Friday, February 3, 2012

Lemon Cake

I might be a little obsessed with the Barefoot Contessa (to put it mildly!)...there's something about her food that is so sophisticated and classic, yet simple somehow.  I feel like she's sort of the same way.  I mean her black and pure white kitchen is awesome!  And I love that she doesn't use a lot of specialized equipment - rarely do you see her using something other than her stand mixer or food processor...maybe a food mill, but that's about the extent of it.  So, I've modeled a lot in my own kitchen after hers...those big glass jars that she has for sugar and flour?  Got em'!  That white steel rack that she has in her pantry to store plates, bowls and equipment?  Yup!  Although mine is not nearly as big or as stocked as hers (I'm working on it).  And of course, I own most of her cookbooks.

I came across this recipe for her Lemon Cake and decided to try it.  It sounded too good and it meant that I was stepping out my usual realm of baking with chocolate.  Her recipe called for 2 loaf pans, but I wanted to use a bundt pan because I thought it would be just gorgeous - which it was!  I think I could have put all of the batter into the bundt pan but I didn't know how much it was going to rise.  I put the extra batter into a loaf pan and made a really short cake.  Up to you what you want to do, but either way it was delicious!  Seriously, not only is there a glaze, but there's also a lemon syrup which keeps the cake as moist as it can be.  

How bad can that be?  :) 

 The two cakes with the Lemon syrup, but without the glaze.  See how shiny?  

Makes 1 bundt cake or 2 in loaf pans

2 sticks butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups sugar (divided into 2 cups and 1/2 cup)
3 eggs, room temp
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water or milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 1 bundt pan.  Cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, then the lemon zest.  

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.  Pour into desired baking pans and tap to release any air bubbles.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.    
For the lemon syrup:  Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Poor over the warm cakes. 

For the glaze:  Combine the confectioner's sugar with the lemon juice and water, whisking until smooth.  Poor over the tops of the cakes and allow to drizzle over the sides.  

(Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Parties!)
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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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