Fresh Lemons for Dessert.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Lemons provide such a fresh and clean taste to any food. Wanting to bake a lighter dessert, I opted for Ina Garten's Lemon Cake. While Ina's recipe yields two loaves, I thought making this dessert in a bundt pan would be just as lovely (and it was!). I was very satisfied with the end result as it was perfectly moist, had the right amount of lemon flavor, and baked to a perfect golden color. I served it to my family with a scoop of ice cream for dessert and everyone's plates came back clean, which is always a good sign. The thing I like best about this dessert is that it makes and equally perfect breakfast (just be sure to eliminate the ice cream)!
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
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 1 bundt pan.
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. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top, 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 cake from the pan and set it on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. (You can leave out the syrup if you want which is what I did.) Allow the cake 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 cake and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.