When Kat was on the soccer team in middle school, she was determined to make a recipe from one of our Martha Stewart cookbooks to take to the post-season party. I couldn't convince her to make cookies or cupcakes - she was determined to make a four-layer lemon cake, with lemon curd filling and lemon-buttercream icing. It took two days to make the cake over the weekend, then she proudly packed it up on Monday morning and carried all the way to school on the bus. It turns out that 12 and 13 year olds don't really know what to do with a fancy layer cake at a school party -- the chocolate chip cookies and rice krispy treats went fast, but no one touched the cake. Finally, one of the coaches took a slice. Kat packed it up and brought the rest of it back home on the bus. She was so disappointed -- she had worked so hard on that cake, but she learned a hard lesson in "knowing your audience." The good news, though is this cake became one of our family favorites -- especially for Dash, who loves lemon, but chocolate not-so-much.
I am going to a potluck dinner and decided to make this cake. It's a time commitment to make because it has three components -- the cake itself, the lemon curd, and the buttercream frosting (which you flavor with some of the curd.) And it feeds a crowd, so we don't make it unless we know there a lot of people who are going to eat it.
When I finished decorating, my husband noticed that I had some leftover curd, and the tops of the cakes I'd sliced off to make them flat. He was making pizza for some of my son's friends, and suggested that we could make little trifles for dessert. I cut up the leftover cake, made a simple syrup of sugar & water, and pulled some blackberries from the fridge. Voila! Lemon Trifle! -- Marcia