Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Hi everyone! After staying four months in Brazil, I finally came back to US. I had a wonderful time with my lovely family and friends and also I could finish my PhD. The most special part was cooking with my mother again. It was amazing. I had the opportunity to use typical Brazilian flavors, like guava and marolo. Despite all these great moments I was already missing my kitchen. So to restart the posts, I decided to make a lemon cake with blueberries. I chose a blueberry recipe because (believe or not) it’s hard to find it in my country. I was missing this delicious fruit too!

I’m fascinated for these deep purple little berries. Everything you make with them is beautiful and delectable. Besides they contain a high level of antioxidants, making them even more special for being a potential anti-disease. This lemon cake particularly is one of the best that I have ever made. The original recipe calls for lemon curd and fresh blueberries as filling, but I baked the lemon cake with a lot of fresh blueberries, making it very moist and flavorful. For the filling, I prepared a lemon cream and a blueberry jam. The lemon cream consists of sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, zest of one lemon and cream. I really loved the combination between all these ingredients; the cream attenuates the intense taste of the condensed milk, it is perfect. The homemade blueberries jam is also simple. You just need blueberries (fresh or frozen), sugar and water, and after half an hour you will have a very good jam without additives or colorants. To cover the cake I used Chantilly cream. Its light flavor pairs very well with the sweet fillings and cakes. My husband and I really appreciate it!

There was something else especial in this post that I didn’t tell you. Since I started this blog I became passionate for photography, but I was increasingly frustrated by taking pictures with a point and shoot camera. But this was the first time that I used a DSLR camera for a post. My husband gave it to me last week as a gift for my PhD. Now I can’t stop taking pictures! I’m more excited to learn everything about light, composition and styling.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake 
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
 Makes one disc. You will need 2 discs to make 4 layers.

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Coat two 8-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment. Spray parchment; set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together 1/4 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 1/4 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. Add blueberries. Bake, rotating pan 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. Remove parchment; reinvert. Let cool completely.

Blueberry Jam

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar

In a sauce pan over medium heat boil the blueberries in water and sugar. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes or until jam consistency. Turn into a bowl and let cool before using.

Lemon Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup of heavy cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Pour the condensed milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
Add the egg yolks  and lemon zest and keep stirring the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a spoon. As you scrape the bottom of pan with the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
Pour the mixture in a bowl and leave aside to cool. When the mixture is at room temperature, add the heavy cream and mix until combine. Place it in the fridge until decoration.

Chantilly Cream

2 cups heavycream, cold
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chill a mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. Beat heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream barely mounds. Do not overwhip.

Cut each cake in half horizontally. Set untrimmed bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with half recipe lemon cream. Repeat with trimmed halve for second, spread the jam. Place the third layer and spread with lemon cream. Top with untrimmed top layer. Covered with whipped cream.