I learned three things this weekend. 1) I am not a music festival girl. 2) Sam Smith really does have the voice of an angel. And 3) Elton John can still bring down the house.
I guess I always knew I wasn't a festival girl...but this weekend Outside Lands confirmed it for me. I love music, and I love the idea of a bunch of different bands and artists playing at the same venue (seeing Sam Smith and Sir Elton John was incredible) - but I just find myself more stressed about the crowd than I do actually enjoying the music.
In reality, it's not the music festival that is the problem - I am the problem. I just have too much anxiety to sit back and enjoy being pushed up against smelly strangers while I attempt to see the musician on stage.
But that's ok. We all have our own thing. And I think it is just as important to know what we don't like just as much as what we do like.
So from now on, I will stick to listening to music in my own kitchen while I bake delicious things. It just works for me. For example, this Lemon Cake with a Raspberry Meringue.
This cake makes me very happy. I don't know if it is the bright colors, the fresh flavors, or the large pile of fresh raspberries on top, but something about it just makes me smile. The raspberry meringue is light and fluffy, and the cake gives off an intense lemon flavor. The combination of the two result in a wonderful balance of sweet and sour, and give you the perfect summer treat.
Lemon Cake with Raspberry Meringue
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- yellow food coloring (optional)
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter
- 7 oz. raspberries (plus more for decorating)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pink food coloring (optional)
for the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8" cake pans with pam and parchment.
- In a medium bowl combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the butter and remaining milk, and mix on a low speed until just combined. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 2 separate batches, beat on medium speed until it is just combined.
- With a rubber spatula, fold lemon juice, lemon zest and a few drops of yellow food coloring. The batter should be a bright yellow color.
- Divide the batter between the three cake pans.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on racks until cooled completely.
for the meringue:
- Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Put mixture in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff speaks form. The mixture should be fluffy and glossy, and completely cool. (About 10 minutes)
- Put the mixer on low-medium speed, and add butter a little at a time. Once all the butter has been added, add vanilla extract and increase the speed of the mixer to high. Let mix for 3-5 minutes.
- Purée 7 oz. of raspberries in a blender. Press the raspberry purée through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of all the seeds. Discard the seeds.
- Add purée and a few drops of pink food coloring to buttercream and beat until the frosting is smooth and a bright pink color.
- Once cakes are cool, take them out of the pans, and place one layer onto a cake plate. Using an offset spatula, spread about 3/4 cup of frosting on the cake.
- Repeat with the second layer.
- Turn the third layer upside down (so the bottom is face up) and gently place it on top of the second layer.
- Use the remaining frosting to frost the rest of the cake. Start with a generous amount on the top and work your way to the sides.