There’s one thing when you’re getting married that can be scary even if you feel 100% positive about anything and everything to do with your fiance. In the end you’re not just marrying him, you’re marrying his family. Television depicts parents-in-law as only existing to run your household against your wishes and never believe you to be good enough for their perfect little boy or girl. There’s even that JLo movie entitled Monster-in-Law.
Well I’m here to say that my mother-in-law is a sweetheart.
She loves puppies, she makes ridiculously good lasagna and she taught me how to make pie crust. She’s also one of those ladies that you just want to hug for no reason because she seems so happy all the time that you hope some of the happy will rub off on you.
And in case you weren’t sure she was a sweetheart, she recently sent me this in the mail:
How could you not adore a woman who sends recipes that look like this in mail?
So I added it to the pile of recipes I keep meaning (and what a pile!) to make and last weekend finally decided to attack it.
My conclusion? I need to slather more things in homemade marshmallow lit on fire. I also need to practice making thicker lemon curd. That’s why it looks like the filling is just raspberry jam… the lemon filling came out too thin and just sort of… oozed out the sides. Whoops.
New techniques I attempted:
- Making lemon curd (I slightly failed this one)
- Making marshmallow (delicious!)
- Kitchen torching!! (semi-failed for reasons outside of my control!)
Lemon Curd – I simply didn’t cook it long enough. There’s a tip included in the Curd recipe that once you can drag your finger across the back of a wooden spoon and it’ll leave a clear line in the curd, you’re done cooking. I declare this tip false, at least for me. The curd wasn’t nearly thick enough after a sit in the fridge, and wasn’t a stable enough filling for the cake, even after it was mixed with the stiffly whipped cream. I will say, it was still delicious!
Marshmallow – Mmm… marshmallow. Marshmallow Fluff is probably more accurate for this, which is a good thing considering I used it to frost a cake! The thing that excited me the most about it was it was egg white based instead of gelatin, which I hadn’t even heard of before this recipe. It was super easy to make especially considering all the fiddly parts (egg whites, double boiler, and especially the combo of the two as egg + heat – any curdling whatsoever = scary) and I now want to find reasons to make more and slather it on various baked goods. Perhaps some sort of s’mores bar is in order…
Kitchen Torch – I bought one specially for this cake and was met with a face full of fail by not realizing that my torch didn’t come with any fuel until I was ready to join fire to cake. At 10pm when no one was open except the QFC. Yar. HOWEVER! Trevor came to the rescue with the brilliant idea of using a bbq lighter. The flame wasn’t as big so I kind of ended up with black burnt areas directly next to pristine white areas, but it got the general idea accomplished. Hooray!
This just means I need to buy some butane and go full hog sometime soon. Did someone say Creme Brulee? Oh baby.
Lemon Marshmallow CakeRecipe from Rebook Magazine
- 2 1/2 cup(s) cake flour
- 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon(s) grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup(s) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- 1/4 cup(s) water
- 1/2 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup(s) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar
- 2/3 cup(s) Lemon Curd
- 1/2 cup(s) seedless raspberry preserves or jam, stirred to loosen
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 8×2-inch round cake pans with baking spray; line bottoms of pans with parchment or waxed paper.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a mixer bowl with paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; beat in egg, then egg whites and vanilla, until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue to beat batter 2 minutes, until very smooth. Divide batter between pans and spread tops until level and smooth.
- Bake 33 to 35 minutes, until pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 5 minutes. Loosen edges of cakes with a knife and unmold onto rack; remove paper, invert cakes and cool completely on racks.
- Lemon syrup: While cakes are baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
- Filling: Beat cream and confectioners’ sugar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment until stiff, with billowy peaks forming when beaters are lifted. Place Lemon Curd in a medium bowl and stir 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into it to loosen; then fold in remaining whipped cream until combined.
- To assemble: Cut each cake layer in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Place one layer on a cake plate protected by strips of waxed paper; brush all over with lemon syrup, then spread one third of the jam (about 2 1/2 tablespoon) over to cover. Top with one third of the lemon cream and gently spread over jam layer. Top with another cake layer, brush with lemon syrup, then spread with preserves and more lemon cream. Repeat with the third layer. Brush the cut side of the last cake layer with lemon syrup and place cut side down on top of cake. Brush the top and sides of cake with any remaining syrup. (At this point the cake can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead before finishing with marshmallow topping.)
- Marshmallow topping: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are very warm to the touch, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Beat 5 to 7 minutes, starting on low and gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Spread over top and sides of cake with a metal spatula in decorative swirls. Using a handheld butane crème brûlée torch, lightly brown the marshmallow topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days.