Today for a change, I am featuring a cake that I have selected and made just for me. It's Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake (don't you love that alliteration?) from Rose Levy-Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes, and I think it is one of the prettiest cakes that I have ever made.
The cake is a white chocolate cake with only the faintest hint of lemon, sandwiched together with lemon curd and white chocolate and lemon curd buttercream, then coated in more white chocolate and lemon curd buttercream. The buttercream was quite unusual as it involved making a chocolate custard and cooling it before proceeding on.
I diverged from the recipe only in that I used Stephanie Alexander's lemon curd recipe instead of Rose's, because I had spent part of the weekend before making it and thought it would be silly to make even more just for this cake. I also did not put more lemon curd on top of the cake, as people who came before me in making this cake indicated that it was not that aesthetically successful. The cute yellow sugar chrysanthemums are from The Crabapple Bakery, and what looks like grey dots in the photo is in fact edible silver disco glitter. Unfortunately my lovely flowers got smooshed into the top of the buttercream when I put the cake into the cake carrier because the cake was so tall - hence why the flowers are so deep into the top of the cake in the photographs.
Here is a cross-section of the cake in all of its glory:
If you don't have access to Rose's book, the recipe is published online here. However, if you enjoy baking occasion cakes, the book is well worth buying.
Plenty of people have made this cake before me, so if you are interested in step by step pictures on how to make it, just do a Web search.
I loved the white chocolate cake and the lemon curd, but the buttercream was not for me - primarily because I generally don't like buttercream. This cake is also quite rich, so a little piece goes a long way.
Go on, have a slice - I know you want to ;).