To celebrate Sheridan Road’s 15th anniversary, we pulled out all the party stops: Crystal, champagne, and a fluffy white vintage-recipe cake. With a fine white crumb, fresh lemon curd filling, and old-fashioned boiled icing that whips up like a cloud, this cake will grace your party tables with elegance. To make it extra-special, we’ve topped it with sparkling little sugared fruits.
Ingredients for the cake:
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 . sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg whites (at room temperature) Note: You will use the yolks in the lemon curd
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 1 cup water, heated to boiling
- 2 1/4 cups pure cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3 large egg whites (at room temperature) Note: You will use these yolks in the lemon curd
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the lemon curd:
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 9 egg yolks (reserved from the cake and frosting recipes)
- Fresh juice from 4 lemons (a bit more than a cup)
- Grated zest from the lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the sugared fruit:
- A few clusters of tiny green and champagne grapes
- A few blueberries
- A few raspberries
- A few sage or mint leaves
- A few apricots
Method for cake:
Set oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut parchment circles to fit two, 9-inch cake pans. Generously grease pans and fit with the parchment circles. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, whip butter with 1 1/2 cups sugar for four minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and whip to incorporate. Add the dry mixture in three parts, alternating with the cup of milk.
In a second mixer bowl, whip egg whites using the whisk attachment until foamy. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, whipping until whites stand in glossy peaks. Carefully fold this meringue into the cake batter, using a spatula and pulling through the batter in an over-under motion, until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Sharply rap filled pans on your work surface to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape.
Bake cakes for 35 minutes. Remove pans to cooling rack. Cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, slip knife around edge of cake pan to ensure it will come out cleanly. Remove cakes from pans to the cooling racks to finish cooling.
Method for lemon curd:
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed sauce pot, combine sugar, egg yolks reserved from the cake and frosting ingredient lists, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted and incorporated into the curd. Pour all into a mesh sieve and press through to capture and remove the zest. Place lemon curd in a bowl; press a sheet of plastic wrap into the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Cover bowl with a second sheet of plastic and refrigerate while you make the sugared fruit.
Method for sugared fruit:
Using a small brush, brush the parts of the fruits that you want to sparkle, with egg white. Dip in (or sprinkle with) the extra-fine sugar and place on a rack to dry for a few minutes. Set aside.
Method for frosting:
In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine boiling water with 2 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup. Stir. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. You will heat the mixture to a rolling boil and cook until the thermometer reaches 238 degrees (the soft-ball stage) which takes several minutes. While the sugar heats, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the three egg whites until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whisk until whites stand in glossy peaks. When the syrup reaches 238 degrees, very slowly pour syrup in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites, beating continuously. Add salt and vanilla extract. When set, icing will harden, so be sure to frost cake soon after finishing the icing.
Place bottom cake layer on cake plate. Spread with lemon curd. Top with second layer. Frost all with icing. Top with sugared fruit. Slice and serve.