On Friday afternoon, Deidre and I met up with my IRL BFF, Char, for a spot of Dessert Day magic. Our first step was to source ingredients and, considering we'd taken over Char's parents' kitchen for the occasion, we headed out into the back garden to check the lemon tree. We came back in with the most ridiculous lemon any of us had ever seen:
It was absolutely ENORMOUS.
Anywho... Following a trip to the supermarket (and then another trip because we forgot to buy caster sugar. FAIL), we pressed on with the actual baking part. Our first challenge was to recreate a version of Deidre's wedding cake from this recipe. Except we decided that it wasn't sufficiently challenging, and that we needed to make a bunch of changes.
Obviously, we weren't about to make a tiered cake, because EFFORT. Instead, we decided to change things up a little and make one lemon cake and one raspberry cake. So we followed the recipe, except that we left out all the lemon-y stuff. We divided the batter into two equal parts, and added the following:
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1 large pinch lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/8 cup raspberry coulis (cook 1/2 cup raspberries with a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar for a couple of minutes, then push through a sieve and allow it to cool)
- 1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
While the cakes were in the oven, we made the lemon curd exactly as it appears in the recipe. Except, you know, the eggy version not the vegan version. Because the vegan version sounds DISGUSTING and I suspect it would result in something that looked a lot like lemon flavoured snot... *gags repeatedly*
I split the cakes, which caused rather a large amount of stress, and then we pressed on with making the frosting. We decided that it might end up too overwhelmingly lemon-y if we used the frosting from the recipe, so we used the basic butter, sugar, milk and salt quantities it lists, and then just added a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract. It was pretty amazing, I have to say.
The assembly process was MUCH more straightforward than the chequerboard cake - we alternated layers of cake and put about 1/3 of the lemon curd between each layer. Then we smothered the whole lot in frosting. There was a reasonable amount of frosting left over, and the cake looked a little plain. So we added the leftover raspberry coulis to it, and I grabbed the piping bag and went to town!
It was pretty fabulous cake. It doesn't taste or look like it's gluten free, and the frosting didn't make it soggy, which is sometimes a problem when it comes to gluten free stuff. Plus, it got the seal of approval from two of Char's younger brothers, so it must have been rather spectacular! I think in future though, I might stick with straight lemon and some kind of cream cheese frosting. Or straight raspberry with coulis or jam in between the layers and the vanilla frosting we used here. It was amazing, but there were so many flavours going on that it was all a little overwhelming.
Our second recipe for the day was these apple fritters. We followed the recipe exactly, except that it turns out that one and a half apples was enough to give the required quantity. Which was a bit of a bummer because we'd already peeled three apples. Womp womp.
These were completely fabulous, but I strongly recommend using a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil - the first lot we did ended up too brown on the outside and not quite cooked in the middle. But once the oil had cooled down a bit, they came out perfectly!
Cake: Would definitely make again but with some alterations to give a more uniform flavour.
Fritters: Would definitely make again, but would double the recipe so that there are more delicious tiny doughnuts in my life.
Giant lemon: Completely delicious, unlike most oversized fruits.
Things I would change next time: Being insanely awkward when one of Char's brothers came home while she was out buying sugar, because OBVIOUSLY it would have been the only one of her brothers who wouldn't recognise me...
Deep frying: Not nearly as terrifying as last time.
Splitting cakes: Forever terrifying.
So. Would you take the lemon option, the raspberry option, or the All the Flavours option?? I need opinions so I know what to make next time!