One of the most enjoyable, stressful, and pretty much makes my day kind of days are when I’m making dinner for the Kaleidoscope Krockpot Brigade. Kaleidoscope is a local cancer support group and the krockpot brigade is simply one of many components to the support offered to families dealing with cancer. My part in this is simple, make meals for families and deliver. That’s it. And honestly, it is pretty much my comfort level. Two wonderful coordinators schedule the dinners with the cooking group and let us know of allergies and what not. The challenge is to have a full meal at the designated family’s house at 5PM. Usually, I’m just leaving work at 5. Our family eats late-ish and usually we either do a soup or a main plus one side. In the summer, a few extra fruits and veggies get tossed in for good health, but we keep it simple. When cooking for another family, I try to do a main, a side or two, a salad, and dessert. All to their house at the same time I usually arrive home. Yeah, stressful.
But words cannot even convey the enjoyment I get out of planning, shopping, cooking and delivering these meals. Planning is essential! Meals tend to be delivered a day or two after chemo. But really, exactly who will be home, who will be rushed to the hospital, and which family members may be visiting is all a guess. The meal should be hot and ready to eat, hoping the family is having a good day, but should be ready to be stashed in the fridge and freezer if cancer is dictating the family’s schedule.
But it is dessert, always the dessert that gets me. Desserts just scare me. There, I said it. First step towards redemption, right? See, if a main or side dish gets off kilter, I can conjure up a few tricks and get everything back on track. But desserts? Eek! Lumpy cheese cake? Done that. Flat any kind of cake? Done that? Crunchy chocolate sauce? Yup, done that too. Always one to give it another go, even while muttering under my breathe, I gave this a try. Oh, and yes, to share with a family dealing with cancer. Luckily, it was a home run as evidenced by what remained after one day of noshing by a teenager.
Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking via Epicurious
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
2. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
4. Sprinkle the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
6. To make the lemon syrup, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the cooled loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Those ingredients in the food processor barely fit. Be ready to a bit of mess when transferring the liquids to the large bowl.
- I left the cakes in the pans when poking them with toothpicks to pour in the syrup just to save a bit of time.
- Yes, you did read the egg and butter quantities correctly.
- Since this makes two cakes, you can wrap and freeze one for later, or give it to a friend.