Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: April 2011 - Lemon Pineapple Extravaganza Cake

What Jason wanted to do was take MY Lemonade Extravaganza Cake, and make it even better...which I thought was a fairly daunting task, since, in my opinion, there is NOTHING better than my Lemonade Extravaganza Cake.

But leave it to Jason to absolutely and solidly prove me wrong.

This cake has a lot of steps...or Luckily, all the parts can be done way in advance. He took two days to completely assemble this cake, making the actual cake, candied lemon slices,  lemon curd, and caramelized pineapples on Day One. Then he chilled everything overnight, and the next day made from-scratch whip cream to fold into the lemon curd, and then assembling the cake right before we left for Iron Chef. need time...but other than that...nothing is HARD.

Lemon Pineapple Extravaganza Cake

Part One: 

Candied Lemon Slices 


* 1 large lemon
* 1 cup sugar


1. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut lemon into 12 paper-thin slices; discard seeds and ends of rind.
2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and add lemon slices; stir until softened, about 1 minute. Drain, and immediately plunge slices into ice-water bath. Drain.
3. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium skillet, swirling to dissolve sugar. When liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low. Add lemon slices, arranging them in one layer with tongs. Simmer (do not let boil) until rinds are translucent, about 1 hour.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Let stand until ready to serve.

I was out of parchment we used foil sprayed with Pam...

Part Two:

Lemon Curd 


*3 large eggs
*1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
*1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest
*3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
*4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
*Heavy Whipping Cream
*Confectioners Sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla

Notes: Room temperature lemons provide more juice. After squeezing, strain the juice to remove any pulp. Zest is the yellow, sweet-flavored outer rind of the lemon. A zester or fine grater can be used to remove the rind. Cold lemons are much easier to grate. Grate lemons just before using as the zest will lose moisture if it sits too long.


1. In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted.
3. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
4. Cover immediately with plastic wrap, and make sure the wrap sits directly on top of the curd (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week. Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).

Note: If you want a lighter lemon curd whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) whipped cream (made from the heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla...mixed together at high speed in a mixer until stiff peaks form) and fold into the lemon curd (which is what he did the next day). 

Part Three:

Roasted Pineapple Slices


*1 can sliced pineapple
*6 TBS butter, melted
*1 cup dark brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 250
2. Place Pineapple Slices in a well-greased baking dish.
3. Mix brown sugar in melted butter. Pour over pineapple slices.
4. Bake until carmelized, about 30-45 minutes.
5. Cool and chill until ready to use.

Your pineapple Slices should look like this...

Part Four: 
Lemonade Extravaganza Cake

Ingredients for Cake:

* 1 pkg. lemon cake mix
* 1 small (4 serving) Jell-O Lemon Flavor
* 1-1/4 cup water
* 3/4 cup oil
* 4 eggs

Ingredients for Topping:

* 2 cups powdered sugar
* 1/3 cup lemon juice


1. Mix all cake ingredients and pour into two 8x8 round cake pans greased with cooking spray.
2. Bake at 350°F for about 30-45 minutes or until done.
3. Remove from oven and pierce holes all over with a fork.
4. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and pour over the top. Spread evenly.
5. Chill until cold (a couple hours).
6. Chill remaining cake until eaten.

Notes: This cake can be served at any temperature, but chilled, it gives it an extra cool and refreshing "lemonade" feeling. Its our favorite way to eat it on those hot summer nights.

Part Five:

1. Remove one cake from pan and place on plate.
2. Top with lemon curd/whipped cream mixture
3. Top with carmelized pineapples
4. Top with 2nd cake layer
5. Top with another layer of curd/whipped cream
6. Top with candied lemon slices and additional pineapple, if desired.
7. Chill until ready to eat.

courtesy Jason Johnson

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