Monday, January 28, 2013

Lemon Strawberry Birthday Cake

Delicate pink layers of deliciousness

This past weekend we celebrated my mom's birthday and I was tasked with bringing the cake (after offering, begging, and finally insisting to bake something). In year's prior we've indulged in light and airy New York Cheesecake and Incredible Raspberry Trifle (one of my personal favorites), so this cake had a lot to live up to. 

After scouring the internet and second guessing myself a few dozen times I finally settled on the flavours I wanted to incorporate - lemon and berries - and found a few wonderful looking recipes online. Unfortunately I wasn't 100% sold on any one of the recipes so I did what any indecisive perfectionist would do and opted to mix and match components and make a brand new cake.

My inspiration...

Gorgeous strawberry layers! (via)
Triple Lemon & Blueberry Cake (via)

After finding fresh strawberries in my local grocery store (thanks California!) I settled on a strawberry puree filling with light and airy lemon chiffon cake and a whip cream/cream cheese icing. Little did I know what a wonderfully delicious cake was in the making...

Don't mind the poor winter lighting and distracting table cloth

Relying on the abundant positive reviews, I used this recipe for the lemon chiffon cake and used two nine inch round cake pans instead of the ten inch tube pan the recipe calls for (to get that classic birthday cake look). I also added two table spoons each of fresh lemon juice and lemon extract in place of some of the water for an extra oomph of lemon taste. 

Once the cakes were baked and cooled, I removed them from the pans and sliced them in half horizontally to create four layers. Not only did this allow me to use more delicious strawberry filling but also added some drama once the cake was sliced! And speaking of mind-boggling delicious filling, I used this recipe and process for both the strawberry puree filling and the whip cream/cream cheese icing.  

We didn't even wait to remove all the candles before slicing this beauty

It's always a bit nerve wracking to rely on a new recipe for a big event like a birthday, let alone three new recipes from different sources online, however the cake turned out incredible, better than I could have imagined, and I can't wait to make it again. Seriously, I cannot express how AMAZING this cake tastes!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Recipe Synopsis:
Taste: The chiffon is light with a hint of lemon, I may add more zest to the cake batter next time, while the icing is fresh tasting without being overly rich and sugary. This cake's light, fresh taste doesn't weigh you down, even after a generous piece.
Texture: With a nice crumble, the cake resembled a light angel food and the puree didn't make anything mushy or soggy, in fact the leftovers tasted better two and three days later. 
Wow factor: Although the simple white icing exterior wasn't overly pretty, this cake's beauty is in the inside and once sliced the four lovely layers steal the show.
Difficulty: Saying this cake is labour intensive may be an understatement as chiffon is already tedious without the addition of icing and filling. However, I'm no professional and was able to tackle it in a weekend so don't be discouraged from giving it a try. After making the cake a day ahead of time, I simply made the puree and icing and assembled everything the day of. 
Serve with: This cake is delicious enough to stand on its own (we had it after Chinese takeout and it was still great). It would be wonderful for Easter or Mother's Day as well as a perfect finish to summer bar-b-ques and fish/seafood dishes.

Due to the cream and strawberry filling, store the cake and any leftovers in the refrigerator and it will stay delicious for three or four days.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That looks absolutely delicious...I might have to try that. Great blog!