I have a confession to make. I am a lemonholic!!! I know there are many who love chocolates and are chocoholics, and then there are others who love liquor and are….ahem….alcoholics. But me……I absolutely love lemons, everything about them, the smell, the taste, the color!!
My love affair started when I used lemon for the first time to make something sweet- this lemon curd. Before that I always used to squeeze it over savory and spicy dishes or to make pickles.
That is why for the rewind week at Tuesdays with Dorie, I jumped at making this Lemon Loaf cake from “Baking with Julia” by Dorie Greenspan. (The recipe is on pages 215-252). If you like baking, then this is the one book you must have.
The cake is simplicity itself. A rich, dense pound cake with a lovely puckery lemon tang. It comes together with barely any effort and no equipment other than a bowl and a whisk. Just follow the directions and you can’t go wrong.
The recipe is by chef Norman Love, who is renowned for his elaborate desserts.
I wanted it to be really lemony and I added the juice of a lemon over and above the zest called for in the recipe. I also poured some lemon glaze over the cake. I think I should have put a lot more than I did, the cake tasted sublime with it!
I discovered I was out of cream so I used milk in its place. I suspect that cream would have given it a richer taste and texture. But hey, I am not complaining.
Lemon Loaf Cake- Tuesdays with Dorie
This cake is a cinch to put together.
The lemon taste just shines through and though the use of glaze is optional, I strongly recommend that you do.
For the lemon loaf cake:
4 eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 3 large lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 3/4 cups cake flour*
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature (I used milk)
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature.
* to make cake flour- for every cup of flour you need, measure and remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. Replace this with 2 tablespoons of cornflour. Sift and use.
For the lemon glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
2 Tbsps lemon juice
To make lemon loaf cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken.
Whisk in the grated zest and lemon juice.
Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture.
Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly - there's no need to beat.
Sift the flour over the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated.
Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture.
Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan - it will level itself - and bake for 50 to 60 minutes (I baked mine for 45 minutes), or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding.
Cool to room temperature right side up on a rack.
To make lemon glaze (if using):
Combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth.
Pour over the top of the cake and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
To serve cake:
You can serve this cake as soon as it cools, although there are those who believe that a pound cake needs a day to ripen.
The cake should be sliced with a serrated knife and served in thin slices
To store cake:
Once cooled, the cake should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
It will keep at room temperature for 3 or 4 days or, if double-wrapped, can be frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.