This cake, which is similar in texture to a classic pound cake, received raves from the Beta Bakers who tested many of the recipes for this book. It evolved from my favorite pie crust, which employs cream cheese. I suspected that cream cheese would also make an excellent variation to my favorite sour cream cake. The result is a cake with a soft, fine crumb, moister than usual yet tender and light, with a flavorful tang from the cream cheese that is echoed in the lemon curd buttercream. This extraordinary buttercream is from Liz Pruitt of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. The technique of adding the butter after cooking the curd is the secret to its glorious flavor and was adapted from that of the renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé.
Plan Ahead Make the light lemon curd buttercream at least 3 hours ahead.
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|bleached cake flour (see Note)|
|fine sea salt||.|
|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|cream cheese (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C), cut into ½ inch cubes|
One 8 by 2 inch square baking pan, wrapped with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment, then coated with baking spray with flour
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks,
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter, cream cheese, and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a large silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely upside down to flatten the surface. Reinvert the cake onto a serving plate.
Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 2 months (without the lemon curd buttercream).
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.