Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Lemon Posset Shortcakes

Another blizzard this week in Boston, and another bake with the Rose's Alpha Bakers. Up this week is Lemon Posset Shortcakes. Similar to how I felt about last week's recipe, the Chocolate Pavarotti cake with Wicked Good Ganache, I had mixed feeling about this recipe. On the plus side, it gave me the chance to try making my own candied lemon peel for the garnish - and that was fun - but I probably won't make the lemon posset shortcakes again.

my finished shortcake

time for a bite

The posset cream was pretty interesting - the texture was sort of like a science experiment (as is a lot of baking!). When you scooped up the posset it became liquidy but after a few minutes of sitting on the shortcake, it became thick and creamy, with a texture almost like yogurt. It was kind of fascinating! It actually reminded me of oobleck...did you ever make that when you were little? 

my chilled lemon posset

I was less impressed with the cake which felt like an awful lot of work for the end result. I usually love a recipe with so many steps and different parts, but this one just didn't add up in the end, in my opinion.

To start, I didn't have the correct kind of flour (wondra flour), so I followed the recipe's note to combine my cake flour with cornstarch. However, the note said to combine equal amounts of both, which seemed utterly disgusting to me to bake a cake with so much cornstarch(!) so I only used a little cornstarch.

I also thought that, with even just a portion of the called-for cornstarch, the taste seemed off (which I attributed to using the cornstarch in the first place) and the cakes were dry. So, perhaps not using wondra flour (or half cornstarch/half cake flour) really altered my end cake or maybe I over-baked them? They were a bit more moist after adding the lemon syrup...but the syrup made them much more delicate so then I had problems trying to spread my makeshift glaze (which was the next problem).

I didn't have any apple jelly for the glaze so used some of my leftover apricot lekvar instead (which I made a few weeks back for some amazing coming soon). This was a big mistake. Even though I thinned out the apricot lekvar, it was too thick and the flavor was much too strong for these cakes. So, overall, this week was a big miss for me.

Here are my photos...

ingredients for the shortcakes

more problems...this time with making brown butter...
my milk solids never browned

my sifted flour and cornstarch

beating more and more air into the eggs and sugar mixture

nearly there

Before adding the butter to the airy egg and sugar mixture, you need to "lighten" it by mixing some of the egg and sugar mixture into the butter. Otherwise it will deflate all the work you've just done.

"lightening" the butter

Then the flour mixture is carefully folded in, then the cakes are baked.

folding in...very gently

folding, folding...


ready to bake...

...and done!

the finished shortcakes

The recipe made so much batter that I was able to fill a pan of mini rose cakes as well.

mini rose-shaped cakes

the detail on the rose cakes looks so much better in the photos!
It was kind of hard to see in person.

a look at the crumb, before the lemon syrup is added

my (still) too thick apricot lekvar

some posset on the plate and then a rose cake

a shortcake with lemon posset

Bye for now...


  1. Sorry you didn't like them much. I'm still waiting for my posset to set so have to reserve judgement. You did get a lot of cakes out of the mixture - did you double the recipe? They look really delicious.

    1. Good luck - I hope you like the finished cake :) I'll circle round to your blog tomorrow to see your results.

  2. Sounds like it was a frustrating recipe for you! I appreciate the notes about the levkar being overwhelming, as I debated similar substitutions before heading to the store for a jar of apple jelly that I won't use for anything else.

    1. A great idea - I need to get some apple jelly myself. Can't wait to see how yours come out!

  3. Sorry to hear that you didn't like them. They look so pretty as mini roses! I think the taste of lekvar would be too overpowering as glaze for the cake.

    1. Yes, it was a disappointment since they were so cute. But that's okay, can't win them all! The lekvar was definitely too strong.

  4. Lovely roses!!
    i hope your save there in Boston, we just got a little storm here for the first time this season.

  5. Hi Alice--sorry about the recipe not being to your liking. :-( You did a fantastic job, however!! Mine weren't nearly that pretty! We had a storm last night--8 inches of snow (Durham, NC) and we lost power for 16 hours. Not nearly as bad as what you have had this year, but I do sympathize. Come on spring time!

  6. I love your little rose cakelets. Such a cute presentation.

    Patricia @ ButterYum