I had better get a move on, since the closing date for entries are approaching rather quickly. I mentioned a while back that I had something cooking for this year’s A Taste of Yellow, the cancer awareness food blog event organized by vinosandfoodies.
Right up till last Sunday I knew what I wanted my entry to be. I was well organized and ready, had even done the photography. All ready except the writing. Then we celebrated baby-J’s first birthday and the plans changed. In stead of the saffron infused breads, known in Scandinavia as lusekatter, they are certainly yellow (!), I opted for the lemon fool layer cake we made for the birthday. It was yellow, we all loved it and we’ll make it again. But just as an added Taste of Yellow bonus, I’ve included the photos of the lusekatter as well.
When Spring has almost arrived – but hasn’t quite broken the spell Winter – I find myself a little bewildered food wise. We try to cook by the season but the period leading up to the arrival of Spring is difficult around here. The apples aren’t that exciting anymore, the oranges are lacking in taste and texture, yet the crunch of the first green asparagus hasn’t hit the palate just yet. It’s L who then reminds me of lemons. The zing will get the Spring sensation going. They are in season just know, when not so many other things are.
So a lemon layer cake for baby-J’s first birthday it was. Maybe we went a little overboard – in the cake department, anyway. We had sour dough bread (more on that another time), cheese, hot cocoa and two types of cakes, homemade hindbærsnitter or raspberry cakes (also more on that some other time) and the lemon fool layer cake. But hey, it’s only your first birthday once, right ;)
The cake was a joint venture – I stirred the pots and made the genoise, while L assembled and dressed. With all the lemon going into the cake it might sound a little zingy and sour. It isn’t! It’s zingy, yes, but in a Spring-is-almost-here kinda way.
Lemon fool layer cake
1 cake serving 12
First you make the lemon fool (recipe for the lemon cream is from Camilla Plum’s Mors mad):
100 g butter
350 g sugar
cream for folding in
Grate the lemons and squeeze out all the juices. Combine in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and stir over medium heat until thickened. Be careful not to let it boil as it will split! When cool fold in whipped cream to taste.
Then you make the genoise (recipe from Camilla Plum’s Sødt):
175 g sugar
1/4 vanilla pod (the seeds)
grated zest of a quarter lemon
25 g finely ground almonds
100 g butter
125 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
Butter a spring pan (24cm) and heat the oven (175 C). Whip the eggs with sugar and vanilla until very light and fluffy. No stopping before the sugar is dissolved! Otherwise the sponge will collapse. Fold in the lemon zest and ground almonds. Sift in the flour mixed well with the baking powder. Be sure that flour and egg mixture it is well incorporated, but be gentle. Pour the batter in the spring form and bake for about 30 minutes. Cool completely before splitting in two or three, depending on how courageous you are. I went for the first option…
Now assemble the cake. Drizzle the bottom genoise with a little lemon syrup made from simmering sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon fool and the top genoise. Make an icing from icing sugar and lemon juice and ice the cake. If you’re feeling a little extravagant drizzle with edible gold for that finishing touch. Let the cake rest and enjoy.
Now for the added bonus, lusekatter. We – actually L did – made these a couple of weeks ago. Traditionally they are made in celtic shapes, but L made them as small birds. rolling out strips of dough, tying a know and cutting the ends with a pair of scissors. One snap for the beak, two for the tail. Use currants for eyes.
It’s a traditional sweet bread dough with sugar, milk and butter infused with saffron. They are to be eaten straight away – and they were indeed!