Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lime/Lemon layer cake with White Chocolate Ganache

My momma turned SIXTY this week, and as the only family representative I wanted to make her a cake she'd love. She's a bit persnickety when it comes to cake, so chocolate was out. Thank god - I'm quite sick of it myself. I found this recipe on teh internets, and it really did look like something she'd like, because of the fruit flavour and the tang of the lemon curd. But I needed to adapt it a bit, because I'm not comfy with buttercream yet, and the day temperature being between 35 and 45 C it really wasn't the best idea. I decided to experiment and made a half cake, scaling down to three eggs, as a farewell cake for my last day at work, and while I was in the supermarket getting ingredients I was hit by the idea for the white chocolate ganache. Now, I've never made one before, and at the time I just made it like ordinary chocolate ganache. Later I found out that it's much more complicated and I stuck to my original recipe. I saved her a piece of the trial cake and it was met with some face crinkling because of the sweetness of the ganache - but then the lemon curd kicked in and she got her happy face. Nailed it!

The cake gave me a ton of trouble, possibly because I'm not used to such airy cakes, and the pans weren't greased enough, so both the cakes broke a bit and fell apart and so on, and the end result was not as pretty as I wanted. Boo. However, inside it looked gorgeous, and boy o boy was it yummy. This recipe makes one 8"cake so scale up for a 4-layer cake.

For the cake:
  • 1.5C flour
  • 1.3t bp
  • 1C sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1.25T lemon zest
  • 0.5C butter
  • 0.75C milk
For the lemon curd filling:
  • 1/4C butter
  • 1/3C sugar
  • 1/2C lemon juice
  • 1.5T lemon zest
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 200g white chocolate, chopped
  • 100g thick cream

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven 180C. Mix together the flour and baking powder till ell mixed. Take 1/4C sugar and the zest, pulse in mixie. Beat with butter until light and fluffy. Add remaining sugar and beat till smooth. Beat in ¼ of milk until blended. Add flour-baking powder mix alternating with milk until it's all just blended. In another bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form. Fold them in 1/4th at a time. Bake 30-40min. I found 35 was ideal.

To make the lemon curd:
Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, 5-8 minutes. To check if the curd is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into it and draw your finger across the back of the spoon; your finger should leave a path. Don’t let the mixture boil. Immediately force the curd through ha fine sieve into a bowl using a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the ganache:
Warm the cream in a saucepan and slowly add chopped chocolate, stirring all the time. Make sure it doesn't boil, and take of the fire when 3/4ths of the chocolate has melted and let the rest on pan heat. Stir with whisk till smooth, and allow to cool a bit before pouring over cake. Set in fridge for about 2 hours.


Nandini Vishwanath said...

I love lime/lemon cakes. However, I've tried white chocolate and it sucked. Mine was a bad brand, I felt.

What brand did you try? (Am asking coz you bought in India no?)

Good decision on the buttercream. Wouldn't have been firm, I think.

MinCat said...

i dunno di some brand of cooking chocolate i found in shop. in the US i used to use ghirardelli whenever pos, even if its a titch expensive it's totally worth it!

and yeah i know but i really do need to gird my loins and attack buttecream one of these years! maybe in july.