Monday, March 25, 2013

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake

Ever since I started blogging primarily about food, I've always had a huge interest in food ingredients. One of the things that I've seen before (on many food blogs) was Meyer lemons, which is a cross breed between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. It was reputedly sweeter than regular lemons, with a much aromatic smell and taste than regular lemons. I wanted it. Yet, I've never seen it before on local shores.

That was until I saw a local food blogger upload pictures of it on Instagram. Want. Much. Need. Now. Many thanks to Pick Yin, I managed to procure a bag of those bright golden orange orbs. Swoon.
Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake
 Meyer lemons; Meyer lemon yogurt cake
Assembly of layers

Now that I had gotten hold of these precious babies, what should I make? I spent half a week thinking and researching on lemon recipes, before finally narrowing it down to a coupla stuff that I really wanted to make. First up, I knew that I wanted to make a lemon curd something. Thus, the idea of a lemon curd layered cake with whipped cream and blueberries seemed perfect.

As the original recipe I was looking at was missing an ingredient (the page has been updated so please check the website for the full original recipe!), and I was already mid-way through the baking process, I decided to just wing it and combine separate recipes for the different components.


I couldn't find a lemon sponge cake recipe to my liking, so I ended up making a lemon yogurt cake instead. And something must have been wrong with my brain that day cos I messed up the steps in making the cake, adding the lemon juice into the batter (when it should have been used as a soaking liquid after the baking stage). Oh well, more liquid = a moist cake isn't it? By the time I realised my error, the cakes were already in mid-bake in the oven. All I could do was just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The cakes turned out neither good nor bad. I mean, I was hoping for a moist soft crumbs cake, but I got a moist, tighter crumbs denser cake instead. Oh well, lesson learnt on reading recipes carefully in future and not dashing full-on into it.

The lemon curd was thick and silky and lemony. The blueberry preserves and whipped cream provided the sweet notes to bind all the flavours together. I was initially going to replicate the cake decoration in the original website, but my layers were too generously filled thus the cream started to ooze out after I had stacked the second cake layer, so I switched tactics and decided to cover the entire cake with cream instead. I mixed a little of the blueberry preserves into some whipped cream, smushed it around on the cake with no aplomb, and decided to declare my cake "rustic" looking. And that was it.

It was a bright tasting and summer-ish cake. It's certainly not the best cake that I've made, but the whole Meyer lemons experience more than made up for the lack of finesse that I exhibited during the cake making process. I might try the original cake recipe I had wanted to make (but end up not making) the next time the urge for a lemon cake strikes. Till then.

Instagram-ed

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake
(makes one three layered 5.5-inch round cake)

Meyer Lemon Curd (adapted from Michael at Inspiring the Everyday)
130g granulated sugar
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
95g (6 tbsp) Meyer lemon juice (just enough from 2 Meyer lemons)
5 egg yolks
100g unsalted butter, diced
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan, infuse the sugar with the Meyer lemon zest, rubbing well with your fingers to infuse the oils of the zest into the sugar.
Add the juice and egg yolks to the mixture. Whisk lightly.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, till the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (it took about 6-8 minutes for me).
Remove from heat, whisk in the diced butter bits a little at a time. Add the salt.
Strain into a bowl to get a smooth curd.
Place a plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
Chill in refrigerator till ready to use.
*There will be excess curd - save to use for other recipes.

Lemon Yogurt Cake (inspired from Ina Garten at Barefoot Contessa)
170g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g sugar
zest from one lemon
3 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 175C.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, eggs, yogurt, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk gently till just combined.
Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter and mix till batter is homogeneous.
Grease three 5.5" round cake tins. Cut baking paper sheets to fit in the round tins. Grease the baking paper rounds and line the cake tins (greased side up).
Divide the batter into the three tins (I used a weighing scale to ensure equal proportions and got 275g batter per cake).
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Blueberry Preserves
1/2 recipe here

Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sugar

Combine all the above in a mixing bowl and whip till soft peaks form.

Assemble
Spread three tablespoons of lemon curd on the first cake, leaving an one-inch edge around the cake.
Pipe the blueberry jam in the one-inch band surrounding the lemon curd.
Spread whipped cream over the lemon curd and blueberry jam.
Scatter blueberries randomly through the filling and push to hold the filling in place.
Place the second cake round over the first layer of filling and repeat above steps.
Place the third cake round on top and spread the remaining whipped cream and decorate with blueberries.

8 comments:

  1. Great use of the Meyer lemon, they are still selling it by the way. I've made Junior Masterchef Isabella's lemon curd cupcake recently and found it pretty moist and light. Not sure if it will work in a whole layer cake. Previously I used Magnolia bakery's vanilla cupcake recipe and subbed the vanila with loads of lemon zest, turned out pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. May I know where you bought the meyer lemon? Thank you! :)

    Chloe

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  3. Wow, I've never seen meyer lemons before but like you have seen the wonderful creations made by them all over the food blog sphere and I never knew they were so orange! Pity about the sponge not turning out how you wanted it too but it still looks amazing nonetheless and you can finally tick off 'baking with meyer lemons' off your to-do list :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. really? maybe i'll get another bag if possible! i made isabella's cupcakes before! it was a lil too wet for my liking though, not exactly "light". did i overwhipped it or smth? hmmm.

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  5. i know rights!!! they are kinda a dark mustardy orange shade, quite unlike the bright lemon of regular lemons. if i can get my hands on my meyer lemons, i cant wait to try more recipes! :)

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  6. It's best on the first day. After that it gets a bit dense. For a lighter version perhaps Trish Boyle's perfect pound cake is the answer.

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  7. This cake looks gorgeous! I know I`ll love eating this! I didn`t know about meyer lemons until I started reading food blogs, too~

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