Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lemon Curd & A Double Birthday

As much as I hate being cold, I really do love Winter. Living in the Boston area we get a lot of Winter every year but it isn' always white. Often we are forced to suffer through the low temps with no snow to play in and seriously by June that can get kinda old. This year however, we have been rewarded with lots of gentle snow storms and thankfully, no snow days yet. (I also like summer and want my kids to get out as early as possible so we can play on the beach.) I love sitting at home, like I am now, quietly watching the white flakes fall from the sky with a fire going and some classical music on in the background. This serene atmosphere just makes me want to do one thing, cook up something cozy, warm and comforting. So while I love Winter, it isn't such a great time of year for my waistline.

Luckily I had already planned a day of cooking for yesterday because when I woke up we had a surprise inch of snow on the ground and the storm was just getting going. I clearly hadn't watched a weather report in a long time. The only troublesome part about yesterday's storm was that it made the roads a mess here in our small town and I was hosting 16 women for dinner to celebrate the birthday of our dear friends who are identical twins. When I say identical, I mean, seriously they should have done the Doublemint Gum commercials all those years ago!

Our group of women is a mixture of people from here, not from here, old friends and new friends. The twins happen to be two of my oldest and dearest friends from high school. It was a pot luck dinner and I made the cake or should I say cakes. While trying to figure out what to do for the cake it dawned on me that perhaps they often have to share a cake and blow out the candles together. So I decided to make two rolled cakes so they each could have an obnoxious amount of candles to blow out all on their own. What a good friend I am!

Clearly one should be chocolate cake and the other white cake to satisfy the differing tastes of such a big group and to accomadate my need for BOTH. The chocolate would be rolled with fresh whipped cream and raspberry filling. For the white cake I decided to fill it with a lemon curd and brush the cake with a Malibu Rum simple syrup. One of the twins loves drinks made with Malibu Rum so I figured I'd give that a try. As you can tell, I am always trying to inject something new into recipes.

Both turned out really well and as you can see from the photos below, I got a lot of skinny candles in each one! Horrifying. I know.

If you have never made a lemon curd or a rolled cake before you should put it on your list of things to try. They are both fairly easy to accomplish with care and attention.

The Curd is simply whisking eggs and egg yolks with sugar and lemon juice. Butter and gelatin are added at the end to help with the structure of the curd. I used a recipe on page 477 of Martha Stewart's Cooking School book which uses both eggs and egg yolks. The recipe below is from Gourmet courtesy of epicurious.com.

A rolled cake is simply a génoise cake batter baked in a thin layer for about 6 minutes and then rolled in a clean tea towel while warm. After the cake has cooled all rolled up, unroll it and fill it. Re-roll the cake and chill. It is really that simple. I used the génoise recipe on page 464 of Martha Stewart's Cooking School book.

Recipe below photographs.

 lemons. some zested. juiced. curd. cake. 
the confectioners' sugar balances the tart lemon so nicely.

whisking lemon curd. rolling up white génoise cake.

 two cakes. twins.

*Monday's Upcoming Events Post will be rescheduled soon. Got busy preparing for the birthday party yesterday!*