…’A farewell party is well worth a cake…or two’ that´s what I thought when we started thinking about throwing a goodbye party for all the friends that we made during these, almost, three years in Belgium, also a good time to celebrate my husband´s birthday at the same time. At the end of this month we will move to the north of Spain (Asturias) and before all the madness with the moving begins, I wanted to find a bit of time to write this post.
This is a layer cake, lemon cake in the middle and chocolate layer cakes on the top and below with swiss meringue buttercream, mixed with strawberry juice which gives the soft pink color, plus the natural strawberry flavor.
This is how I´ve done it:
Ingredients for the lemon sponge:
50 g of butter (at room temperature)
225 g of all purpose flour
two teaspoons of baking powder
lemon zest and juice from half a lemon
Separate the whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until they form peaks. Mix the sugar with the butter and when it has a cream texture add the egg yolks one at the time and stir until everything is well mixed. Now add the lemon and the zest juice to this mixture and when everything is well integrated slowly add the whites from the eggs and keep mixing.The last step is to add the previously sifted flour with the yeast, mix well and put the mixture in a greased mold (I used an 18 cm mold). Put it in the oven at 180º C for about 45 minutes or until de needle comes out clean. Let it cool down for about 10 minutes and remove it from the mold.
Ingredients for the chocolate cake:
50 g of butter (room temperature)
225 g of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of cream
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
a handful of black chocolate chips
The procedure is the same as the lemon cake but instead of adding the juice and lemon zest add the chocolate chips and the cream and sift the flour together with the cocoa and yeast. Put it in the oven for about 50 minutes at 180 º C or until the needle comes out clean.
Swiss meringue buttercream with strawberry juice:
5 egg whites
150 g of sugar
225 g of butter (room temperature)
1 dash of lemon
Place the sugar and the egg whites in a bowl, set the bowl over a pan with a bit of water and put it on the low fire (the water level should not reach the bottom of the bowl on top) and gently whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved (you can touch the mixture with your fingertips, when you don´t feel the sugar anymore it´s ready to remove from the fire). Continue stirring a bit until it cools down. Now you can start beating high speed, and add a dash of lemon, until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Add the butter, one piece a the time and incorporate well, it can look a bit curdled, that´s ok, continue mixing slowly and will get nicer. I left it over night in the fridge and the next morning was perfect to start working with it.
I had some fresh strawberries and I made like a kind of mermelade with them: cut them, put them in a pan with a bit of water and sugar and bring it to fire until boiling. Let it cool down and smooth the strawberries with a blender, add a couple of tablespoons to the Swiss meringue buttercream, that gives a light pink colour and a delicious flavour.
Assembling the cake:
I have done three sponge cakes: one lemon cake and two chocolate cakes. Cut the cakes in half horizontally. Take the chocolate cake and put the buttercream on top, place on top of this a layer of lemon cake, again spread the buttercream on top and finally another layer of chocolate cake. Decorate to your taste, you can use flowers, fruits, more buttercream.
And that´s it, you can now attack and enjoy!
Just before finishing the post from today, I would like to say thanks to Simona, an Italian girl that I met here in Belgium. Simona writes a food blog with many nice recipes. and for sure both of us share the excitement about food and a rookie passion for photography. As a good italian, you can imagine that all the recipes look really nice and also they are simple to make and healthy; if you want to visit her blog: Cookdream you will find a lot of ideas. I will miss talking to her about photography and that good ideas and inspiration that she gives me:).
I probably won´t be able to update in the upcoming month because of the moving and maybe I take some summer holidays too, but, for sure, I will be back very soon with many more recipes. Enjoy the summer! And don´t forget to eat some cake 🙂