A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for lemon cake on the Siriously Delicious blog. If you've never seen this blog, and you feel like drooling to the point of short-circuiting your keyboard, I suggest you check it out. She's always posting recipes and photos that make me look down at my Uncrustable in shame and wish I was more business-in-the-front like her.
This is my attempt.
LEMON-DRENCHED LEMON CAKE
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1 stick, plus 7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Syrup
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of two lemons
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
If you can, get some cheap labor to do it for you.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to work it all together until it's completely combined.
Add eggs and whisk into sugar until incorporated. Whisk in vanilla and then cream. Use a large rubber spatula to gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions. The batter should be smooth and thick. Fold in melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, until combined. Pour batter into pans.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. At the 30 minute mark, check to make sure the cakes aren't getting too browned. If they are, cover with foil tents.
Once the cakes are in the oven, start making the lemon syrup. Stir water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar melts. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a heat-resistant contain and set aside to cool.
When the cakes are done, set them on top of a wire rack to cool for five minutes before removing from their pans. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Use a thin skewer or cake tester to poke holes all over the top of the cakes. Brush with the lemon syrup. USE ALL OF THE SYRUP. It will seem like a lot, but seriously, use it all.
- I used salted butter because that's what we buy.
- I don't have two loaf pans, so I used one loaf pan and one 8x8 pan. I checked with Siri (the blogger, not the robot) about which pan to use and how it would affect the cooking time and temp. She said she actually used two 8x8s and cooked at the recommended time/ temp and they came out fine.
-The bottom of my cakes came out a little dry. I'd start checking them about 5-10 minutes earlier next time.
-It was a real trick getting the cakes out of the pans. They were baked in pretty solid and even after letting them sit for a good 30 minutes, a corner of the 8x8 cake fractured and broke off. I just stuck it back together, ala Cliff Huxtable.
I served my cake with fresh whipped cream and boysenberry syrup.
The consistency of this cake is definitely more like bread, than cake. Specifically, more like corn bread. The top was, by far, the most flavorful part of the whole thing. It seemed like the overcooked'ness of mine, along with maybe the syrup not reaching all the way to the bottom, resulted in "delicious and tangy" sitting on top of "dry and mealy".
Because of the lacking lower half, I used the remainder of the heavy cream to make fresh whipped cream. Just add a dash of vanilla and about half a cup of powdered sugar and it tastes surprisingly similar to clotted cream. Just make sure not to over-beat, otherwise you'll end up with butter. I made that mistake which basically turned my cake into homemade, lemon-flavor Eggo waffles served with butter and syrup.