Is anyone else SO over winter right now? Dark when you go to work, dark when you come home… Cold… Rainy… A general inability to stay warm EVER. Yeah, I’m kind of over it. More like, REALLY over it. It was fun for a hot minute when it put a damper on the 100F heat wave we had this summer, but I’ve spent most of this past month cold and somehow still wound up with a $90+ heating bill (for a small, 2 bedroom apartment) so now I’m over it. Officially over it.
Bring back the heat please!
Also, cake decorating with sleeves is kinda a drag. Apparently I just can’t adult enough to NOT get frosting all over any part of my body that nears a cake. #TheStruggleIsReal
But if this weather isn’t going to give me the warm, sunny days I so desperately long for (spoiler alert, it’s not. Alexa told me so. We’ve got a solid week of rain in our future.) I’mma just whip it up in my kitchen. And the best way to whip up a little sunshine? LEMON CURD. I dare you to show me something sunnier in flavor than lemon curd. I double dare you. Triple doggy dare you. Yeah, shit just got real.
But while you do some serious soul-searching over there, let me just up the ante by adding a poppy seed almond cake and copious amounts of blueberries to the mix. That’s right, this cake is just a regular ol’ spring day incarnate. So if we can’t bring on spring, let’s at least bring on the cake.
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1½ tsp poppy seed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp.
- 8 oz (2 cubes) unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- Blue and purple food gel coloring
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- ½ cup bright white candy melts
- Fresh blueberries and blackberries
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs and granulated sugar for the cake until light and fluffy. Add the vegetable oil, milk and almond extract, and whip until just combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the batter until just combined. Fold in the poppy seeds and blueberry. Divide the batter between three greased and parchment paper-lined 6" cake pans. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- For the lemon curd filling, whisk together the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks and place over a pot of boiling water. Cook, whisking ocassionally, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter until smooth. Cover and allow the curd to cool completely in the refrigerator.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and almond extract until smooth. On low, slowly add the powdered sugar until all the sugar has been added. Turn the stand mixer up to high and beat until smooth.
- To assemble your cake, spread a thin layer of frosting over the first layer of cake and pipe a ring of frosting around the edge. Fill the center with lemon curd. Repeat for the second layer of cake. Top with the final layer of cake and give the whole thing a thin crumb coat. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until the frosting crusts.
- Divide the remaining frosting into three bowls and tint three shades of blue/purple. Spoon the colored frosting into piping bags and pipe onto the cake. Using an offset spatula or a bench scraper, smooth the outside of the cake. Allow to chill completely before adding the ganache drip.
- To make the ganache, combine the candy melts and heavy cream and heat in the microwave using 15 second increments. Once it begins to melt, stir the ganache smooth. Allow to cool until warm but no longer hot. Drip down the sides of the cooled cake.
- Garnish with fresh blueberries and blackberries.