I’m only a day late on posting for my baking group this week! Whee!! I give all credit for my almost-timeliness to the simplicity of this cake. Easy to put together in an afternoon between weeding and laundry (which, along with baking, pretty much = zen for me). Unlike most of Rose’s butter cakes, this one includes cream cheese, inspired by her pie crust. And her pie crust is pretty much the best pie crust there ever was, so it’s not surprising that this cake is gooood.
I love recipes where I can measure out the ingredients, then cover them and leave them to come to room temperature, while I go take care of other things for a bit, then come back and mix it up real quick, pop it in the oven, then go off and do something else again for a while.
So, that’s what I did. Measured out the ingredients, went off to start a load of laundry, came back, mixed it up, and popped it in the oven.
While it was baking, I made the lemon curd. This is a “cook egg yolks and other stuff slowly over a double boiler” thing. While stirring, I started thinking about other things that cook over double boilers and realized just how many sauces and desserts have slowly cooked eggs as a base. If you can nail this technique with slight variations, the world of curds, custards, ice cream, hollandaise, and creme anglaise is wide open to you.
As it cooks, the curd transforms from this foamy liquid to a thick, bright yellow sauce.
That little splotch of white is the salt I tossed in just before moving it to the blender. Speaking of blenders… This is the simplest buttercream ever, and I think I’m in love. How many more types of curd can I make, so that I can make all future buttercreams this way? Seriously. It’s so easy. Dump the warm curd in the blender, then add cold butter a tablespoon at a time.
It didn’t take very long to cool down to a spreadable consistency from there, either.
When it had cooled almost enough to not be pourable, I sloppily spread it on the cake.
Then we ate the cake. Well, pieces of it. And we’re continuing to eat pieces of it, because I’m trying not to overwhelm my smallish office with too many treats, and I knew we were getting ice cream on Monday. 😉
I was *this close* to running out to drop a slice off for a friend, but then I realized I’d just had a glass of wine and no food yet, and that’d be a bad move. The lemon buttercream is delicious. It packs quite a lemon punch, which makes the thin layer on top of the cake just about perfect. It also seems relatively light, with the lemon cutting the richness of the butter, and the texture is pretty good right out of the fridge. BONUS: This frosting makes a great filling for all those cream puffs that were ‘supposed’ to be filled with chicken liver pâté.
The cake itself has a great texture, and holds together nicely. If I had one negative for some of the other butter cakes I’ve made from Rose’s recipes, it’s that some of them come out a little too tender, which makes them seem dry, even if they aren’t. This one melts in your mouth, but doesn’t fall apart when you take a fork to it. I think it’s my new favourite cake recipe (aside from my mom’s spice cake. ;)).