For a short while I contemplated stopping blogging altogether, but then I remembered why I started it in the beginning a little over a year ago - to challenge myself to try become a better cook, to document my favorite recipes all in one place and to share those recipes with friends and family. To that end, I am committing myself to blog at least one time a week, so...here goes!!
The first recipe I want to share with you is a heavenly Lemon Loaf Cake. I made this cake several months ago, only a few weeks after we moved in, and I can still remember the taste of the cake so well! It has a beautiful yellow color inside the unassuming brown crust. The lemon flavor was bright but not overpowering. And the texture was a little dense, almost like a ricotta-based cake (which I LOVE!) and oh-so-indulgent! After eating my weight in sugar during the month of December I've found myself really craving citrus foods right now. This Lemon Loaf is perfect for that craving! I can't wait to get in the kitchen this weekend and make another batch!
Makes 2 loaf cakes - approx 16 slices each
For the cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice**
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
**Tip: Zest your lemons while they are whole, before juicing. It is MUCH easier this way!
For the lemon syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the lemon glaze
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter sides and bottoms of 2 9-9-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment, then butter the parchment. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix on low speed until just combined. With the mixer running, slowing pour in the melted butter. Add the sour cream and vanilla and continue mixing until all ingredients are incorporated. Gradually add the flour mixture using a rubber spatula to gently fold in, being careful not to overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans and reduce the oven temperature to 325° F. Continue baking for another 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the lemon syrup. Combine the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cook for approximately 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the cakes from the pans and place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking mat. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the tops and sides of the cakes. Brush with the lemon syrup, allow to soak in and brush again. Allow the cakes to cool for approximately 30 minutes.
When the loaves are cool, prepare the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The glaze should be thick, but pourable. Add more lemon juice, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Pour the glaze over top of each loaf (it will drip down the sides). Let sit for about 15 minutes, or until the glaze hardens, before serving.
When I made this recipe I 'halved' it to only make one loaf. My loaf kept well, unsliced, in Tupperware until it was gone (about 5 days). I plan on making the full recipe the whole way through to the glaze and cutting and freezing it by the slice. I'm not sure how this will come out but I'm going to give it a try. It sure would be convenient to grab a yummy slice to go on busy mornings!
As seen on Cook Like a Champion, originally from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking