Lemon Sunshine Cake

Lemon Sunshine Cake

Hello Everyone! Yes I am fully aware that it’s Thursday today, which means I’m a day late from my normal upload schedule of every Wednesday night (Philippine time). There’s a reason for this, because:

AMCARMEN’S KITCHEN TURNS SIX TODAY!

For my new followers and friends who don’t know the story behind my blog, before I got it up and running, I already had an interest in cooking. I was already sharing photos of my kitchen adventures on Facebook throughout my first year in university up until my third year. Throughout these years, I kept getting comments and messages from family and friends, encouraging me to start up a blog and share my recipes online.

Finally, after many years of encouragement and pure procrastination, I started what was formerly known as Kitchen Headquarters back in April 16 of 2014. It happened when I was 2 months into my last year of university and in the middle of my mid-semester Easter break; not wanting to tackle the many assignments I had on my to-do list before resuming classes.

Lemon Sunshine Cake

To celebrate today’s occasion, I’ve baked a Lemon Sunshine Cake. It strikes the perfect balance between tart and sweet with homemade lemon curd, a moist lemon cake, and a rich, creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s delicious and sure to brighten your day!

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe that I drew my inspiration from over at The Simple Sweet Life by Claire.

Lemon Sunshine Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 2 HOURS & 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 35 MINS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

For the lemon curd

  • 60g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

For the lemon cake

  • 200g unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 tsp baking powder

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 500g unsalted butter (cold), cubed
  • 10 free-range egg whites*
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 10 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Yellow food colouring (optional)

* Don’t throw away the egg yolks! You can keep them in the fridge for up to two days while you decide what you can make with them. I made an easy Leche Flan (Crème Caramel) recipe. If you’re feeling a little bit creative and inspired, try turning them into Crispy Fried Leche Flan instead!

METHOD

  1. Lemon Curd: Whisk together the sugar, lemon juice and zest, and egg yolks in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  2. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. It should almost have the consistency of a pudding. Once the lemon curd has thickened, carefully remove the bowl from the pot of boiling water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Slowly incorporate the cubed butter into the slightly cooled curd mixture. Cover and then allow for the curd to cool completely in the refrigerator before use.
  4. Lemon Cake: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4).
  5. Add the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer on high speed, whip them together until light and fluffy.
  6. Add the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter into four 8” parchment paper-lined and greased cake pans. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes come out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool down completely.
  8. Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, cooking until the sugar becomes clear.
  9. While the syrup cooks, whip the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
  10. With the mixed running on high, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites and whip until the mixture has cooled down to room temperature.
  11. Turn the mixer speed down to low and slowly incorporate the butter and vanilla extract. Continue beating until the frosting is thick and smooth.
  12. Assembly: If necessary, level your cakes before layering for assembly. Place one cake layer on a cake board and spread a layer of frosting on top.
  13. Using an offset spatula, carve out an indent in the frosting and fill with the lemon curd. Repeat with the second and third layer and then top with the fourth. Coat the outside with a thin crumb coat and allow for the cake to set in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes to set.
  14. Optional: Equally divide the remaining frosting into three batches. Tint each batch a different shade of yellow.
  15. Cover the cake with the frosting and use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smoothen the frosting and remove any excess. Feel free to get creative in how you’re going to use the colours to decorate and present your cake.I topped the cake with the remaining lemon curd and added a few slices of baked/dehydrated lemon slices for that finishing touch.
  16. Place in the refrigerator to chill before serving. Enjoy!

Lemon Sunshine Cake

Here are some helpful tips to note when making this Lemon Sunshine Cake:

  1. Make the lemon curd in advance: You can make the lemon curd a week and store it in the refrigerator if you’re looking to save some time when you come around to making this cake.
  2. Crumb coating: Spreading a thin layer of frosting around the sides and top of the cake, and then refrigerating it will lock in any crumbs and keep them from reaching the surface of your frosted cake.
  3. The trick for smooth frosting: You’ll need a rotating cake stand and a bench scraper. Place the small end of the bench scraper on the cake stand, long end against the frosting and turn the table. Once excess frosting is removed, heat the scraper in hot water, wipe and drag around the outside of the cake.
  4. Chill your cake: Cool cake is easier to cut and handle, so chilling your cake for a short while before use will make this process easier.

Lemon Sunshine Cake

Before I end tonight’s post, I want to thank everyone for all the love and support. Of course all the hard work that goes into Amcarmen’s Kitchen wouldn’t have been possible without my #1 supporter, my Mom. I asked my Mom to teach me how to cook after trying to survive off regular takeaway meals from the nearest shop or my attempts at home-cooked food of very poor quality during my first year away from home.

I have my Mom to thank for the days she had to put up with my very little knowledge in the kitchen, and my inability to choose the best produce when she would bring me along to her trips to the market. Thank you Mama for passing down your knowledge and love for food on to me. I know you’re proudly watching over me.

Lastly, I want to thank a very special someone in my life. Since the day we first started talking to each other, you’ve always been very proud and supportive by sharing my recipes each week. And for that, thank you for encouraging and motivating me to continue doing what I love to do!

Lemon Sunshine Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Hello Everyone! Today is the day! Today is the day that certifies that I am no longer a student, and I am officially unemployed! Today is the day that I receive a piece of paper worth AUD$110,000 of tuition fees to say that I have completed my 4-year Bachelor of Design degree! Today is Graduation Day!

It’s supposed to rain today – great. I have the last time slot which means that instead of a nice sunny graduation day, it’s gonna be dark and cold, if the rain decides to dawn upon my ceremony. Yesterday I kept sneezing, and I know that when that starts to happen, a fever, and eventually a cough and sore throat will follow. Not much luck today as far as I can see, and it’s only 8:45 in the morning as I am writing this paragraph. The good news is, I feel fine so at least I can stop worrying about getting sick – I just hope that the sun pops out for a while, while it’s still bright out in the afternoon before my ceremony at 6:30pm.

UNSW Graduation Day 2015


UNSW Graduation Day 2015

So anyway, it actually stopped raining when I arrived on campus at around 4:15pm – praise the Lord! The cloud didn’t clear up so it was still grey and gloomy. Oh well, at least we weren’t wet from the rain. It got dark really quick though and therefore photos were not as great 😦 All in all, a fun evening seeing friends, and graduating with fellow design mates; a little nerve-wrecking as I kept thinking that I was going to be THAT ONE student who would trip and fall flat on my face. Thank God I didn’t, and neither did anyone else who graduated tonight.

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes

I picked to bake tonight’s recipe mainly because of the colours that represent the University of New South Wales, which is Black and Yellow/Gold. Enjoy!

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 18-20 MINS | MAKES 12 CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Zest of one large lemon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases and set aside.
  2. Whisk the plain flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.
  4. Using a hand-held electrical mixer, beat the butter and sugar mixture together until light and fluffy, and lightened in colour (about 8 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula in between mixing.
  5. Add the eggs one at at time, beating after each addition. Then add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until the flour is just incorporated and be careful as to not over mix the batter. Mix in the lemon juice.
  7. Divide batter evenly in prepared cupcake liners, filling each case 2/3 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
  8. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled down, using a knife, cut out a small hole in the centre of the cupcake, about the size of a dime. Carefully remove the centre piece and set aside.
  9. Fill each hole with about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd and dust with a bit of icing sugar.
  10. Share with family and friends, and enjoy!

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes Process

Graduation Day Lemon Curd Cupcakes

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream

Hello Everyone and Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there, and most especially to my mother. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know. Happy Mother’s Day to you Mumu; love you forever and always, even if we sometimes don’t see eye to eye.

Happy Mother's Day
There is nothing more sincere than a mother’s love for her children, and this picture clearly portrays your love for me while I care more about putting my hairband on for the picture (but really I’ve got my eye on the food).

Last week after my Mom’s birthday celebration (and that whole fiasco that I had with baking her cake), I asked her what she wanted me to bake for her for Mother’s Day, and I’m not gonna lie, but said aloud to her, “please not another cake” – the troubles of my mother being born a week before Mother’s Day. We both started thinking for a while, and then I remembered that I wanted to make this cake back when I was still in Sydney. Now I know I said no cakes, but this technically isn’t a massive layered cake, but instead, mini molten lava cakes.

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream

Somewhere back in July last year, I hosted a tea and scones party for some of my favourite ladies, and one male housemate. We had an assortment of tea of course, homemade scones, homemade strawberry jam, and homemade lemon curd. I had a lot of strawberry jam left over, but I had a way of finishing it by having it with toast in the mornings with a cup of tea. Lemon curd on the other hand I had no clue on how to consume it. I then searched for other recipes that used lemon curd, except for the obvious lemon meringue pie/tart since I am not a huge fan of meringue. I then came across this recipe and I instantly knew that this was the recipe that I was going attempt – but never got around to doing so. Reasons? I actually don’t remember. I think it was because the lemon curd had been sitting in the fridge for weeks and probably already off at the time I decided that I want to make these molten cakes. After that, I wasn’t bothered to make a whole new batch of lemon curd just for this dessert to happen. But now for Mother’s Day – I don’t see any better chance to have a go at these!

The original recipe can be found on The Gallery Gourmet and this recipe makes about 8 cakes but I guess differs on the size of your moulds/ramekins.

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 13-15 MINS | MAKES 4 CAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g white baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Homemade Lemon Curd
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large free range egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Accompaniments
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh raspberries

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C (425F or gas mark 7). Grease 8 ramekins with softened butter or non-stick baking spray.  Place them onto a baking tray and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and white chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 15 seconds (for a total of 60-90 seconds) until melted and smooth. Remove from the microwave and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, sugar and salt; mix well. Then add in the eggs, egg yolks, lemon curd, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and whisk until well blended. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins.
  4. Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until the edges are just starting to to turn golden brown, and the centre is puffy and just beginning to set. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Run the tip of a paring knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen them and then invert the cakes onto small dessert plates or dishes.
  6. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar, garnish with fresh raspberries, and serve with whipped cream.
  7. Share with the family (or friends) and enjoy!

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream Process

Lemon Molten Cakes with Raspberry & Cream

PS: I completely forgot about the whipped cream when I was photographing the cakes, and by the time I had the cream ready and whipped, I found out that my Mom and my sister had already dug into the perfect molten cake that I specifically set aside for my photograph (the other cakes weren’t as runny as the one I had opened for the photo). The whipped cream nicely balances out the sweetness and tartness of the cakes.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Basic Scones Picnic

Basic Scones

Hello Everyone! So from yesterday’s a post, I mentioned that I had a tea and scones party. I decided to hold one when I made strawberry jam a few days ago. I wanted to have some scones with them, but I didn’t want to eat everything for myself – and so I decided to share the love! It was an afternoon/night of fun and laughter, and meeting new people over homemade goodness. When I say meeting new people, I mean my friends from different places (uni, housemates, etc.) meeting my other friends, and becoming mutual friends.

Basic Scones

I decided to go with very basic scones because I wanted the berry-flavoured jams and lemon curd to shine. The original recipe for these basic scones can be found at Taste. When baking them, the kitchen and hallway filled with amazing buttery aromas. You could tell that these were going to be really tasty; crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I think we (my friend Jialing & I; we made two batches so she worked on one while I worked on the other) may have underestimated how high the scones would rise so some rose a bit too much and collapsed – but still tasty nonetheless. This recipe is for one batch, which should make about 16 scones (probably only 10-12 if you made them too big like we did :P)

Basic Scones

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS MAKES 16 SCONES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk

Only 3 basic must-have pantry ingredients! How convenient!

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles a breadcrumb texture.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the mixture is a bit dry and crumbly, add more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth (don’t knead the dough too much though or your scones will be quite tough).
  4. Pat the dough into a 2cm-thick round, and using a circular cutter (about a 5cm diameter, or to whatever size/shape you want), cut out rounds. Press the dough together and cut out the remaining rounds.
  5. Place scones onto a tray lined with baking paper, 1cm apart from each other. Lightly sprinkle the tops with a little flour and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Serve warm with cream, assorted jams, and lemon curd (for the cream, we just bought a tub of thickened cream and whisked it until it thickened to a spreadable consistency).

Basic Scones

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Homemade Lemon Curd

Homemade Lemon Curd

Hello Everyone! Yesterday afternoon I made some deliciously yummy lemon curd for today’s tea and scones party (which I will write about and post the recipe to basic scones tomorrow).

I decided to make it to go with the scones because I saw photographs of lemon curd being used as a spread with scones. I never knew the combination of the two go well together. It was heaven – scone, lemon curd, and whipped cream (and I’m not talking about the canned whipped cream; I find it very artificial-tasting to be honest). I followed the recipe from Taste, but I must say, it took me more than 10 minutes to get it at the desired consistency. I don’t know if it’s because I was doing it wrong, or the timing is a bit off in the recipe – but nonetheless it tasted SO good.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS MAKES 2 JARS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 whole large free range eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter, chilled
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

METHOD

  1. Whisk the whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth. Then place the saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the butter, lemon juice, and zest and whisk continuously until thickened (original recipe says about 10 minutes, but I took at least 45 minutes to get it really thick and to the right consistency, or at least the consistency I wanted it to be at).
  3. Pour into a sterilised jar, cover, and keep in the fridge (lemon curd keeps for up to 2 weeks).

Homemade Lemon Curd

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com