Lemon Layer Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Lemon Layer Cake with Chocolate Gananche

It’s time for cake – help me celebrate my ten year blog-iversary today. Wow – ten years… Have I ever done anything (besides this blog) for ten years? For a girl who can’t stay dedicated to much of anything, I’m astonished to find TwoBitTart is still going. And growing – this month, I was bestowed with the most traffic ever.

But, when it comes down to it, it’s not about the click count. What makes me happiest is a reader recreating one of my recipes and posting photos (like this week) or receiving props from one of my writerly readers on my storytelling.

I started this blog in 2008 with a different name (Phorenications) and a different mission. Re-reading my very first post, I realize the content may have changed, but I haven’t, not really.  No matter how many years I do this or how much my cooking, writing and photography improves, I still feel like an amateur most days. I especially love this post from 5 years ago, wondering if I’d make it to today – without having enough time to actual bake or photograph anything for my 5 year anniversary.

This year, I had time to bake – and  a milestone anniversary like this one requires a celebratory cake like this Lemon Layer version with Chocolate Ganache Frosting. I’m going to eat a humongous slice – after ten years, I deserve it.


Lemon Layer Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

This cake is inspired by a life-changing Italian truffle. Who knew lemon and dark chocolate were made for each other?  I do now!

Ingredients

    Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • Lemon Cake
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Lemon Curd Filling
  • ½ cup lemon curd
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Make Ganache: In a medium bowl, microwave whipping cream with chocolate for 60-90 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature and whisk on high for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Make Cake: Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter two 8” round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, butter parchment and dust with flour. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir together milk, lemon juice, and zest (mixture will curdle). In the bowl of an eletric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar gradually, beating until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Alternately add flour and milk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, mixing at low speed until just combined. Divide batter between pans, smooth tops evenly, and bake about 20 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper and cool completely.
  3. Make Lemon Curd Filling: In a medium bowl, stir together lemon curd and lemon zest. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat whipping cream and confections sugar until it  holds stiff peaks. Fold in 1/3 of whipped cream into lemon curd to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream.
  4. Assemble Cake: Put one cake layer on a cake plate and spread with lemon curd filling. Top with second layer, Spread top and sides with chocolate ganache.

Lemon Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Lemon Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting

 

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Lemon Swedish Visiting Cake

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a cake baked in cast-iron. A friend called it “sexy.”

Swedish Visiting Cake

If you put one crab in a basket, he will escape, slowly climbing his way out. On the other hand, if you put a dozen crabs in a basket and one attempts to scramble away, the other crabs will pull him back in instead of helping him escape. That’s called a Crab Mentality – anyone trying to better his circumstances or follow his dream is pulled back down by those who don’t dare try. Oftentimes those closest to us are the quickest to try to tug us back down, either because they are frightened by change, they don’t want to be left behind in their mediocrity, they’ve been tugged back one too many times themselves, or they believe there’s only a limited amount of good fortune to go around and another’s success equals their failure.

I’ve been feeling like that crab in the basket these last few months. I’m grateful to those few people in my life who don’t try to pull me back and, in fact, applaud and cheer as I slowly climb towards something great.


Lemon Swedish Visiting Cake

Inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s recipe.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2-3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Grease a 9-10” cast-iron skillet with baking spray. Combine 1 cup sugar and zest together in a bowl. Using a whisk, combine well until zest is evenly distributed and sugar is moist and fragrant.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then salt, vanilla, and lemon juice. Gently stir in flour with a rubber spatula. Add melted butter and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into skillet. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and remaining 2-3 Tablespoons sugar over the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. To caramelize the almond-sugar topping, remove skillet, heat broiler, place skillet under broiler for 1-2 minutes until almonds are golden and sugar topping has caramelized. Let cake cool for 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve cake warm directly from the skillet.