Lemon Strawberry Entremets
Happy Valentine’s Day! These lemon strawberry entremets would be perfect for any time of year, but they’re ideal for Valentine’s Day. The lemon and strawberry keep it light and fruity, but the ganache adds a silky richness that makes it perfect for the holiday.
A few notes about this recipe: it may look very involved, but if you remember to let the butter and cream cheese soften ahead of time (which I never do), these lemon strawberry entremets may only take you about an hour and a half. Also, the cookie sheet that I used produced five three-layer cakes, with lots of extra cake on the edges. (Cake pops, anyone?) Feel free to make these two-layer cakes, if you prefer.
As for tools, I highly recommend getting a piping tool like this one from Wilton. It has a few different attachments, and it’s helped me a lot. But a classic piping bag or even a Ziploc bag will do just fine. I hope you like these lemon strawberry entremets! Let me know what you think.
For the cake:
- 3 cups flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk (whole or skim is fine, depending on how rich you’d like the cake to be)
- the zest of 2 lemons
- the juice of 2 lemons
For the strawberry puree:
- 1 pound strawberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 8 ounce brick of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
For the ganache:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips (or chopped baking chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a silicon lining or parchment paper on one cookie sheet to help the cake release well.
The cake is very easy to make. Combine the dry ingredients and set them aside. Beat the softened butter and sugar together in another bowl until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, and then mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The batter will be lovely and thick, but don’t be worried. Pour the batter in your prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 11-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Cut up all but a few strawberries and puree them in a food processor until smooth. Warm the puree in a small saucepan, and add the sugar and lemon juice. Allow to simmer until somewhat reduced, and remove from the heat.
While the puree is reducing, cut your cake into discs, using either a cake cutter or the top of a mason jar.
Make the cream cheese frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese together until creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and salt, and gradually stir in the powdered sugar. If needed, add more powdered sugar or some cornstarch to thicken the frosting.
For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to rise, and then add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and well-blended. Remove from the heat.
Time for assembly! Get out a cookie sheet and place a drying rack on top. Place one third of your cakes on the rack, and pipe cream cheese frosting around each side. Add strawberry puree to the middle of each cake, and top each cake with another plain cake. Repeat. When the ganache has cooled slightly, spoon over each cake until it drips prettily over the sides.
Finally, thinly slice the remaining strawberries, and place one slice on each cake. You’re all done! Enjoy your lemon strawberry entremets!