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Lemon cake recipe and a contest

Cathy Hedges, last year's amateur category winner. Courtesy of Share Our Strength and The Reynolds Group

Cathy Hedges, last year's amateur category winner. Courtesy of Share Our Strength and The Reynolds Group

If you like to bake and have developed a recipe or two of your own, you can enter Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Baking Contest.

This year’s sixth annual contest will take place on Mar. 5 at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Tucker. Culinary professionals, students, amateurs and children are invited to submit entry forms from now until Feb. 15.

Prizes include $500 for first place in the professional category and $250 for first place in the remaining categories.

Or, if you aren’t a baker, you can purchase a ticket to attend the wine reception and sample all of the entries and vote on your favorite. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Mar. 5

Last year’s winner in the amateur category, which I judged, was Cathy Hedges. Her Lemon Slice of Heaven cake was a bright spot in a sea of rich and heavy desserts.

Cathy was kind enough to share the recipe for this delight. Enjoy!

Lemon Slice of Heaven

Lemon Curd:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp butter, diced

In a saucepan, add the eggs, sugar, and zest. Whisk until mixture becomes pale. Add juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens. Briefly simmer gently. Remove from heat and add butter. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour curd into strainer to drain and remove any solid pieces. Chill completely. Can be made a day or two in advance.

Sponge Cake:

  • 1 c. cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 7 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 325º. Line four (9 inch) cake pans with parchment or waxed paper.

Sift together cake flour and salt. In a medium bowl add 2/3 cup sugar and egg yolks. Beat for 2 minutes until thickens. Add lemon juice and zest. Beat one minute. Sift flour mixture over egg yolks but do not blend.

Add egg whites and cream of tartar in a second bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually, add 1/3 Cup sugar. Beat until just becomes stiff. Gradually, fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until springs back when touched.

Remove from oven. Cool cake pans upside down 10 minutes. Take a knife and slide around side of pan and flip cake onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Lemon Mascarpone filling:

  • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 c. lemon curd
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Strawberry Curd:

  • 8 oz. strawberries
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter, diced

Process berries in food processor until smooth. Combine in a saucepan, the sugar and cornstarch.

Add berries, lemon juice, and egg yolk to saucepan and combine thoroughly. Cook on medium stirring constantly until thickens. This should take 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk butter in gradually. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Divide three cups of strawberries into three groups. 1. Select evenly sized strawberries for garnish. 2. Select another group for cutting in halves between layers and 3. Some for strawberry curd.

Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp plain gelatin
  • 2 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. lemon curd

Heat the Lemon Juice in microwave. Sprinkle gelatin over juice and stir until dissolved. Cool. In a chilled bowl whip cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add lemon curd, and gelatin mixture. Whip until incorporated.

Candied Lemon Peel:

  • Peel of lemon cut away from pith
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • More sugar for sprinkling

To make candied lemon peel, cut the outer part of the peel only. Place water, peel and 1 cup sugar in saucepan and cook 7 minutes. Remove peel from pan and place on paper plate. Cool thoroughly. Sprinkle with sugar.

To complete cake:

  • ½ Cup Frozen Lemonade Concentrate

Baste cake layers with lemonade concentrate. On a cake plate, place one layer of cake. Top with 1/2 of mascarpone filling. Top with another cake layer. Place strawberry halves on outside edge of cake layer. Fill center with strawberry curd. Top with another cake layer and spread remaining mascarpone filling on cake layer. Top with final layer. Frost the sides and top with lemon- whipped cream.

Garnish with remaining berries and candied lemon peel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

One comment Add your comment


January 15th, 2013
10:54 am

WoW – sounds lemon-y. Looks like a lot of work but well worth it!