Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lemon Truffle Cake

I must confess to having an affinity for See’s cream-filled chocolates. Among my favorite flavors is the lemon cream. It used to be the raspberry one, but I’ve begun to discern the jarring chemical taste of the artificial flavoring. So, back to the matter at hand: Lemon & chocolate – not a traditional or even intuitive combination, but one that has begun to fixate me. Could it be the combination of sour, bitter and sweet that has me so fascinated? I’m intrigued enough that I decided to make a cake that would combine the tart lemon flavors with the darker nuances of chocolate. I chose to pair a moist, almost moussey chocolate cake with lemon curd. My husband always doubts these adventures off the beaten culinary path, but once again, he had to eat his words.

A second confession: I have piles of clippings and print-outs from the internet with recipes I have never, ever gotten around to making. Believe it or not, I’ve been saving recipes from magazines since I was a child, barely allowed to navigate the kitchen. I remember working on a school project in fifth grade that required clipping pictures from magazines. In the process of completing my assignment, I clipped out a small fortune of recipes that I wanted to try – not surprisingly most of them were dessert recipes.

This chocolate cake recipe was from a Seattle Times butter commercial from 1996 that my mother saved for me. The cake is a recipe from the owner of Borracchini’s Bakery and Mediterranean Market, in Seattle.

Remo Borracchini’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

¾ cup butter, softened
½ cup cocoa
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
2 ¼ cups flour
3 Tsp baking powder
1 cup cold water
3 egg whites

Grease and flour two 9 x ½ round pans.

Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl.

In a large bowl, beat cocoa into butter. Add sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and then egg yolks one at a time. Add flour and baking powder a little at a time. Add water and beat until smooth. [note: I had to add some water before I finished adding dry ingredients, because the consistency was unmanageable]

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into cake batter.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Cool.

Lemon Curd

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar

In a saucepan, add all ingredients and heat slowly over medium heat, while stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken and bubble – 5 to 10 minutes. [note: be very careful not to overheat the egg or else use a double boiler] Remove from heat and cool at least 2 hours or 1 day.

Assemble Lemon Truffle Cake

Cut one of your cakes flat on the top. Pour a portion of the lemon curd on top, making a thin layer. Place your second cake on top. With the remaining curd, you can either drizzle some on top or pool it below slices as you serve. Pooling the curd has the advantage of allowing the diner to control the amount of curd they eat with each forkful of cake.

To be safe I stored my cake in the refrigerator, along with the extra curd. I’m not sure if the curd is safe to sit at room temperature*, but in any case refrigeration (along with covering) seems to keep the cake exceptionally moist.

* Proof you can find just about anything on the internet – here’s some information on shelf stability of lemon curd, which recommends refrigeration, by the way.


At October 27, 2006 12:26 PM, Blogger farmgirl said...

I love chocolate cake, and I adore homemade curd, but I have to admit I never thought of combining the two. YUM.

At October 27, 2006 12:27 PM, Blogger farmgirl said...

Oops. That's homemade lemon curd of course. The one time I don't hit Preview. . . : )

At November 01, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Jade said...

My curd came out thinner than commercial curd. This may be because I didn't cook it long enough, but I did follow the recipe. So I couldn't make a thick laye of curd between the two cake layers, which is why I recommended pooling some at the base of each slice. Subsequently, I considered this thin curd a "happy accident" because it kept me from adding too much curd to the middle. I think a small amount of curd in the center was actually ideal.


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