23 February 2010

Lemon Curd Layer Cake and waiting patiently for a baby to be born...

I am waiting patiently for my 4th niece to be born. She is currently “over-baked” by 5 days and I have been on tenterhooks for at least the last month.

Not the I would ever show any kind of favoritism, but baby Scarlette will be my first real niece.

Mine since the day she was born, and although I have been treated like a member of hubby’s family for a very long time now – I can’t help but feel that the birth of this baby will really cement that (in my mind anyway).

She will be my first niece who will always have known me as Aunty Joy. Not as Uncle Pete’s friend, who became Uncle Pete’s girlfriend who became Aunty Joy. But just… Aunty Joy.

So as incredibly selfish as it is, I am excited. Excited within an inch of my life!

There are occasions where you want to whip up something quick and simple. Pure ingredients that speak for themselves and need minimal effort. And then there are other days where you want to show your love, show that you slaved over something – to put your heart on a plate.

Today is one of those days – and this is the much famed Lemon Curd Layer Cake from the 2009 MasterChef Series. I have been wanting to make it since the night I saw it – and finally -  finally, I have the right occasion.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake, Fresh Passionfruit Jelly

Lemon Curd
2 leaves gelatine
150ml Juice and rind of 3 lemons
6 egg yolks
½ cup castor sugar
100g soft butter, chopped
150ml cream
1 tablespoons boiling water

Crepes – makes 10
¾ cup plain flour
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
80g melted butter
1 cup milk
extra melted butter for pan

Cream layer
600ml cream
1 gelatine leaf
1 tbls boiling water

3 leaves gelatine
½ cup passionfruit juice
½ cup orange juice

1 To make lemon filling Soak gelatine in cold water. Put juice, rind, egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour into a medium saucepan, add the soft butter and cook, stirring all the time, until the curd has thickened. Squeeze gelatine and drop into a spoonful of the boiling water. Swish to dissolve. Stir the gelatine into the lemon curd mixture. Pour into a bowl, cover with a piece of buttered paper to prevent a skin forming. Chill in the freezer for approx 10min or until cool. Stir through the cream. Express freeze until it has thickened before assembling the ‘cake’.

2 To make crepes Sift the flour and the salt. Place in the food-processor and whirl in the eggs, the melted butter and the milk. Stop the machine and scrape the base of the bowl at least once. The mixture should be like thin cream. Adjust with a little extra milk if necessary. Allow to stand for 15minutes before using. Heat a crepe pan over medium heat. Remove from heat brush with extra butter then pour ¼ cup mixture into centre of pan, swirl quickly to coat pan. Cook for 30 seconds, turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds or until cooked. Repeat with remaining mixture. Separate crepes with a piece of baking paper.

3 To make cream layer Soak, squeeze and dissolve the gelatine using boiling water. Add the gelatine to the cream and whip until very thick. Refrigerate until required.

4 To assemble Place one of the pancakes in a lined spring form tin, spread with 1/5 of the lemon curd. Place a second crepe over the first. Spread with approximately a quarter of the whipped cream. Continue in this manner until the tenth and final crepe has been placed in position. Express freeze.

5 To make the topping In a small saucepan bring the passionfruit and orange juice to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Dissolve the gelatine in the same manner as before. Pour the dissolved mixture into the combined orange/passionfruit juice. Allow to cool in fridge. When the fruit jelly is just turning syrupy, remove the assembled ‘cake’ from the refrigerator and pour over the topping. Return to the express freezer until set. It is imporant to be ready to assemble the ‘cake’ as soon as the passionfruit topping is ready, if it sets – you will not have the beautiful glassy top as seen on MasterChef.

The Verdict: This cake is delicious. It is a LOT of mucking around, a lot of dirty dishes - but provides a LOT of satisfaction when you finally finish it.

Recommendation: This cake is the perfect balance between sweet and tart - a true crowd pleaser - but if you are like my Mum and prefer a "cheek-suckingly" tart lemon dessert - I would add more lemon. I liked it just the way it was, and so did my soft brother...

Would I make it again? Yes, without a doubt. If ever there was a dish that said "Look what I made, because I love you" - this is it. It is blatantly obvious with every slice, and every bite - just how much effort you went to.


  1. That looks delicious. I'm not a lemon person mainly I don't like sour stuff but if the balance between sour n sweet is right, I'll love it. :) This looks just right.

  2. When my "first real nephew" was born - I felt exactly the same way! Now there is another baby coming in the family, my sister's, and I still feel the same way! Oh, that layer cake looks amazing!

  3. Ah! Good luck-!! Waiting for a baby to be born is the perfect occasion for a layer cake.

  4. Oooh I'm so excited about this cake! I made one like it ages ago but lost the recipe. I didn't see it in the cookbook but I'll have a better look now. And doesn't everything taste better with lemon curd? :P

  5. Hi there, I want to buy a cake like this for my sister's birthday tonight! Do you know any shops in Brisbane that I should visit?

    1. Hi!
      I haven't seen any cakes like this in Brisbane... but French Twist make divine cakes... so does Jocelyn's Provisions on James Street.. they would be my first pick :)
      Good luck!