A special birthday deserves rich ganache, lemon cake and fresh fruit. If you want to save on time, a lemon cake mix will easily substitute.
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C black raspberry jam (any will do, or my favorite, homemade Apricot-Riesling)
- 5 c Ganache Frosting (recipe below)
- 1/2 pint of fresh red raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans and line with parchment paper (optional). Cream the butter and 2 c. granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the milk, and vanilla. Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool 20 minutes before unmolding cakes onto a rack. Let cool completely before filling and icing. Cover first layer with black raspberry jam and add a layer of ganache to the jam before adding second layer. Crumb coat the cake with with ganache frosting, refrigerate for 15 minutes until ganache layer is firm. With remaining ganache, frost the cake and decorate with raspberries.
- 16 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 16 ounces (2 cups) heavy cream
- 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
Place the semisweet chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a quart-sized, over stove top begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add butter to mixture and stir until smooth. After fully incorporate, chill ganache for an hour before use.