Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lemon Loaf

Lemon Loaf - made August 18, 2012 from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

I'm still going through lemons from my mom's lemon tree and it's still the height of summer so a lemon loaf cake seemed like a good idea to fit with the season and use up nature's bounty.  I like the recipes I've tried so far from both of the Baked books I have and this was no exception.  It makes a nice lemon pound cake with extra lemon flavor coming from both the soaking syrup and the lemon glaze.  I only made a half recipe though and divided it amongst 4 mini loaf pans.  I think it would've been better if I only used 3 mini loaf pans so the loaves wouldn't have been quite so flat.  I think of this as a tea cake as it seems like it would be good to serve at an afternoon tea.  Not that I drink tea but I imagine this would be appropriate to serve at one.  It's not too sweet and you can slice it thin if you wish or chunky (even better) if you prefer.

1 ½ cups cake flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed combine sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. With the mixer still running, drizzle the butter into the bowl. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Remove bowl from mixer.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour mixture over the batter, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
  6. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  7. Remove loaves to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely.
  8. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

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