Dolce

Brown Derby Meyer Lemon Cake
with Whipped Crème Fraîche

Dolce, Napa Valley

by Executive Chef Trevor Eliason

This is a variation of a cake from the very famous Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles, where many of the deals were made in Hollywood in the '20s and '30s. The original recipe uses grapefruit juice and zest. We decided to use Meyer lemons instead because we have a tree right outside the winery kitchen door, which nearly falls over, loaded with lemons, every summer.

Ingredients

Brown Derby
Meyer Lemon Cake:

½ cup hazelnuts, ground

1 cup cake flour

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoon
baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup Meyer lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

3 eggs, separated

¼ teaspoon
cream of tartar

Whipped
Crème Fraîche:

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup powdered sugar

½ cup crème fraîche

Method

Brown Derby Meyer Lemon Cake:

Sift together ground hazelnuts, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, olive oil and egg yolks. Make a hollow in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.

In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl. Beat until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Gradually fold the egg whites into the egg yolk/flour mixture. Do not over stir. Pour into an ungreased, eight-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger

Whipped Crème Fraîche:

Add heavy cream to the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium for a minute, then add sifted powdered sugar. Whip until the cream stiffens, then add the crème fraîche and whip for another minute or until it resembles whipped cream again.

Slice and place cake onto plates. Add a dollop of whipped crème fraîche. Enjoy with a glass of Dolce.

Serves 6