Timelines are not my thing. I mean, why would I chart out a sequenced sketch of an assemblage I'd be tearing apart the moment it was set on the table?
Then again, why would I not? The answer to this would more so lean on the fact that I have a very part-time custom cake gig. So it would be prudent to accurately portion out the leftovers from the day job (time, energy, brain's capacity), working within the frames of my feeding mouths/cleaning house/washing dog vocations, to fashion cake scapes of such magnitude.
Couple this with the fact that I've set my heart on the scene at hand for such a while; you know, the deep desire to retell one of my childhood favorites through sugar paste.
I thrive on spontaneity. Granted, I occasionally sell my creations, and at random become the poster child of (ahem) organization and skill. Notwithstanding, the "work under pressure conundrum" my baking motto, leads to exponentially fantastic results. I do believe creative entity flows furious in those wee gaps of time right before presentation .
Lemon cloud cake is as good as King Arthur Flour makes it out to be. Impossibly moist, floaty soft with fluffy, plush interior, together with "want a piece of me?"as its tag line. It boasts an insane crumb, tightly packed, yet feather to the touch, all in a build encapsulating bright and happy.
The flavors align perfect to Spring celebration, in a theme defiantly bringing in hope to an era that can never have too much of it.
Lemon curd whipped in frosting and strategically placed between, brings punch. Iced with a light veil of silky Swiss meringue buttercream, today's cake is the embodiment of perfect dessert-ing.
Moreover, it goes so far beyond the "create and decorate" trajectory. As seen here, it can be fancied for party purposes, pomped in ceremony, or simply served as the informal centerpiece to an evening's high tea. For such reasons, cloud cake can turn a mere weeknight into an occasion and a slice or two should brighten up whatever the day might throw at you.
There it is, labor of love pushed out of my door to come knocks at yours.
Because, isn't it nice to visit wonderland some point in life, even if it's in the form of a three layer cake?
I don't know what I liked more, the actual cake or all that it took to make it look this way.
The cup/ saucer might've been the most time consuming. The molding was a breeze(in a bowl and over a saucer) ,but even with a good mix of gum paste into fondant, it took 24 hours to hold it strong.
I used my own marshmallow fondant recipe for all the decorations and embellishments.
Sadly, Mad Hatter and Cheshire cat didn't join the crew. The window to add more and eat fresh cake wasn't narrow enough. Do you blame me for being in a hurry?
Adapted from King Arthur Baking's lemon cloud cake.
Lemon cloud cake:
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large egg whites + 1 whole egg
- 2 ¾ cup cake flour
- 1 ½ cups plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour cake pans( 3- 8 inch rounds or 4 -6 inch rounds).
- Beat butter sugar and oil until pale and light in color.
- Add the baking powder, salt and vanilla extract.
- Beat in the the egg whites and egg until light and fluffy.
- In three additions, add in flour, alternating with yoghurt, starting and ending with flour. Mix in the lemon zest. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Spoon batter into cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto racks to cool completely.
Lemon curd recipe:
Notes: For the filling, I stirred a a third cup of Swiss meringue buttercream (you could also use regular buttercream) with a third cup of lemon curd until evenly blended.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl or measure cup, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add butter, stir to completely combine.
- Microwave on high power for a minute. Whisk mixture to combine well.
- Continue to cook at high power for 45 second intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 3-7 minutes.technically 175°F.
- Remove from the microwave. Cover with tightly and set aside in refrigerator to chill before combining with buttercream for filling.
Cover and refrigerate this lemon cream for 2 to 3 hours until firm.
To assemble the cake: Spread first layer with the buttercream frosting, stir the filling and spread a few tablespoons across the frosting and stack with the next cake layer. Repeat. After finishing off with the topmost layer. Frost the sides and cover the top with your buttercream frosting. Chill cake before serving.
That's crushed praline you see between the layers.
******"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45 (NIV)