Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let Them Eat (Lemon Layer) Cake!

Happy Birthday Yia Yia!

Jaimeson frequently refers to his grandmother as a unique soulmate of sorts. As someone who's privileged to know the feeling, I consider us both very very lucky to have had such fabulous grandparents in our lives and to consider them friends and confidantes rather than removed, or God forbid, old. Yia Yia is 97. Pop turns 90 in May. Both are healthy and feisty as all hell (you may have picked up on that). Clearly these are occasions that deserve cake. Cake made with a dozen eggs because why-the-hell-not?

Now, I can't take full credit for the glory. Work has been rather intense lately (projects I really like but are rather demanding). So while I have the same desire to make things from scratch and go all out that I always do, sometimes it's just not possible. That's where it comes in handy to not be the only cook in the house:) I made the cakes the night before, J made the curd that afternoon and it took both of us and two old school KitchenAid mixers (one didn't make it, RIP) to get the frosting done right.

Hilariously enough, that night I found a GEM in the bookshelf- a 1968 Betty Crocker Cookbook with J's grandmother's newspaper tear-outs still tucked inside. J's mom and I were flipping through it and what did I turn right to? THIS EXACT FROSTING RECIPE.

And I have to say, I was pretty skeptical when I saw the work required on this "7 Minute Frosting" but I've never seen a more beautiful finished product. As you see the cake cut open, please just humor me and notice the way the frosting sits atop the cake. Buttercream, much as though I do LOVE LOVE LOVE it, does not do that in it's purest form (room temperature).

Egg whites and sugar have to be heated in the mixing bowl sitting in warm water while being mixed with an electric mixer or whisked vigorously (alternated between J and I with the whisk so we could take turns with champagne). THEN put in the bowl of a stand mixer while warm and allowed to turn into billowy white magic.
Yia Yia's "golden boy" presented her with her cake and then we all joined in a rousing Happy Birthday after talking about all the tables Yia Yia has danced on over the years. And how much she and Pop love "Chicago." And how Jaimeson used to go over to her house when he was eight or nine and watch Porky's. Explains so much.
So to Yia Yia- a big, beautiful cake and a couple Seven and 7's doth a proper birthday make and here's to many more!


Shelley said...

Someone I know needs to have a birthday soon. And someone also needs to give me some springform pans...

SeeLeigh said...

what.the.crap. pretty sure i could devour that entire cake in one sitting.

Any Little Reason said...

Sooo, you'll come to Nashville and make this for my birthday - right?

Rachel said...


I love 7 minute frosting ;-) and I think that I have that exact cookbook, same year and everything ;-)


Audrey said...

Props for the Quaker bit - thanks for the invite to support such a great cause.

Go Quaker Go!