Because I have a very good reason, I deviated slightly from the recipe and added strawberries.
The inside is a moist lemon chiffon cake filled with tangy lemon curd and a middle layer of fresh strawberries. Instead of Lemon Whipped Cream, I made a Strawberry-Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream. (That’s a mouthful, eh?)
It was perfect in every way. And didn’t need any ice cream–just some lightly sweetened strawberries.
You can find the recipe HERE. (It’s even printer ready.)
Strawberry-Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1 cup pureed strawberries
1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
5 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Chill until cold.
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Turn mixer on medium speed until egg whites are foamy. While the mixer is running start preparing the sugar syrup.
In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Bring to a boil and let cook, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees F (234 degrees F if you live at 5,000 feet above sea level) on a candy thermometer.
When the syrup has comes to 235 degrees (sea level) or 230 degrees (high altitude), turn the mixer on high and beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry.
Remove the syrup from the heat** (see note below) and carefully pour the syrup against the side of the bowl into the egg whites while the mixer is still running. Continue beating on high for 3-5 minutes, or until steam stops rising from the mixing bowl.
Turn the mixer down a bit and add the chilled butter/cream cheese mixture a spoonful at at time. Don’t worry if it becomes curdled. Just keep beating it and it will come back together. When all the butter/cream cheese has been added, add the extracts, beat well again. Then add the strawberry puree. It will separate a bit–keep beating and it will come back together.
Use it immediately, or keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. It will also freeze well for about a month or so.
**The syrup should be cooked to 240 degrees F (sea level) or 235 degrees (5,000 ft. above sea level). In order to prevent over-beating of the egg whites, start beating them when the syrup is within 5 degrees of being cooked all the way–i.e. 235 degrees at sea level, or 230 for high altitude.**
By the way…
This is my reason:
Only I’m not 6 years old. I just couldn’t bear putting 28 candles on the cake this year. Jeez. Or am I only 27? No. I’m 28. Dang. Well, that means my husband only has two more years to plan my CJane-esque 30th Birthday Gala. And I have two more years to plan my awesome cake. And that also means I’m two years away from actually being 30…whoa. (Deep breaths, deeeeeep cleansing breaths.)
Have a great weekend!