Meyer Lemon and Blackberry Layer Cake

I do not often make layer cakes, but the other day I was watching Master Chef (you can judge me, I know it is a terrible show), and they were challenged to make one.   Watching all those cakes made me want to eat one, which meant I had to make one.  So I looked through a few cook books and came across one from Dorie Greenspan that I had always wanted to eat.  This cake isn’t exactly that cake but it is based on it.  It is very good, but there is one warning.  The frosting base is a meringue, so if you do not like meringue all that much, this cake probably is not for you.  Or you could replace the frosting with a normal butter cream too.

The cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (I used whole milk because that is what I had on hand.  I actually think I would have preferred buttermilk.)

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

zest of one Meyer lemon

1 stick butter, room temp.

juice of the Meyer lemon

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.  Whisk the milk and egg whites together; set aside.

Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl, and rub it together until the sugar is nice and fragrant.  Add the butter and beat until the mixture is very light.  Beat in the lemon juice.  Then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk mixture.  Continue in this fashion, back and forth, until everything is incorporated.  Once everything has mixed together well, divide the batter into two well-greased 9″ round cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once the cake is done, remove from oven and place the pans on cooling racks.  After about 15 minutes take the cakes out of the pans to let them cool completely.

The frosting:

1 cup sugar

4 large egg whites

3 sticks of butter at room temp.

1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the sugar and eggs together in a double boiler over medium-high heat.  Whisk constantly as the mixture is heating.  It should take about 3-5 minutes to get the mixture to look white, fluffy, and shiny (a little like marshmallow cream actually). Pull the mixture into an electric mixer.  Beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes–the mixture should now be cooled down.  Add the butter, one stick at a time until completely incorporated.  Turn up the mixer to medium-high and beat for 6-10 minutes, until the mixture is very light and fluffy.  Add in the juice and the extract, beat until incorporated.

The blackberry layer: 

This is the easier part by far.  Warm about 1/2-2/3 cup blackberry preserves until easily spreadable.  That is it.  You could use any preserves really.  I used seedless preserves for this cake.

Assembly:

Once the cake layers have cooled, use a sharp knife and slice in half horizontally–you will end up with 4 cake rounds at this point. Obviously you need a sharp and long  knife, but it is easier to do than I expected.  Now you will start the layering process.  Lay the first cake round down on a cake stand or plate.  Spread a thin layer of the preserves on it.  Then spread the frosting over the preserves.  Try to keep the layers from mixing together here.

Once the frosting is spread, add the next cake layer and repeat with the preserves and the frosting. Do this with the bottom three cake layers.

Place the forth layer on top; now it is time to cover the entire cake with the remainder of the frosting.

Now it is ready to cut and enjoy.

I topped the cake with a few raspberries from the yard.  It would be great with some actual blackberries too.

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