Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lemon Bundt Cake

The Big Geek's favorite flavor is lemon, so this year for Father's Day the little geek and I made this lemon bundt cake from The Best Light Recipe cookbook (the one I keep saying you should buy--did you get it yet??)

I had a hard time with this (possibly because of all my "help"). Things didn't quite get mixed as well as I'd have liked, and I accidentally added an extra 1/2 cup of sugar. I also couldn't get my egg whites to form stiff peaks. After two attempts, I just gave up, used what I had, and hoped for the best.

The result was a really dense cake with a somewhat inconsistent texture (which I expected because of the egg whites). The taste is good, though, if you like lemons, and the glaze is AWESOME. I will try this again sometime when I don't have so much "help."

Nonstick baking spray wiht flour
2 cups (12 oz) cake flour
2 cups (14 oz) sugar
1/4 cup finely grated zest from 4 lemons
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
pinch cream of tartar
2 Tbsp juice from 1 lemon
Lemon Glaze (recipe follows)

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the inside of a standard 12-cup bundt pan with the nonstick baking spray.

Whisk the flour, 1 1/2 cups (NOT ALL) of the sugar, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the room temperature milk, eg yolks, oil, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla together.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until just broken up and foamy. Ad the cream of tartar and increse the speed to medium-high. Continue to beat, adding the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and form stiff peaks.

Slowly whisk the milk mixture and lemon juice into the flour mixture until smooth. Fold 1/3 (NOT ALL) of the beaten egg whites into teh batter until combined, smearing any stubborn pockets of egg white against the side of the bowl. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan. Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking (oops--just realized I didn't do that). Do not overbake.

Transfer cake to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely, 1-2 hours. When cool, dust with confectioner's sugar (if using), or drizzle with glaze and let glaze set about 15 minutes before serving.

Lemon Glaze:

1 cup (4 oz) confectioners' sugar
5 tsp juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp grated zest from 1 lemon
pinch salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a mediu bowl. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let set for 15 min. before serving.

I glazed my cake on the cooling rack, but put a plate underneat it to catch the glaze drips. Then I just kept "recycling" the glaze until it was mostly gone.

After that, if you want, you could just lick the extra glaze off that plate. Or just wash the plate. You know, whatever.

I'm sure I'll make this again, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I CAN get it right. But really, the cake tastes good, I just need to get the texture right. And the glaze is AWESOME.

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