Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Buttercream and a White Chocolate Rose

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with FlowersSince Valentine's Day is just around the corner, it's the perfect excuse to make lots of pretty cakes.  This one has the loveliest shade of pink buttercream, naturally tinted and flavored with raspberry jam whipped into the frosting, and inside are three layers of soft lemon cake.  This cake seems to say, I'm in the mood for a little romance and I can't wait for spring.  I can't think of a better cake for February.

This is such a delicious cake.  The tender lemon cake pairs so perfectly with the raspberry buttercream.  And those colors!  So gorgeous.

The white chocolate embellishments were so fun to make, and are just the most beautiful touch.  Aren't the little oval decorations - for lack of a better name, I'm calling them "cameos" - the prettiest things?  To create the cameos, I kept a bowl of white chocolate warm over a pan of simmering water, and spooned the chocolate into a silicone mold that I have.  Silicone molds are so easy to use with chocolate or candy melts; after chilling them until firm, they just pop right out and you can immediately make and chill the next batch.





Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers




The White Chocolate Rose
Would you believe that the rose on top is also made of white chocolate?  This was a bit trickier than the cameos, but easier than I expected in some ways.  There are so many methods to make chocolate flowers, including a popular and easy technique using plastic spoons.  But, I have to admit, I don't love the look of the spoon technique, because they just don't look very realistic to me.  After studying a few methods, I followed this video tutorial by Ann Reardon.  Her explanation is very clear, and what I loved was how much more realistic the finished flower looked.  Below, I'm sharing my experience in making the flower, and the pros and cons of this particular technique.

Pros.
  1. The finished flower looks incredibly realistic and makes a gorgeous cake topper.
  2. White chocolate or candy melts can be used, and both are so much tastier than flowers made out of fondant or gum paste. I used "bright white" chocolate candy melts for mine.
  3. The petals are paper-thin, so the chocolate hardens very quickly, making the process go fast; you're not waiting for a long time for the chocolate to harden, before you can start assembling your flower.
  4. The flower is food-safe, completely edible, and tastes great.
  5. No special tools are required to make these.  After assembling, the flower should be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to place it on the cake.
Cons.
  1. The petals are delicate.  This technique creates paper-thin petals, which is what makes them look so real, but it also means they are fragile.  You have to handle them gently, and I broke a few assembling my flower, so it's good that I made extra petals.
  2. The outer petals were very quick and easy to make, but the smaller inner ones, which the tutorial shows being easily removed from a rolled up piece of parchment paper gave me trouble.  I just couldn't get them out of the paper without breaking them.  In the end, I just broke off pieces of petals and arranged them in the center until it looked finished to me.  If I make one of these flowers again, I would completely skip that third petal type, and just make more of the first type, only smaller, to use for the center petals.
  3. To assemble the flower, you're layering the petals from the outer layer to the middle layer, holding them together with melted chocolate.  Because the petals are so thin, I found that the heat from the warm chocolate would start to melt my petals a bit as I was putting my flower together.  This wasn't a big deal, and as you can see, it still turned out great.  But I did put the flower in the fridge several times throughout the process to keep it cool, before I added more layers of petals.




Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with Flowers




Recipe Notes:
  1. I've only made this recipe using cake flour, and it produces a very light, fluffy cake.  All-purpose flour will not give you quite the same result, but should still be fine.  Be sure to sift the flour to get out any lumps.
  2. It's a good idea to set out your dairy products (eggs, milk, sour cream) an hour or two before you mix your batter, to let them come to room temperature.  Large eggs can vary in size, but they should average about 1/4 cup each in volume; three large eggs plus two whites should fill one cup.  If your eggs are on the small side, add another to get a full cup.
  3. Lemons also can vary in size, as well as how much juice they contain.  You might need 4 small lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice.
  4. These cakes are extremely light and fluffy, and will stick to your cake pans if you don't line them with parchment paper.  Take this extra step to ensure easy release.
  5. For a Lemon Poppyseed Cake, add two tablespoons poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.
  6. Be sure to review this post and this post for my other tips on cake baking.

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
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Cake.
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Buttercream.
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cake.
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper in the bottoms of the pans, and spray the paper with non-stick spray.  In a measuring cup, stir together the lemon juice and milk; set aside for about 15 minutes to let the milk curdle.

Sift the flour.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice/milk mixture, eggs, egg whites, sour cream, oil, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk by hand until smooth, about one minute.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake for 25-27 minutes, until a cake tester in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Set the pans on a wire rack, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and jam for one minute until smooth.  Scrape the bowl down.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing to combine.  Add the vanilla.  Beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down occasionally, until very light and fluffy.

Fill and frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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