Tag Archives: cake

Lemon Pound Cake

Springtime.  Sun, longer days, dreams of Summer bliss.  All such happy, happy  thoughts.

See, the gods and goddesses got the lemon season totally right.  Sunny yellow?  Check.  Tart but ready for a bit of sweet sugar?  Check.  A perfect transition between seasons.

Yet, the gods and goddesses did manage to get a few things wrong.  Limes and avocados ripe in the winter to spring months, but the tomatoes for guac in August.  What in the world does that do to margarita season? Another gripe is the whole root vegetable thing in October.  Here along the Pacific coast, October is sunny and warm and inviting and begs for leisurely walks to soak in the sun’s rays.  Do root vegetables go with this vibe?  I think not.

For now, let’s get back to Springtime, and lemons, and strawberries and make a lemon pound cake and smother a thick slice with strawberries fresh from the field.  We can all get on board with that plan.

Lemon Pound Cake

recipe inspired by Cooking Light , strawberries from Chan’s strawberry stand

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 TBS dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 TBS grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 8 oz low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the topping:

  • 2 baskets fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced into thirds
  • 1 TBS sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, and dust with the breadcrumbs.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Beat the butter in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and lemon extract, beating until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add grated lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.
  5. Prepare strawberries by combining strawberries and sugar in a bowl and allowing to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Slice lemon pound cake and top with strawberries.

Notes:

  1. Simply delicious!
  2. This is a perfect dessert for a meal you are hosting because the cake can be made a day before.
  3. Sneaking a thin slice of the pound cake for breakfast is totally acceptable.
Advertisements

Lemon Lemon Loaf

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

Ingredients:

Lemon cake

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

Lemon syrup

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

Directions:

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.

Notes:

  • 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.

Orange Spice Cake

orange-spice-cake2jpg

Mmmmm, cake! Not normally a cake baker, this has become a welcome addition to my repertoire. Aromatic spices? Check. Local oranges? Check. Makes the house smell autumnal? Check. Gotta love this one!

Spice Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Directons:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour pans; tap out excess flour.

2. Sift first 8 ingredients into medium bowl.

3, Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

4. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with sour cream and milk. Divide batter among prepared pans.

5. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer pans to racks and cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce packages chilled cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chilled sour cream

Directions:

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in sugar, then orange peel and vanilla. Beat in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until frosting is firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

To Assemble:

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

Notes:

* Do get a fresh orange and use a microplane grater for the peel. The scent is just amazing!

* If you are not familiar with cardamom, you may want to cut it in half for the first go round with this recipe. It is a strong flavor, but oh, so savory!

* In my oven, I can’t get all 3 pans to sit evenly on the same rack. Knowing that opening and closing the oven to swap around pans brings its own problems, I usually just do 2 pans. Of course that leads to some extra frosting, which I just load up between the two layers.

* Made this once with low fat cream cheese. Not a good idea at all as it just didn’t hold up well. Go for the gusto with this one and don’t look back!