Hello Spring! Since Blue Owl’s last post, Vancouver has seen some beautiful changes come to pass. We’ve bid adieu to short winter days in exchange for 6am sunrises. Blue skies have once again burst on the scene, cherry trees have blossomed in full spectacle and song birds have returned with their sweet morning music to serenade our sleepy ears. Ahh, springtime :) I don’t know about you, but I am feeling revitalized, energized and ready to take on this new season!
Springtime beckons a change in lifestyle from most of us. Rainy commutes in humid body-laden busses transition to breezy bike rides to and fro. Lunch dates flood onto the streets where patios please the sun-baskers. If you’re like me, it’s time to dust off your bicycle’s handlebars, tune up the gears and hop back on to take on the sunlit days via vélo. Cheers to change! What’s new in your routine?
Spring has inspired me to think healthier when penciling down a grocery list. This winter I got into a bit of a rut and felt uninspired and bored with cooking. It was about time to step up my game and choose fresh veggies and fruit for some exciting new home meals. Is it just me or does it sometimes feel easier to cook with fresh vegetables when the ingredients are in season?
It’s time to say sayonara to stews and crock pots!! Put away those slow cookers! They have no place in our kitchens now that spring has sprung. OK… well maybe we can keep the cookers out for a casual pulled pork BBQ!?.. but every other stew recipe can kick it until the snow’s falling down again please and thank you! Enough is enough. We ain’t have time for that slow- stuff! Whip me up a salad of greens!
Springtime = citrus time. Give me a slice of lemon in water, grapefruit halves for breakfast or peeled oranges on-the-go please! I can’t get enough! Oh and let’s not forget the best way to enjoy citrus this time of year: Order yourself a tall pint of unfiltered hefeweizen beer and garnish it with a juicy lemon slice. (Note: best enjoyed on patio, as mentioned above.) :)
Why not try combining these two flavours in a cake, right? I know what you’re thinking.. citrus and BEER in a cake? Woah.. What? Well, you know me. I am a big fan of boozy baking as you’ve seen here and there. So why not add beer to the list of recipes on Blue Owl!? Um, yes!
After doing some research, I came across a wonderful recipe for lemon cake that looked like the perfect template to dabble with! (I mean, it’s called the best DAMN lemon cake for a reason so how could it not be?) I tweaked the recipe by adding of a few glugs of Pyramid Brewery’s unfiltered Hefeweizen beer and am happy to say that the cake came out to be zesty, moist and fluffy!
To keep the cake looking fresh and simple, I decided to limit the frosting to include a lemon curd glaze between the cake’s three tiers, and a fluffy meringue frosting between the stacks. The curd provided an excellent tangy surprise between the cake’s layers, and the meringue frosting whipped up to be a light and airy addition which helped keep the focus on the rich flavours of the main act: the hefeweizen-lemon duet!
Lemon Hefeweizen Cake with Meringue Frosting and Raspberry Garnish
Lemon Cake Ingredients:
1 tbsp. butter, plus 8 tbsp. melted 2 tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs ½ cup whole blanched almonds 1½ cups flour 1 tsp. baking powder ¾ tsp. fine salt 1⅓ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar 2 eggs ½ cup Hefeweizen Beer, at room temperature 2 tbsp. lemon extract Zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons
Lemon Cake Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a circular 8 inch springform pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter and dust it with the bread crumbs. Invert and tap out excess crumbs; set aside. In a food processor, grind the almonds until very fine, about 1 minute; set aside. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
2. Put the remaining butter into a large bowl and add 1 cup of the sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just long enough to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beer mixture in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until mixed after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, about 3 minutes total. Mix in the lemon extract. With the spatula, fold in the lemon zest and ground almonds. (The mixture will be thin.) Turn batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and dry, about 65 minutes.
3. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack.
4. Prepare the glaze: Combine remaining sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. (Do not boil.) Brush the glaze over the hot cake. (The excess liquid may pool along the sides of the pan; it will absorb completely as it sits.) Once the cake has absorbed all the liquid, turn it out of the pan and allow it to cool upright on a rack. Once it’s cool, wrap the cake with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours before serving.
Swiss Meringue Frosting Ingredients:
6 large egg whites 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Swiss Meringue Frosting Directions:
1. Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and whisk on high speed until mixture is cool and stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Recipe credit: Thank you Saveur as usual bringing incredible recipes to the hands of curious bakers! Thank you Martha Stewart for the fluffy meringue frosting recipe! And thank you Pyramid Brewery for making tasty beer. :)
The lemon cake was a big hit at my best friend’s birthday bash. I loved the way this cake elegantly stacked on my mint coloured cake tier. The raspberry garnish on top complemented the lemon flavouring and was a fun rosy treat to throw on the party plates. The cake was lovely, in all its boozy naughtiness. Needless to say, we had a great excuse to bust out some celebratory wheat beers as a “pairing”! ;)
I hope you have a great month ahead filled with patio beers, sunlit walks and some moments to stop and smell those spring fleurs. :) xox
PS: For my ladies: 9 Spring Trends
PPS: For your Mama: May 10 Top 10
PPPS: Party foul: A question that should be banned at all parties