1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups raw sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake four
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemongrass extract ( see directions in frosting area below on how to make ginger and lemongrass extract)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs and extract one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting:
1½- to 2-inch length of fresh ginger
5-6 stalks of lemongrass
1 tablespoon vodka
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
1. If you can find ready-puréed ginger and lemon grass, press them through fine sieves to get ¼ to ½ teaspoon juice each. If you can’t find the ready-puréed kind, follow this procedure using the first three ingredients: Place chunk of peeled ginger and bottom stalks of ginger in food processor (checking the blades from time to time to make sure that they haven’t gotten fouled and are still running free) until it looks like lawnmower clippings with no solid chunks, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the vodka and process a few seconds longer, then strain out asmuch liquid as you can.
Set the juices aside.
2. Place the sugar, salt, cream of tartar, water, corn syrup and egg in top portion of double boiler.
3. Pour 3 or 4 cups of water in the bottom of the double boiler and bring it to a boil over high heat. When it is at full boil, set the top of the double boiler over it and beat continuously with a hand-held mixer at top speed (about 12 minutes) until the beaters form deep sculptural folds in the frosting, the sheen has begun to fade, and the frosting forms firm peaks when the beaters are removed.
4. Remove the top of the double boiler and beat the frosting at high speed off heat for 1 minute. Beat in the ginger and lemongrass juices to taste.
5. Layer and frost your cake
6. I torched the icing to add to the color of the hazelnuts
7. Toast hazelnuts for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and place on cake.
This cake has a subtle lemongrass flavor and is nice and moist.