Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Limoncello Cake with Lemon Curd

Today my lovely friend (and one of my favourite people to spend time with), Michele came over for morning tea and coffee. Michele is one of those people who loves fragrant food and flavours like lavender, rose and lemon. As it is my shopping day tomorrow the choices were limited for what I could whip up the day before. I wanted to make a delicious sounding cake called Pistachio cake with Rose cream but I didn't have enough pistachios lurking around in my cupboard to make it. I did, however have a few lemons and quite a bit of Limoncello so opted to make this cake which has been on my 'to make' list for ages. I also made some lemon curd to go with it but didn't have enough lemons to make the candied lemon peel to go on top. I quite like Limoncello but I do prefer other drinks so hardly ever drink it. The flavour is quite unique and it has (to my taste), a rounded, sweet flavour. Sometimes I like the idea of something more than the taste.... and I would certainly like to make my own just to say that I did it myself and gain the Domestic Goddess points too!

This cake was pretty easy to make but I think it definitely needed the lemon curd to give it a more lemony hit. The candied lemon peel would have also helped somewhat. As you can see in the recipe for it, they have spread the lemon curd on top which looks quite pretty but I opted to keep it on the side which means you can put as much or little with it. You can find the recipe here.

I am always on the lookout for a good lemon curd recipe and have tried making it multiple ways... in the microwave, using a double boiler, in a pot; but this recipe takes the cake. It is easy and produces a delicious curd with great texture and flavour. This will be my go to recipe from here on in. I always add in more lemon rind than the recipe says as I like it quite tart and quite full of that lemon flavour. I got the recipe from a great blog I follow called Baking Makes Things Better

Lemon Curd

6 Tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
⅔ c fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the eggs and yolks.  Beat for 1 minute.  Mix in the lemon juice.  The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth (the curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts).  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens (I made half the volume and it hardly took any time at all).  It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 75°C on a thermometer (I don't have one so just used the spoon check).  Don't let the mixture boil.

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest.  Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator.  The curd will thicken further as it cools.  Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Try NOT to eat it by the spoonful!

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