Trompe l'Oeil Easter-Egg Cakes
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grated zest from 1/2 lemon
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Colored Butter Glaze
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup Lemon Curd Lemon Curd
- 7 cups assorted fruit, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, and cherries, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 24 mint leaves, for garnish
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Generously butter the wells of an egg-cake pan, and dust the wells with flour; tap out any excess flour. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and the lemon zest; beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture. Beat until just combined. Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into each of six wells in cake pan, filling to within 1/2 inch below rim. (If you're using an egg-cake pan with more than six wells, alternate between filled and empty ones.)
Bake the egg cakes for 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until the cakes are golden, about 10 minutes more. Transfer egg-cake pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Invert pan, and remove the cakes. Using a paring knife, trim the cakes to resemble eggs sliced in half. (To make trimming easier, place the eggs in resealable plastic bags, and transfer to freezer for 45 minutes.) Using a melon baller, scoop out a 1- inch-diameter hole in each cake. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Place the cakes flat-side down on the wire rack. Working quickly, pour the colored butter glaze over three cakes, completely coating outside of cake. Glaze the remaining three cakes. Let the glaze set completely, about 1 hour.
Turn the glazed cakes over, and trim away any excess glaze with the paring knife so glaze is flush with the flat side of cake. Wash and dry the wire rack.
Place cakes glazed-side down on the wire rack; generously dust flat side with confectioners' sugar. Fit a pastry bag with a coupler, and fill the bag with lemon curd. Fill each hole with lemon curd until the yolk appears slightly rounded.
In a large bowl, combine all the fruit. Drizzle with Grand Marnier, and toss to coat. On each dessert plate, make a nest of fruit, and place a decorated cake in the center. Garnish each serving with mint leaves.