I'm going to be real with yall right now. After Christmas ends, I really feel winter is pointless. The cold, the slush, the general icky-ness is only tolerable when accompanied with ridiculous repetitions of "Sleigh Ride" and disgusting amounts of cider and cookies.
But now its January. Not only is it now socially unacceptable to continue listening to Christmas tunes, I now have to pretend that I'm all healthy now- new year, new me! or something like that. Good bye cookies.
I guess I could still wrap up and drink some cider. . but. . its just not the same with the knowledge that Santa has come and gone. Ralphie already got his Red Ryder, Rudolph became famous, and Vermont had a white Christmas after all. And thus continues life.
Basically I am now biding my time (hiding in blankets and fuzzy socks) until Spring comes. The birds chirping, green grass growing, and reeses peanut butter eggs flying into my grocery cart. So, to speed this process along (in my mind), I made a lemon filled white cake. Nothing feels more "springy" to me then lemon. The flavor is so bright and fresh (unlike the look of the dirty, muddy, slushy snow outside). If you feel the same, go on and give this a try- and picture tulips and bunnies- they add to the effect.
Tender White Cake Filled with Lemon Custard
Fluffy White Cake
4 egg whites (Save 3 yolks for filling)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream or vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (don't use cake flour)
1/2 cup milk (could also use cream, half & half, or buttermilk)
1) Whip egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form (peaks should be stiff when beater is lifted out of bowl). Set aside.
2) Beat shortening on medium until creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes until no longer crumbly (scrape down sides as you go). Add sour cream (or yogurt), vanilla, and baking powder- beat for another minute.
3) Mix together cornstarch and flour. Add alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Mix until well combined.
4) Fold in egg whites- gently, until completely combined- this step is tricky since the batter is already so thick, but keep going, it'll get there. Do not use an electric mixer- just fold them with a spatula.
5) Line 2, 8 inch pans with parchment, then grease with non-stick spray. Pour half of the batter into each pan. Bake at 300 for about 40-50 minutes (check for done-ness at 30 mins), until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Slice around sides with a knife to unstick sides- then let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before flipping out onto a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
zest and juice of one large lemon
1) In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and conrstarch. Add milk. Then add yolks, salt, and zest (saving the juice for later). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thickened (until the whisk leaves a trail). Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
2) Pour custard through a strainer into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic directly touches the surface (to prevent a skin from forming on the top). Refrigerate until cool and ready to use. Will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1) In a large chilled bowl, whip whipping cream until it just begins to thicken and become foamy. Add vanilla and sugar and whip until the consistency of shaving cream. Don't over-beat, as it will become butter. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Putting the Cake Together
Cut both cakes into 2 layers each (4 total). Place one layer onto your cake pedestal, top with about 1/4 of your lemon custard, and place the second layer on top. Continue this process until you get to the top layer. Do not put any custard on the top. Frost with the whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
*You will probably have a little whipped cream and custard left. . . grab a spoon dear.