lemon curd.
Top with third layer.
Isn't this lovely? The reason the top layer is darker is because it was cooked in a darker cake pan than the other two layers.
Mr. Hawthorne frosts his cake.
A little orange zest for color and pretty.
Ta daaaaaaaa!
Come to Mama!
Happy Birthday to Me, indeedy. Thank you, Mr. Hawthorne. The cake is delicious.


southdrivein said...

Digging the sassy black kevlar apron he's wearing

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Heh. I let him borrow my apron.

Kathy said...

So, ah, I'm coming to visit you this weekend, right? So, ah, my birthday is this weekend. Yeah, sure it is. Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

Anonymous said...

That has to be a great cake !