Lemon Praline Genoise Cake
This recipe by Heather Walker of Healthy, Busy Mom was demonstrated at the 2014 World Food Championships.
Heather says, “I wanted to showcase a dessert that featured LOTS of happy eggs! Genoise cakes go all the way back to the 19th century, as early as 1884. Over the years, this sponge cake became the base for other desserts like ladyfingers and the eternally famous madeleine. Make this cake early in the morning and serve it in the evening or the next day. Give the cake a chance to cool completely and settle."
For the Genoise Cake
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Liberally grease an 8” cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a double boiler on medium heat, mix the eggs and sugar together and whisk continuously until the sugar is melted and eggs are frothy, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the melted mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for about 7 minutes, until light in color and fluffy.
Remove from the mixer and fold in the flour, in batches, using a rubber spatula.
Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 of the cake batter in to the melted butter and mix just until combined. Add the butter mixture back into the remaining cake batter and carefully fold until the batter is fully combined. Do not deflate or overmix the batter.
Transfer the batter to the cake pan and bake at 300 degrees for about one hour, until the cake springs back when pressed and it pulls slightly away from the sides. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
For the Lemon Curd
In a small saucepan, combine the eggs and yolks, lemon juice sugar and corn starch. Heat on medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the butter and lemon zest until the butter is completely melted. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Lemon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
In a double boiler, heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg white mixture to the bowl and mix on high speed for 10 minutes, until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the butter in batches, just until combined.
Place the bowl back on the stand mixer, add in the vanilla, lemon curd and powdered sugar. Use the paddle attachment for the stand mixer, mix on medium speed until combined and then whip once again on high speed until light and fluffy.
To Assemble the Cake
Place the Praline Pecans in a food processor. Mix on high speed until all the nuts are crushed, about 30 seconds.
Slice the cooled cake in half horizontally, creating two 1 1/2” layers. Fill the middle with about 1/4 of the lemon vanilla butter cream frosting, use an off-set spatula to evenly spread the mixture.
Spread about half of the remaining frosting evenly around the sides of the cake. Use your hands or a spoon to place the crushed praline pecans around the sides of the cake. Press it slightly into the frosting so it sticks.
Pipe the rest of the frosting around the edges of the top of the cake in stars or small florets.
Fill the center of the top of the cake with the remaining lemon curd. Garnish with fresh flowers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
12 - 14
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted), plus 2 tablespoons (solid) for greasing
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
3 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
juice and zest of 5 lemons
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Lemon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 sticks unsalted butter
2 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon curd (from previous recipe)
2 cups Praline Pecans