I am wondering how to start this post. Rajani, who blogs at “My Kitchen Trials“, has been someone that I have been following ever since I started following blogs to push my cooking game, that is more than 8 years ago. Hers was a blog that I would read, bookmark recipes and ogle at the pictures. I am not kidding… As I go to blogging, I would still read her blog but it was only after I started doing Valli’s Blogging Marathon that I started commenting on her blog posts whichever were during my theme weeks. I have always loved her blog – I mean I would invite you to simply run through it, and decide for yourself.
Her blog has a whole bunch of lovely vegetarian recipes that you could go back to from time to time. She has a whole bunch of thalis on her blog that will get you craving to cook some very soon. I have bookmarked some of her recipes like these Chocolate Streusel Bars, Paneer Mushroom Curry – surely up for one of the upcoming veg dinner nights! – and the Strawberry Jam Butter, which would be amazing with some toast or scones. Since Onam is up around the corner, her sadya recipes section maybe helpful to help put down a home made menu, if you are looking for one. 😉 I always thought she was a Tamilian, till I learned that she is originally from Trivandrum, but married to a Tamilian. Good to know, dear… 🙂 She claims herself to be a lazy cook, so I guess we both can share that title together. Hehe… I totally understand people feel that bloggers are cooking all the time, but believe me, if given a chance, we would always love to sit with our legs up, and somebody serve the food for us. 😉
Anyway, so Rajani comes by with a beautiful cake that has strawberry and lemon flavors in it. I am totally intrigued by the flavor combination. That would have been a truly amazing cake. It looks awesome too. Without much ado, let’s see what our guest has to say…
Hi all! My name is Rajani and I blog at the space My Kitchen Trials. I am happy and honored to be here as a guest blogger at Rafeeda’s space. My cooking journey has been an adventurous one. I learnt cooking from my roommates when I started working. For someone who didn’t even know how to boil water, the learning journey was an interesting one! It was through multiple humorous trials, that I learnt how to cook properly.
We were in London for a year when my son turned one. That was the year I started baking. Slowly I started taking pictures to show to my family of my creations. I started my blog a little after that as an online diary to record my son’s activities and my trials in the kitchen.
I am here with a treat for anyone with a big sweet tooth 🙂 – a strawberry cake with lemon buttercream. I recently borrowed the book Erin Bakes Cake from the library and have been baking a lot from this book. It’s a very special baking book, because it gives you base recipes with options for flavor substitution. For example, the strawberry preserve here can be replaced with applesauce to make an apple cake. Or mashed banana for a banana cake. The lemon curd in the microwave is an extremely easy recipe to make and comes out delicious. It makes a good addition to the buttercream if you like the flavor of lemon. For kids, I would suggest skipping it. Not all kids like lemon in desserts :-).
Read on for the recipe. Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake
* 2 1/4 cups cake flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup strawberry preserves or purée
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 350F /180 C. Grease and line two 6” pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a big mixing bowl.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, fruit preserve, oil and vanilla extract in another bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined and no flour streaks or dry lumps remain. Use a rubber spatula to help with mixing, if needed.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cakes.
- Let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan itself and slowly take it out and cover twice with cling wrap. Return to the same pan and keep aside until you are ready to decorate. The cakes need to be completely cooled down before you start filling or frosting.
Note: You can make your own purée by blending fresh fruit with a little sugar and cooking the mixture until the water is cooked out – about 5 to 10 minutes. Let it cool down before using in the cake. If using frozen fruit, thaw and discard excess juices before blending and cooking down.
Lemon curd filling: (makes 1.5 cups)
* 3/4 cup lemon juice
* 1 large egg
* 3 large egg yolks
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 stick butter, about 55 gms
* a pinch of salt
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large microwave safe bowl, whisk everything together except the vanilla extract. Microwave on high for
- a minute. Whisk to distribute the heat. Repeat this process of heating and whisking until the curd thickens to the consistency of Greek yogurt. For me, it took 6 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Store in an airtight container with a cling wrap pressed directly against the lemon curd’s surface to prevent forming a skin. Use this once it’s cooled down completely.
Lemon Buttercream :
* 4 sticks butter (2 cups)
* 4 cups powdered sugar
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter, cream, salt and vanilla together until it’s smooth, 2-3 minutes.
- Stop the machine, Add the sugar and mix with a rubber spatula. This would help avoid sugar flying all over the kitchen. Beat it until smooth and once everything is well incorporated, increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is smooth and fluffy , about 5-10 minutes.
- Add one cup of lemon curd and beat again until it’s incorporated.
- Color the buttercream as desired. Here I have colored a portion ivory and another small portion purple.
- Heat 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water until the sugar melts. Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely before using. The heating part is to help with dissolving the sugar, not to cook it.
Assembling the cake:
- Remove the cooled cakes from the cling wrap. Level the cakes using a cake leveler or a knife. On a cake board, spread a little buttercream to act as a glue for the cake to stick to it.
- Center the cake onto the cake board. Sprinkle the sugar syrup generously. Add a layer of buttercream as filling. Top with the second cake and again sprinkle sugar syrup. Now frost and decorate the cake as desired. A turntable helps a lot with decorating the cakes.
– Note: you may not end up using all the lemon curd, sugar syrup or the buttercream. Refrigerate the leftovers and use for some other desserts. Buttercream can be frozen to use later too.
That cake sounds and looks absolutely delicious. I love lemon curd when I made it – I had eaten up the whole batch! hehe… – so I can only imagine how delicious a cake with it would be. Thank you so much Rajani for coming by and gracing my little space… It has been a pleasure having you around… 🙂