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Whipped Cream Cake with Lemon-Infused Rhubarb

rhubarb2

With a cookbook that spans 624 pages, it might be difficult to imagine that there were (many) recipes that didn’t make The Everyday Baker cut.

Some got the axe because of the page count restriction. For those of you who have the book, I think you’ll agree that in all practicality, it just couldn’t be any bigger. As it is, it’s already one heavy son-of-a-gun. Other recipes were set aside because they didn’t meet the book’s strict criteria: the promise of teaching bakers all the techniques needed to bake with confidence and success. To fulfill this mission, each included recipe must be not only delicious but also showcases at least one new, unique technique that adds dimension to every baker’s repertoire. If you are wondering how we (me, my fab editor and Claire) kept track of all these techniques as I developed the recipes and we produced all the how-to photographs (not to mention all the editing), there were spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets. I don’t know how we could have managed without Excel.

This whipped cream cake is an excellent example of latter category of set-aside-but-loved. It would have been a welcome addition in either the “easy to make” or the “cake” chapters. The flavor is rich, the texture is light and airy and the options for flavor variations are plentiful but when you take a look at the techniques used in this recipe (I’ve highlighted them with their corresponding Everyday Baker page numbers below), you’ll see that while the recipe checks off the delicious box, all the techniques had already been highlighted and photographed for use in other recipes. In other words, you weren’t going to learn anything new from this recipe so it was parked at the curb.

Rest assured that while you don’t see those axed-but-loved recipes in print, all their how-to images are tucked into other applicable recipes along with any variations and information when appropriate. As for the future of those recipes & for ones that didn’t add any new techniques, I will be posting them here when seasonally appropriate. I’m also working on indexing all the techniques with page numbers. Once completed, I’ll be posting on the site. I hope it will be a helpful resource for Everyday Bakers.

Everyday is a great day for baking!

Notes from my kitchen:

  • The cake is best served the same day but it can be baked, cooled completely, covered, and stowed at room temperature for up to 1 day before serving.
  • The rhubarb can be made, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving. Leftovers are delicious served over yogurt or oatmeal.

For Your Reference: Here are The Everyday Baker  page numbers for the essential techniques you’ll be using in this recipe. Take a look in the book before you start baking.

  • For more about ingredients and equipment, see p. 5 thru 28.
  • For more about preparing cake pans, see p. 232.
  • For more about measuring and mixing dry ingredients, see p. 32 and p. 570.
  • For more about lemon zest,  see p. 138.
  • For more about scraping the bowl and beater, see p. 289.
  • For more about beating until the batter forms a ribbon, see p. 243.
  • For more about whipping cream to firm peaks, see p. 212.
  • For more about folding, see p. 270.
  • For more about unmolding and inverting a cake, see p. 278.
  • For more about peeling parchment from the cake, see p. 278.
  • For more about working with rhubarb, see p. 561.

Whipped Cream Cake with Lemon-Infused Rhubarb

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

 For the cake

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./170 g) cake flour, sifted

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. table salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup (4 5/8 oz./131 g) granulated sugar

2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, chillled

Make the cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas 4). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan (I like the straight-sided kind) and line the bottom with parchment. Lightly dust the sides and bottom with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. Put the sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Put the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters). Beat on medium-high speed until pale and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and continue beating until thick enough to form a ribbon (it will dissolve quickly) when the whisk is lifted, about 3 minutes. Using the same beaters (no need to clean them), beat the heavy cream in another bowl until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle about half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold using a silicone spatula until just blended. Scrape all of the whipped cream into to the yolks and fold until just blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and fold until just blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until the top springs back when gently touched and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 26 to 28 minutes. Move to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around the cake to loosen it, then invert onto a wire rack, carefully peel off the paper and invert again onto a wire rack so the top side is up. Set aside until completely cool. Serve squares with some of the rhubarb and generously drizzle with some of the syrup.

Lemon-Infused Rhubarb

1 1/3 cup (320 ml) water

1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz./248 g) granulated sugar

2 long strips of lemon zest

1 1/2 pounds (680 g) fresh rhubarb, trimmed, rinsed, dried and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick pieces

Put the water, sugar and zest in a medium skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 2 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add the rhubarb. Simmer very gently, turning the pieces as needed so they cook evenly, until they are just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled or up to 2 days.