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Maddalena Fuller


The Cake Mixture:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease to round cake pans. Bake the filing for approximately 35-40 minutes. Allow the cakes to cook on a rack, and then turn them out of the pan to cool completely, before cutting them evenly in half and setting them aside.

Lemon custard:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

If you don’t have a double boiler, be sure to cook the custard on low heat, to avoid tiny bits of cooked egg from appearing.

Melt the butter, and then add the eggs, sugar, zest and juice. Stir the custard constantly until it thickens. Set aside, and cover with plastic to cool, in order to prevent a skin from forming.

Lemon Icing:

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup icing sugar (more or less)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice, and then add more icing sugar until the frosting is thick and fluffy, but spreadable. We don’t want anything thin and syrupy for this recipe.

Stack the 4 cake layers on top of each other, spreading a layer of icing and custard on each of the 4 layers,  allowing it to squeeze out and ooze down the sides of the cake.

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8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
2 to 3 ripe bananas, enough to make 1 cup mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 500 ml container of mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar
6-7 bananas, not too ripe
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup whiskey
This was Rachel’s 31st birthday cake. Because Rachel is a dear friend and beloved ex-roommate, baking Rachel’s birthday cake has become a fond tradition in which I try to outdo last year’s cake. Because I often forget to photograph my cakes, this pictures isn’t quite accurate. I prefer to slice both cakes in half to create 4 towering layers of banana mascarpone goodness. Don’t be intimidated, mascarpone holds everything together very nicely.
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. In another bowl, mash bananas, and combine with buttermilk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into batter.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. When cake layers are cool, whip the mascarpone and the icing sugar until thick and spreadable.
  6. Cut both cakes evenly in half, and spread the bottom lawyer with one quarter of the mascarpone frosting and a layer of bananas. Stack the remaining three layers of cake, reserving at least a quarter of the frosting for the top as well as 3 bananas.
  7. Slice bananas 3/4 inch thick. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When it sizzles, add slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with sugar. When golden brown, turn slices; cook until brown on other side.
  8. Carefully pour in whiskey  (using a measuring cup, never the bottle) and ignite with a match. Cook until flames die down, shaking the pan to toss bananas in syrup. Remove from heat. (I often add 2 tbsp of thick caramel spread to the whiskey and let it melt in on low heat, to add to the nutty caramel flavor, but its not necessary).
  9. Arrange banana slices on top of cake. Pour remaining syrup over cake, letting it drip down sides. Serve immediately.

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