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Lemon Curd Layer Cake

With its light, delicate texture, this cake pairs perfectly with tangy lemon curd and a simple whipped cream topping. Serve fresh berries alongside if desired. You can use jarred lemon curd or make your own (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room
      temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon curd
  • 3 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream (made from 1 1/2
      cups heavy cream)
  • Assorted fresh berries for serving (optional)

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Beat in the lemon extract. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture in 2 additions and carefully fold in with a large rubber spatula. Fold a large dollop into the melted butter, then fold back into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely.

Run a table knife around the edge of the cake pan and unmold the cake onto a work surface. Turn the cake right side up, leaving the parchment in place. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 equal layers. Put the top layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Top with the lemon curd, spreading with an offset spatula to the edge of the cake. Position the second layer, cut side down, on the lemon curd and peel off the parchment. Using an offset spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the cake. Serve with fresh berries. Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cake, by Fran Gage (Simon & Schuster, 2003).