Pink Lemonade Layer Cake

Pink Lemonade Layer Cake
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Ingredients
  1. Cake
  2. 2 cups cake flour*
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
  5. 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  6. 8 large egg yolks
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  9. 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  10. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  11. 1/2 cup sliced almonds (for decoration)
  12. Lemon Curd
  13. 1 cup lemon juice
  14. 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  15. 4 large eggs + 2 large egg whites
  16. 3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
  17. Pink food color
  18. Crème Chantilly (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour two 8 or 9-inch baking pans. If you have parchment handy, place a circle of parchment paper on bottom of pans and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Mix butter until creamy and smooth. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add one egg yolk at a time and mix well between each.
  5. Add salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  6. Add 1/3 of flour and mix until combined. Add half of buttermilk and mix until smooth. Add another one 1/3 of flour and mix smooth. Add remaining buttermilk and once combined add remaining flour.
  7. Divide batter into pans and place in oven and bake for 25-28 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes clean.
  8. Turn upside down onto kitchen towels and after 5 minutes remove pans. Allow to cool completely.
  9. When cakes have been removed from oven, scatter almonds on a cookie sheet and place in over for a few minutes until light golden brown. Do not walk away from oven far as almonds quickly burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
  10. For lemon curd filling: In a non-reactive saucepan bring lemon juice and half of sugar to a boil.
  11. In a separate bowl whisk eggs for 2 minutes and quickly whisk in sugar. Pour half of boiling lemon syrup into eggs and beat well. Pour tempered egg mixture into remaining lemon syrup and whisk back to a boil. Boil for 1 minute while constantly whisking. Remove from heat and pour in a clean bowl. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  12. After 5 minutes add SOFT butter in small nuggets and stir with a spatula. If butter is too cold and refuses to become smooth in the curd, place for a few seconds in the microwave. Add a few drops of pink food color to desired color and let cool in the refrigerator.
  13. Using a serrated knife cut away the slightly rounded top from each cake layer. Slice each cake layer horizontally in half.
  14. Place one cake layer on a serving platter and fill with 1/3 of lemon curd. Keep curd about 1/2 inch away from edges as curd will automatically spread to the sides as cake is being built.
  15. Cover with a cake layer and fill with another third of curd. Repeat with cake followed by curd and remaining cake layer.
  16. Prepare Crème Chantilly and cover cake evenly. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  17. Remove cake from refrigerator 1 hour before serving.
  18. Crème Chantilly
  19. INGREDIENTS
  20. 1 cup whipping cream
  21. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  22. 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  23. DIRECTIONS
  24. In a cold bowl whip the ingredients until firm peaks. If using a stand mixer make sure not to overwhip this cream as it will turn into butter.
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