Monday, February 25, 2013

Theme and Variation - Another Lemon Loaf Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is the other lemon cake I experimented with for the party this weekend. This cake, developed by Dorie Greenspan, is a kissin' cousin to the one that was introduced by Patricia Wells. The cakes use almost the same ingredients, but they produce very different results. The Wells' cake has an intense lemon flavor and a fine tight crumb. The Greenspan cake is more like a standard pound cake that has been enhanced with lemon zest. I've been asked to pick a favorite and I'm going to field the question because this is an instance where personal taste will dictate choice. I suspect that true lemon lovers will be more inclined to the Wells' cake, but I have a hunch that the Greenspan cake will be more popular with dessert lovers who are not lemon fanatics. Both cakes are nice. I've appended a lemon syrup to tonight's recipe. While the cake is lovely without it, it adds a tart sweetness that makes a somewhat ordinary cake special. This cake is a study in simplicity. It can be made by hand with no special equipment other than a whisk, but you will have better results if you use cake flour to make it and carefully watch your baking time. Don't over bake! I also learned a trick while gathering information about poundcakes in general. Did you know that you can guarantee a perfect crack in the center of your poundcake? The trick is to draw a butter coated knife lengthwise through the center of the cake after it has baked for 10 minutes. Now, I don't know why that works, but I tried it with this cake and had ended up with a lovely center split that would make any baker proud. I hope you'll give this cake a try. There is nothing here not to like. Here is the recipe.

Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Loaf Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Dorie Greenspan

4 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 3 large lemons
1-3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
5-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar

1) Position a rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
2) Working in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended. Mixture should not thicken. Whisk in grated zest.
3) Spoon flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of dry ingredients over foamy egg mixture. Whisk flour into eggs, mixing lightly. Sift remaining flour over eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated. Whisk heavy cream into mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.
4) Pour and scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until center of cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding and brushing with syrup.
5) While cake is baking, make lemon syrup. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Brush warm cake with half of lemon syrup. Let cake cool to room temperature. Slice with serrated knife. Yield: 8 servings.

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Three years Ago Today: Crisp Cranberry and Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Four Years Ago Today: Farfalle with Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce


Ellen Whyte said...

Delish, esp when the weather is hot.

Rafeeda AR said...

the lemon loaf cakes looks amazing... yum...

Manu said...

I love lemon cake and this looks delicious.
Have a lovely week

Alicia Foodycat said...

There can never be too many lemon loaf cakes!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I can see how it would be difficult to chose but I would probably go for the more lemony version.

Unknown said...

I think I would have a hard time deciding between these two also! I mean I do love love love lemon flavors, but a good flavored pound cake ranks right up there too.... Mmmmm... decisions, decisions!!

Leslie said...

Yeah...Over-baked pound cakes are not a good thing! This looks perfect. I prefer a more dense lemon loaf!

We Are Not Martha said...

It sounds like a delicious cake and it's a STUNNING color!


Anonymous said...

this is almost the same as our recipe, I never knew the butter knife trick, thats neat to know!

Diane said...

Anything with a lemon flavour we love :-) Take care Diane

Claudia said...

Now I'm done for! I don't need two lemon cakes in my shrinking household. But want both. I expect I am in the lemony-camp - but am up for both. The tip for the "baker's crack" is fun!

Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

It looks moist and delicious - I love how the same ingredients can change from recipe to recipe. A lemon glaze sounds wonderful.

June said...

Looks absolutely luscious Mary and I love the tip about the knife down the center. I'll be trying that the next time I make a pound cake.

David said...

Mary, Your lemon loaf cake looks nice and moist, just the way I like them! Where's the coffee!! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

From the Kitchen said...

One can never have too many lemon cake recipes! I love the presentation of this one. I'm just back from a food restocking grocery store extravaganza. There are half a dozen lemons sitting on my kitchen counter and a blizzard on the way!!


Joanne said...

I'm convinced one can't ever have too many lemon loaf cake recipes! This looks marvelous.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I imagine the syrup adding a real sharpness and zest to the cake!

teresa said...

lemon cake really is dreamy isn't it! this looks so good!

Susan Lindquist said...

So beautiful and such a nice bite with a pot of tea! Another great recipe, Mary!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Beautiful lemon pound cake loaf! Do you know that March 4th is National Pound Cake day? Thanks for the secret of a crack proof cake.
Your lemon loaf looks moist and very delicious!

France@beyondthepeel said...

I'm always amazed how such seemingly similar recipes can create different results. This looks wonderful, but I suspect I'll be trying the Wells cake since I'm a huge lemon lover.

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