Friendship is powerful and important. (Profound way to start the blog, don't you think?) I've been thinking about my friends lately and it occurred to me that they are quite often, under appreciated.
It was in a women's group about 10 years ago that I first heard someone make the claim that we were not created to live independently but to exist within a community of relationships. That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been working so hard to be a strong, INDEPENDENT woman. I actually think that I was secretly relieved to know that I didn't have to accomplish all of my goals - alone.
The reality is that the relationships that we have with our friends (both past and present) shape who we are today. Even our very first childhood friends taught us some very important life skills about acceptance and love. I am so thankful for the friends that had as a child, the friends that I had as a teenager and the friends that I have now, as an adult.
They are my sounding board, my support system and my source for a reality check when I need it most. I'm so grateful for these precious friends who will tell me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it. The bottom line is, when it comes to happiness, my friends are a key.
Like I said in the beginning, my friends often go under appreciated. I take them for granted far too often so it was a special treat for me to have the privilege of making a birthday cake for one of my sweet friends recently. (Food is my love language - just in case there was any doubt in your mind.) She is a fan of lemon desserts so when I found this recipe in my Flour cookbook, for lemon raspberry cake, I knew it would be perfect.
This cake just screams springtime deliciousness. The recipe is rather lengthy but bear with me - it's soooo worth the effort.
Lemon Raspberry Cake
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, room temperature
6 egg whites
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
3 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint raspberries
Cream butter, oil and 1 cup of sugar for 2-3 minutes.
Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture one third at a time, alternating with milk.
Remove batter from mixing bowl and wash and dry bowl completely. Place egg whites in bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1/3 cup sugar and then whip until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites into batter, one third at a time.
Divide batter evenly among three 9 inch round cake pans.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.
For Lemon Curd: (I made this 1 day before I made the cake.)
Combine lemon juice, butter and cream in a saucepan.
Place over medium heat and warm to just under a boil.
Whisk together eggs and egg yolks.
Slowly whisk in sugar.
Remove lemon juice mixture from stove and slowly add it to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to the to the saucepan and heat on medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Stir in vanilla and salt.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container.
Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours or up to 5 days.
In saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil and cook without stirring until syrup reaches 285 degrees.
Beat together eggs and yolks with whisk in mixer until pale and light. (3-4 minutes)
Remove syrup from heat and slowly add into the eggs, drizzling down the side of the mixing bowl. Beat 6-8 minutes until mixture is pale and cool to the touch.
Turn mixer to low and add butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add salt and whip until completely combined.
Scoop 1/2 cup of lemon curd into buttercream - whisk together.
Combine lemon juice, water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and and cool to room temperature.
Assembling the cake:
Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Brush with one third of the lemon syrup.
Spoon 1 cup of curd buttercream onto cake layer and spread evenly to edges.
Spoon 1/2 cup curd buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip.
Pipe a layer around the perimeter of the cake to form a flood layer.
Spread 1/2 of the non reserved lemon curd on top of the buttercream.
Sprinkle a third of the raspberries on top of lemon curd.
Carefully place a second cake layer on top and repeat syrup, buttercream, curd process.
Finish with a third cake layer. Brush with syrup and refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour.
Spoon 1 cup of plain buttercream on top of cake and spread it over the top and down the sides of the cake, smoothing it to create a crumb coat. Refrigerate cake again for at least 30 minutes.
Spread 1/3 cup reserved lemon curd across the top and cake, spreading it into a thin layer. Top with fresh raspberries. Pipe dots along bottom edge of cake.
Slice and serve.
This is quite possibly the prettiest cake that I ever made so I took LOTS of pictures.
You are a wonderful friend. I Love You.