Saturday, April 24, 2010
"Lemon Cake" is the creation this week. I have never made a lemon cake, or any cake that involves citrus before so this was definitely something new. In addition, I have never tasted lemon cake in my life either. However, I do love the flavor that lemon gives to dishes, especially in certain baked goods. When watching the Food Network, this recipe came on and I figured it would be something new that I can add to my recipe repertoire. While making this "Lemon Cake", the end result was definitely a mystery. In my mind, I was hoping that this cake would somewhat taste like freshly squeezed lemonade. Once I made the batter, I had two choices. I can either make it in two loaf pans as the recipe states or I can make cupcakes. What to do? What to do? Well, when I hear "Lemon Cake", I expect a cake. Not a cake in the shape of a loaf so I decided to make cupcakes. Not only because they are the perfect portion size but doesn't everyone like cupcakes? Who needs a slice of cake when you can have a cupcake all to yourself? The cupcakes came out of the oven, I doused them with the syrup and iced them. I took the first bite and what did it taste like? It was definitely lemony, moist, tangy and sweet. Not quite like lemonade but close enough. Since this was my first time eating a lemon cake, I can't say that it's the best but it is pretty darn good. The recipe that I used for this "Lemon Cake" was from Ina Garten. Ina Garten's recipes are pretty consistent in their end quality. I highly recommend trying any of her recipes. *This is a test recipe.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
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