It’s snowing outside and people are starting to put up their holiday lights around us, so it’s beginning to feel a bit Christmasy. DH and I went downtown Kingston Ontario to start on our Christmas shopping yesterday, and in one shoppe, my eyes were drawn to a pretty little bottle of lemon curd on the shelf. I looked at him and asked, “how does lemon loaf sound?” He said enthusiastically “sounds good but only if you inject it with some of that lemon curd” and today’s blog was borne.
There are many lemon loaf or lemon cake recipes but I prefer a lemon cake that is denser in nature, more lemon, less sweet. So, I’m looking for a recipe that is more pound cake, less butter cake. When DH asked for the “lemon injection” what he meant was that I would put that delicious lemon curd in a piping bag, attach a long-nosed tip to it and squeeze lemon curd into the baked cake. Yum, yum and double yum!
You’ve probably figured out by now that I don’t develop my own recipes. I let other more creative people do that, I just “Victoria sweet” them up a little bit, adding my own twist.
Today’s recipe is based on Epicurious’ Sour Cream and Lemon Pound Cake. It is a great recipe in its own right and likely doesn’t need the edits, but hey, that’s just an unfortunate part of my obsessive-compulsive personality – I need to mix it up a bit. And although I’ve lessened the sugar, suggested that you could change the fat source, and substituted yoghurt for sour cream, this lovely cake still falls square into the “treat” category. I just couldn’t adjust it enough to say it was part of the bread group!
Here’s how I made it –
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (you could use margarine but it will make it taste a bit less rich. It would still be okay, just not a “pure pound cake”)
2 cups of sugar (the originally recipe calls for 3; it makes a really sweet cake and we’re injecting it with lemon curd so by making the cake less sweet, it allows that curd flavour to really stand out)
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup plain greek yoghurt (the original recipe calls for sour cream; plain greek yoghurt is the same texture and achieves the same flavour effect)
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare your pans (to “prepare your pans”, grease them with a fat (I usually use whatever fat I’m using in the recipe to do this, and then I put a layer of parchment paper on the bottom. After all this work you don’t want the baked cake to stick to the bottom of the pan.). The original recipe calls for a 16 cup tube pan; based on the amount of batter that will work great. I used 2 x 6″ round cake pans; filled them with 2 cups of batter each and had batter left over for 10 cupcakes.
Sift flour, baking soda into a medium bowl. Beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beat 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat just until combined. Beat in lemon juice and peel. With rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients, mix in sour cream. Put batter into prepared pans. I run a knife through the batter at this point to get rid of large air bubbles, or drop the pan on the countertop a couple of times to do the same thing. You want a finished cake that is dense, with a uniform crumb pattern and no big bubbles.
Bake until the tester inserted near the centre comes clean. For a tube pan this is about 1 hour and 30 minutes; for my 2 x 6″ pans it is about 45 minutes; for the cupcakes it is about 30 minutes.
Turn the cakes out on a rack right side up (carefully take off the parchment from the bottom, you can let them cool partially before you do that). Let cool completely before you frost.
Next blog? I’ll tell you how to add the lemon curd injection and frost it as a “naked cake”! Stay tuned.