Sammy the Seal

Lemon cake, icing to match

In delicious on Friday, 6 May, 2011 at 19:53

The lemons that went into this thing were originally slated to be in a lemon meringue pie, but I changed my mind I can’t remember why. Anyway, I cribbed this recipe from here, and adjusted it slightly. For one, I don’t have a spring form pan, though I considered buying one hours before making this. It’s only five or seven dollars, but I’m thinking I should hold off buying new pans, etc. and go for an all-purpose, general knowledge cookbook/bakebook first. Anyway, here’s the rundown:

1 c butter (two sticks), softened
1 c sugar (I used superfine, and took about 1/4 to 1/8 cup off the top)
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
zest of two medium-sized lemons (shoulda measured how much, it was probably a tsp or so)
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c lemon juice (I probably added an extra T or so, as I had extra– waste not, want not!), plus an extra T, two or three for the glaze
confectioner’s (la-di-da) sugar, a.k.a. powdered sugar

So I did pretty much everything according to the recipe (again, no spring form pan, though I did butter and parchment paper the bottom of the pan, which I thought was odd that you’d do both, but what do I know), and took out some sugar, as I always do with a new recipe, as I find people tend to go heavier on the sugar, whereas I feel that too much sugar is pointless, as you just taste sweet. (Much like too-spicy food, all heat, no flavor, I feel.)

I always mix the dry ingredients first and set it aside, so they’re ready to add when I’m done prepping the moist ones. So, flour, baking powder, and salt, get in the bowl. I don’t have a sifter yet, I wonder when I’ll get one, and what difference it makes. Then I creamed the butter and sugar for a couple minutes or so, until smooth (this is why superfine sugar is great, makes things seamless), then added the eggs one at a time, before adding the vanilla and zest. I think next time I’m going to stir in the zest with a spoon, as the strands tend to cling to the beaters. You just have to clean them off, but still. Probably mixes better that way too. Now it’s time for the flour mix and lemon juice. By this point, I wasn’t even beating, just stirring, as the recipe says to “mix only until incorporated”. The closer you get to the end, the easier you want to take it, sort of like whipping cream. I’ll get close to the end of whipping, then turn off the mixer and whisk by hand for the last minute or so. It feels good, and it works your arms! Oven should be heated (Carlin says: “there are only two states an oven can possibly exist in, heated or unheated. ‘Pre-heated’ is a meaningless fucking term!”) to 350°, center rack. Recipe say 40-45 minutes, though at 40, the edges of the cake were starting to get pretty golden, though I have a feeling that might be due to the pan I was using. Hell, I don’t have any round cake pan. I wonder what that’s like.

Anyway, let the cake cool in the pan, on a rack. Mine came out very delicate and crumbly, and started to give when I first tried to remove it from the pan. Again, probably wouldn’t have happened with a spring form, which is what the original recipe said anyway, so that might be an important point to adhere to, depending on how picky you are. I probably waited an hour or so, and it was sufficiently cooled to remove from the pan. Oh yeah, then it’s time to glaze. Since it takes less than a minute to make, make it just before you ice the cake. (I’m thinking letting it sit might harden it before you’re even ready to use it). Start with 1 c powdered sugar and 2 T juice, then whisk together. I don’t bother sifting, as whisking well makes that unnecessary. That baseline for the glaze is a bit thin, so if you want a thicker, less runny icing, add another half cup of sugar (or more) to get the desired consistency. I’ll probably add more, as mine ran too much, and I spent more time than I would have liked spooning up and re-pouring the runoff. But conversely, if you want thin, then leave it as is. Icing a cake is not always necessary, but here I feel it is. The cake isn’t lemony enough on its own, it’s the icing that gives it that bit of tang. (Sort of like rum cake- the rum in the batter isn’t enough to do much damage, it’s the rum in the icing that slays.)

So here’s the photo. It was quite crumbly, if you like that sorta thing. Had a few spoons of crumbs myself, yum.

lemon cake with icing

Forgot to take a photo when it was whole. Oh well.


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