Lemon Poppy-Seed Layer Cake
Note: it looked very curdled. Not to worry!
Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely. When cakes are cool, trim tops of cakes if necessary to make them flat. Split cakes in half horizontally to create four cake rounds.
Note: Mr. Southern did a fabulous job. I am miserable at cutting in a straight line, be it a cake or wrapping paper.
To assemble, place one cake round on cake plate. Spread with 1 scant cup Lemon Curd. Top curd with another cake round and another scant cup of curd. Repeat with third cake round and the remaining curd. Top curd with last cake round.
Note: Use more than a "scant" on your first layer or you'll have lemon curd left over. Better yet, divide it into thirds so you know how much to use! I added a bit of the frosting in the middle layer as well.
Frost top and sides of cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of cake and press into sides of cake. Serve immediately with fresh strawberries, or store cake in refrigerator.
Let chilled cake stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
So while my cake is not quite as beautifully styled as the one featured in the magazine, it looked pretty good! (I think).
In large saucepan stir together 1-1/3 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Stir in 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel, 3/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
In large bowl lightly beat 7 egg yolks. Slowly stir about half of hot lemon juice mixture into eggs. Return lemon-egg mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring continuously over medium heat until mixture comes to gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until melted and well combined. Cover surface of curd with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill curd at least 8 hours or until firm. Makes a scant 3 cups lemon curd.
Coconut Butter Cream Frosting:
In large mixing bowl beat 1 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in 3 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon coconut extract. Gradually beat in 4 cups additional powdered sugar until smooth, with spreading consistency. If necessary, beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make spreading possible. Makes about 3-1/4 cups frosting.
*To toast coconut: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut in shallow baking pan. Heat about 5 minutes or until coconut is fragrant and just barely toasted, stirring once. Cool completely.
For the Gardening portion.... let's take a look at my Improved Meyer Lemon tree, which we just moved outdoors. Ahhh, beautiful flowers (and they smell fabulous!)