Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Olive Garden Lemon Cake

The only time that I eat dessert at lunch is when I go to the Olive Garden.

I LOVE their Lemon Cream Cake and think that it is one of the best desserts around. Close your eyes when it comes to the calories however. I make sure that I only indulge a few times a year.

It’s a great treat for anyone who loves lemon and is so light, you swear that it bounced off a few Cumulus clouds on its way down to your dessert plate.

My compliments to the pastry chef at Olive Garden corporate – it certainly rivals many dessert plates I have enjoyed at 4 star properties in the city.

Here is the recipe I found that is an almost perfect clone.

Betty Crocker White Cake mix

1 1/4 cups Water

1/3 cup Oil

3 Egg Whites

8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

2 cups Powdered Sugar

4 teaspoons Lemon Juice

1 cup heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 cup all-purpose Flour

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup cold Butter

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Powdered Sugar

Make white cake following directions on box. Pour batter into 10-inch greased cake pan, or springform pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 - 45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely when it comes out of the oven.

Make lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice.

Whip cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Combine cream cheese mixture whith whipped cream. Stir by hand until blended.

Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands to mix cold butter into flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea. (If you have trouble making small crumbs, pop the bowl into your fridge for a few minutes.) Chill this crumb topping until you are ready to use it.

When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake.

Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cream filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.

Now chill the cake for at least 3 hours before your serve it. When you are ready to dig in, slice cake into 12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.

Bon Appetit!