Do you have a recollection of the best cake you ever ate?
And if you do, what flavour was it?
In my cake business, it is an ernest pursuit to discover new flavours for cakes for clients. What flavours go well with the cake and the pairing buttercream or ganache. Because it leaves the long-lasting impression of how the cake tasted at the birthday or the wedding that people will remember.
My latest discovery would be lemon curd. I have only ever tasted lemon curd in desserts, but never knew to put it in a cake. Which was why I decided I needed to try it to experience the flavour, after noticing some cake business offer lemon curd as a filling in cakes. I happened to have a dessert at a restaurant not too long ago, and the lemon curd in the dessert proved to be a citrus-y hit. The lemon tang is obvious, but what a velvety and smooth feel it has on the palate.
Naturally, I had to research and try making my own lemon curd. The best reference I had was from Stephanie Jaworski Joy of Baking. And the recipe is so simple – sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and butter. I did a double batch of this because I didn’t think it’ll be enough for cake. I made a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream/SMBC (as I have shared in my previous blog) with 5 egg whites (it wasn’t enough, you’ll see why), and Lord what a joy to make SMBC during the cooler climates now in Melbourne. I had some leftover cake in the freezer (wonder how it got in there?) and let my not-so pretty shows you how I went 🙂
The cake was an indulgent treat – the vanilla cake provided sweetness, the SMBC offered mild sweetness and buttery goodness, and the lemon curd offsets the overall sweetness. I could not help myself to second servings (granted that I haven’t eaten a lot of cakes since Van Goh Cakes, yes!) and this would be a great idea for an afternoon tea delight. Sadly, the lemon curd keeps for a week, so the cake has a much shorter shelf life. But if it tastes soooooooo good, I don’t think that it’ll be a problem!
I’ve added a video from Joy of Baking, with adapted methods from the website. Hope you’ll give it a go, or if you’re not up for it, my cakes can be made to have lemon curd. Enjoy!
Lemon Curd Recipe (from Joy of Baking)
- 6 large eggs
- 300g caster sugar
- 160ml fresh lemon juice (I used 6 lemons)
- 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Make sure lemons are kept at room temperature so that they provide more juice. I have them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Grate the zest of the 6 lemons using a fine grater.
- In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until well mixed. I did it a little differently to Joy of Baking’s instructions and placed the lemon juice in the mixture at this stage.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir constantly until the mixture thickens (or reaches 160 degrees F or 70 degrees C).
- Remove the bowl from heat and pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps – you will notice there is a lot of solid residues from cooked egg that you don’t want in your lemon curd at the end 🙂
- Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into the strained mixture until the butter has melted.
- Let it cool, and the lemon curd will thicken as it goes.
- Cover the surface of the lemon curd with Glad Wrap and refrigerate.