When life hands u lemons, you make Pierre Herme’s Lemon Cream.

Okay, confession time. I’m not any genius who creates any new recipe out from nothing, but I can create combinations of flavours from thin air. You see, a basic cake is a still cake with butter, sugar, eggs and flour. What differs are just the ratios and different numbers in weight and method. So to me, if cake A and cake B has a different of just 20g of butter, using the same method, I don’t find it “NEW”, it’s just a matter of adaptation and trying to make it better. Which is why I don’t have here every single recipe of every single thing I make. #truestory

(Another confession, all photos taken with iphone4s and mostly edited via instagram (see, I told u to follow me @sweesan)

Likewise this cotton cheesecake, I’ve made tons of time, infact, apart from the cakes I bake for orders, this is one of the most repeated ones. I use the basic recipe which u can find from here, earlier adapted from Ju. Much raved about by many. Reason ? Well, it’s light but not dry like sponge, yet spongier and finer than chiffon cakes. And I like using this as a base for birthday cakes for families (especially for those who prefer a lighter type of cake)

(nieces piped the sides and top, put the blueberry filling and decorated with chocolate shards)

So for my dad’s birthday, I made a lemon cotton cheesecake, with my ever-favourite lemon cream from PH, and some blueberry filling to balance the tartness (I don’t mind, really, but it’s about the balance)by accident. Layer cakes are ever so versatile when you make the filling interesting. IT doesnt have to be expensively over the top but, get creative and mix and match flavours to create “NEW” cakes. I think that’s how new cakes are born, no, new flavour combinations, and then you further tweak the numbers to get it to perfection.

This post is mainly about the to-die-for lemon cream. Not kidding. This is my favourite one by far and it’s always the same one I always use, even in meringue tarts. Why, you may ask. Because it’s blended with BUTTER and goodness me, so so so velvety. I think I’ve made it kinda clear, I swear by it. Hahaha It’s just one of those recipes u wanna keep for your grandchildren incase any of PH’s recipes goes to extinction (which will unlikely happen la). But let me tell u how I decided to make it..

I got around thinking of making a lemon cotton cheesecake, without the layers. Then I kinda screwed up. Got everything in the baking tin and 2 minutes in the oven, I saw a bowl of flour on the table. GOODNESS ME. U know, if I didn’t add the flour, it would be still fine… I took out the cake tin and I didn’t wanna pour the batter out cause then I have to cut the paper again n all. I hate cutting parchment papers, btw. SO, I just chucked the flour in and fold it there and then. >< smells like disaster. two things can happen, ONE, I will have clumps of flour. TWO the cake will deflate and not be in a nice shape. Well, both happen, except the cake didn’t deflate. There were definitely clumps of flour and the cake wasn’t in great shape. So, I mean seriously, I will not let anyone cut into my cake with clumps of flour. So I sliced the cake into 3 layers, trimmed the sides and picked out all the lumpy bits. So now I have the layers but no filling! Ok make the quickest and yummiest thing, LEMON CREAM! And stack them up with cream, blueberry filling (store bought due to time)

It actually is lemon curd, but the monsieur himself calls it lemon cream.


Lemon Cream

(adapted from Pierre Herme’s Pastries)

1 lemon, zested
70g caster sugar
65g eggs
52g lemon juice
100g butter

1. In a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk lemon zest, caster sugar, eggs and lemon juice until it reaches 83 C. Remove bowl and strain the mixture.

2. Cool it over an ice bath till it reaches 60 C. Cut the butter pieces and add into the lemon mixture using an immersion blender on high speed for about 5-6 minutes, or till its smooth.

That’s it.

Now for the entire cake, the recipe is as below.

Lemon Cotton Cheesecake

(adapted from here)

140g fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml fresh milk
zest of 2 lemons
60g cake flour (can also use plain flour)
20g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Melt cream cheese, butter, milk, vanilla seeds and pod, over a double boiler. Strain the mixture through a sieve just to make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese. Cool the mixture. Fold the first cream cheese mixture in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon zest and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar or lemon juice until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. To prevent large holes, do not whisk egg whites at the fastest speed. Use a moderate speed to achieve soft peaks (and tiny bubbles).

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and lightly fold it. Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan; make sure the paper is 1.5 inch higher than the pan as the cake will rise pretty high if u’ve done it right, with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). Wrap the base of your cake tin with aluminium foil if you are using a springform tin, to prevent seepage.  Pour mixture into cake tin. Cover the top of the cake loosely with an aluminium sheet.

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hour 10 mins or until set and golden brown at 160°C. Remove the aluminium sheet after 50 minutes of baking.

5. Leave to cool in oven with door ajar, about 30mins to 1 hour. Sudden changes in temperature may cause the cake to cool too quickly and collapse. Leave to cool in the fridge for 1 hour.

Now on to assembly

Lemon and blueberry cotton cheesecake

1 portion Lemon Cream (recipe above)

1 portion Lemon cotton cheesecake (recipe above)

100g of blueberry filling (or you can make your own compote)

200-250g whipping cream


1. Whip cream to medium peaks. Take out 1/2 portion of cream into a separate bowl.

2. Lay a piece of cotton cheesecake, spread a thin layer of cream on top. Top with lemon cream, then a very thin layer of blueberry filling. Repeat, and end with the 3rd layer of cotton cheesecake.

3. With the remaining lemon cream, mix it with the other 1/2 portion of reserved whipped cream. Frost the entire cake with the cream, covering the sides and top with an angled spatula

4. Decorate as you wish. In my case, I left out the pipings for my nieces cause they insisted they wanted to make the cake. So I filled up a bag with whipped cream and a nozzle, and let them do whatever they want.


The cake was very lemony indeed! Not recommended for those who cannot stand tartness. Play around with the layers and filling. If it’s too tart, use just 1 layer of lemon cream, and another with blueberry filling. (Even more excuse to have leftover lemon cream to eat crackers with :P)

I am submitting this to  Aspiring Bakers #18: Layers of Love (April 2012) hosted by Sam of Sweet Samsations

9 thoughts on “When life hands u lemons, you make Pierre Herme’s Lemon Cream.

  1. I totally agree on new cakes – i’m pretty sure all cake recipes can more or less be reduced into a couple of basic recipes which is also the reason why i don’t post many recipes either lol. or my recipes are repeats :X

    and YES I LOVE PH’s lemon cream too! I find that it’s slightly different from curd because of the butter put in at the end and I used to consume it by the jar with scones and bread. a lemon and blueberry cheesecake does sound super delicious!

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