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When I first started my blog, I made a promise that I would step outside my comfort zone by writing regularly and learning new recipes. I’m a bad, bad person for not doing any of that. I could blame it on work and travel but it isn’t much of an excuse when consumption of food is actually pretty vital. Thankfully, I have Amanda to motivate me to bake!!

We celebrated Amanda’s birthday last month Kiwi style with a BBQ. This time it didn’t take as long to start the fire going. Yay for progress! And a very knowledgeable South African and Malaysian. ;) Amanda wanted a “healthy cake” and I was both scared and excited at the same time to bake something other than a chocolate cake. I decided to make a lemon cake (the healthiest I could think of) and fretted about dressing up the cake as a butter or cream based frosting would completely negate the healthiness of the cake. Thankfully, Martha Stewart and the Internets saved the day!

I am so thankful for being able to celebrate Amanda’s birthday with her and will miss her dearly when she leaves for Uganda. There will surely be cake for her when she returns!

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Blueberries
Original recipe here
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup skim milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large egg whites, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon, plus ½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 160C. Grease two 8″ round tins.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together ¼ cup sugar, the milk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl; set aside.
Put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
Add half of the flour mixture to the milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Fold in remaining flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the egg white mixture. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack. Let cool completely.
To make the lemon curd, put egg yolks into a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Whisk together lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add 1½ cups water and the lemon juice; whisk until sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; gradually whisk one-third of the lemon mixture into the reserved egg yolks. Pour mixture into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2½ minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
Fold blueberries into curd; set aside. Trim top and bottom of one cake to be flat. Cut each cake in half horizontally. Set untrimmed bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup curd. Repeat with trimmed halves for second and third layers. Top with untrimmed top layer. Top with leftover lemon curd or dust with icing sugar.
P.S.: Save some time by making the lemon curd at least half a day before making the cake to give the curd time to set.