Sunday, April 1, 2012

Yummy Lemon Cake

My friend was having a Cadi party and asked me to make this Lemon Cake for her. At first I was a little hesitant because it seemed like a lot of work for one cake. (well 2 cakes) But it wasn't as daunting a task as I thought it was going to be!
As long as you have enough big mixing bowls and remember to zest the lemons before you squeeze them things should go smoothly.
This is recipe is not my own and can be found on the Food Network site.
Lemon Cake (Barefoot Contessa Parties)
To save you the time of jumping from here to there- here is the 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.
As you can see from the pictures my cakes look great! But they tasted even better!
*there was only one thing I did differently....Let's just say that it was an on-purpose accident. I forgot that the sugar was supposed to be divided and added 1/2 a cup of sugar to the batter. Opps. But I personally believe my mix up didn't detriment the cake. Everyone loved it!
Here is one more word of caution. As cooks we like to sample our work as we move from step to step. The syrup and the icing/glaze, seem overwhelmingly lemony and you may think of adding more sugar to them. But fear not, in the end all the flavor magically comes together in a magical sweetly tangy snack. Now lets not forget, that could be because I accidentally added more sugar to the mix. (I truly feel, that mistake was a blessing. Otherwise it might have been too sour for me)