Lemon Delight Cakes
By Dana Calicchio
If you have watched Stanly Tucci’s TV series Searching for Italy, the episode on the Amalfi Coast Shows a delicious lemon dessert that makes your mouth water. If you Haven’t watched it, please do. You will love it! This is my take on that dessert.
Italians love their sponge cakes and lemons and these Italian Lemon Flavored Sponge Cakes filled with a lemon cream made from combining a Lemon flavored Pastry Cream and a Lemon Curd are then brushed with Limoncello simple syrup and covered in a whipped cream glaze made from the remaining lemon cream whipped cream and Limoncello.
If you LOVE lemons, like I do, this is a recipe you will want to try.
If you have never had Limoncello, I feel sorry for you. Buy 2 Bottles, if you don’t make your own, because it will be your new favorite liquor. So refreshing and delicious.
Prep Time Approx.4 hours
Cook Time 12 to 15 minutes
I recommend making your Creams and Syrup before making the cakes. They need time to cool completely. You can make them a day before if additional time is needed, just cover well.
I am giving the measurements in weight and measure. Weighing gives you a consistent outcome. If you do not have a kitchen scale, then you can certainly attempt by measuring your ingredients. If you crack 2 large eggs, they will both be different in weight and if making in someone else’s kitchen using their measurement spoons and cups, it may give you a different result. To ensure a great outcome every time, weighing your ingredients always gives you the same outcome in every kitchen.
Lemon Curd Cream
- 5 Large / 90 grams egg yolks
- ½ cup /90 grams sugar
- 3 Large or 5 small/ 12 grams zest and 154 grams juice of lemons
- 90 grams – 3 TBS unsalted butter
Lemon Pastry Cream
- 1 1/2 cups / 360 grams milk
- ½ cup / 160 grams heavy cream
- 8 large / 160 grams egg yolks
- 2/3 cup / 120 grams granulated white cane sugar
- 3 ½ TBS / 35 grams cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp / 1 gram salt
- 1 TBS / 3 grams lemon zest (approx.. 2 lemons)
- 1 TBS pure vanilla extract or / 1 vanilla bean scraped
- ½ cup / 120 grams water
- ½ cup / 120 grams granulated white cane sugar
- 1 TBS/ 3.5 grams lemon zest
- 3 TBS/ 100 grams lemon juice
- 1/3 cup / 150 grams Limoncello
- Remaining Lemon Cream approx. 1 cup
- Remaining Lemon Pastry Cream approx. 1 cup
- 2 cups/ 125 grams heavy cream lightly sweetened with 4 TBS / 28 grams powdered sugar whipped until stiff. ( after whipped, put aside ¾ cup for garnish)
- ¼ cup / 90 gms Limoncello
- 6 large eggs divided /204 grams yolks and 101 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated /180 grams white granulated cane sugar
- 2/3 cup / 80 grams all-purpose flour
- 5 TBS / 50 grams cornstarch
- 2/3 cup / 50 grams almond flour
- 1 tsp / 2 gram lemon peel zested
- 1 vanilla bean scraped or 1 TBS pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp/1 gram of salt
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted Butter and approx. 15 teaspoons sugar to coat cake pans
Lemon Curd Cream
- Zest the lemon and then juice the Lemon. Put the grated peel zested lemon and juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or a large bowl and using and electric beater, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and then add lemon and juice mixture and mix well.
- Put mixture in a medium pot and heat on a medium low flame cooking while continuously stirring with a wire whisk, until it reaches approximately 176°F. Remove from the heat and add the butter and keep whisking until smooth.
- Place the curd in a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap making sure that the plastic wrap touches the curd and covers it so a skin doesn’t form, and refrigerate it until it is completely cold and ready to mix.
Lemon Pastry Cream
- In a medium large sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the Pastry cream, the milk, cream, lemon peel, yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla and with a wire whisk mix all ingredients until everything is mixed well especially cornstarch.
- On a medium /low heat, cook the mixture, continually whisking and mixing so it doesn’t burn, until it reaches around 180°F, or is thickened like pudding. When it is thickened and cooked, remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap ensuring the wrap is touching the cream so a skin doesn’t form on top of cream. Refrigerate Cream until completely cold.
- Add all the ingredients into a small pot. Heat on medium high heat, stirring constantly so it does not burn or boil over until the sugar is completely dissolved, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Filter the mixture and cool. After it is completely cooled, add the Limoncello.
- PreHeat oven to 340 degrees
- With a pastry brush Grease and coat semispherical silicone pans with 15 cavities that are approximately 3 inches wide and have a dome of at least 1 ½ inch deep, each with softened but not melted butter and then sugar.
- In a Stand mixer or a large bowl with a electric beater, beat the egg yolks and ½ the sugar, until light pale and fluffy. Add the zested lemon and vanilla until mixed well.
- Add the almond flour and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar and the salt until stiff.
- Mix together the cornstarch and flour and sift to remove any lumps and mix into egg yolk mixture and mix well.
- Fold into the Egg yolk mixture, the egg whites 1/3 at a time making sure to fold these in gently, so as not to deflate them.
- Fill the cavities of the pans with the batter evenly distributing it, using an ice cream scoop for ease, and so batter doesn’t get all over top of pan.
- Lightly Bang pans on counter so you remove all air bubbles.
- If your pans are not stiff you may want to place them on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 340°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Let cakes cool in pan for approximately 10 minutes until cooled. Unmold them by flipping the pans onto a wire rack and keep them on a wire rack to cool down completely before filling.
- Mix together the Lemon Curd Cream and the Lemon Pastry Cream (make sure they are both cold) and approx. 1 cup of sweetened whipped cream and mix well.
- Put this cream in a piping bag and fill the sponge cakes by making a little hole at the bottom (you can use a cupcake corer or apple corer or a knife to make the hole and then pipe in the cream).
- Try and fill them as much as possible. Reserve the remaining cream.
- Brush the cakes heavily with the Limoncello syrup. Let them sit for at least an hour to soak in syrup.
- To the remaining Lemon cream, add sweetened whipped cream and Limoncello to make the thick glaze.
- Dip the tops on the cakes into the glaze to cover the entire dome. Place on a platter and refrigerate until ready to serve
- When ready to serve, with a spatula, place on dessert plates and decorate the tops and around bottom with whipped cream and lemon zest.