Lemon-Scented White Cake With Lemony Chocolate Frosting
Lemony White Cake:
21/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick; see note)
11/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (colored part only)
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
11/4 cups milk
4 egg whites
Lemony Chocolate Frosting:
Peel (colored part only) of 2 lemons, removed in long strips with vegetable
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick; see note)
20 ounces milk chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Butter and line two 9-inch round pans with parchment or wax paper, then butter
paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make cake: Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper
and set aside.
Use electric mixer at medium speed to beat butter and sugar until light, about 3
minutes. Beat in lemon peel and extract.
In bowl, whisk together milk and egg whites.
Add a third of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape
down bowl and beaters. Beat in half of the milk mixture until incorporated, then
beat in another third of flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beaters. Beat in
remaining liquid until absorbed, followed by remaining flour mixture. Scrape
well after each addition.
Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth top evenly. Bake on middle rack
30 to 35 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pans 5 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely. Peel off
If prepared in advance, double-wrap layers in plastic wrap and chill up to
several days or freeze.
To make frosting: Place lemon peel in a saucepan and add cream. Bring to simmer
over low heat. Remove from heat and allow to steep about 5 minutes. Remove peel
with slotted spoon and discard. Add butter to cream and bring to boil over low
heat. Remove from heat and add milk and bittersweet chocolates. Shake pan to
submerge chocolates and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then cool to
room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. As it cools, frosting will thicken to
To finish, place 1 layer, right side up, on platter. Place frosting in mixer
bowl and beat with paddle or wooden spoon until light, about 20 seconds. With
spatula, spread about half of frosting over cake. Place other cake, upside down,
on frosting, so that smooth bottom is uppermost. Spread top and sides of cake
evenly with remaining frosting, swirling it in decorative pattern. Chill cake to
set frosting, then bring to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads;
their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results..