Thursday, 22 January 2009

Lemon Truffle Layer Cake

Lemons, lemons, lemons...the basis of this (birthday) cake was built on this solid premise...from this starting point I moved onto chocolate, blates. To create the sponge I wanted a cake that could take layering and what better than a classic 1234 cake, to which I added the zest and juice of 2 lemons. To fill I made a chocolate ganache, one third of which I stole away and mixed in lemon juice to make the truffles that would top the cake. I have to say I was most pleased with the result, the 1234 sponge is light enough but sturdy enough to take the lemon flavour and still stand out against the dark chocolate ganache. And the truffles? oh yes, I'll be making those puppies again.
The Cake
225g butter, room temperature
2 cups golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons - or just add to taste as you like
1. Preheat your oven to 177C/350F
2. Cream the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes, with an electric mixer
3. Add the sugar and continue to beat for another 6-8 minutes
4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition
5. Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, starting and ending with the dry mix
6. Divide the batter between 3 8" greased/lined cake pans
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the centre of the oven, test at 20 minutes with a knife...the layers will be thin so do not worry, once stacked it'll be a mighty cake!
The Ganache
11oz dark chocolate - I use 75% cocoa solids
2/3 cup double cream
cocoa powder - for dusting
3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1. Finely chop 8oz of the chocolate and place in a medium bowl
2. Bring the cream to the boil in a small, heavy saucepan
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate
4. Using a whisk, stir in concentric circles - do NOT beat - until the ganache is this point I split the mixture and added lemon juice to one lot which I then made into truffles as below....the rest I used to ice the cake layers.
5. Let it stand at room temperature for about 1 hour
6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and empty out a shelf in the freezer
7. Using a piping bag fitted with a 3/8-inch tip, pipe the ganache into small mounds (about 3/4" high & 1" high)
8. Freeze to firm, for 15 minutes
9. Melt the remaining 3oz of dark chocolate in a small bowl over simmering water...set up a work station of truffles; melty chocolate, cocoa and fork, sieve over bowl & storage pot.
10. To coat to truffles; smear a small amount on a gloved hand and gently rub each chilled truffle with the chocolate
11.Toss the truffles in cocoa powder using a fork, then transfer to a sieve and shake gently to remove excess cocoa
12. Store truffles in the fridge
Secure the base layer to a cake stand using a blob of ganache, then spread over a 3rd of the plain chocolate ganache and top with the second layer. Repeat the ganache layer, and add the final layer of cake, topping this with the remaining ganache and decorate with the lemon truffles.

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