Wish Upon A Dish: Not a Lemon, Lemon Cake

March 29, 2012

Not a Lemon, Lemon Cake

I love that you can start your day with one plan in mind and after 20 minutes you have completely changed the direction of your day.
This lemon cake started out as a chocolate bundt. Well, I bought a boxed chocolate cake mix and somehow it ended up as a lemon pound cake. I am blaming this on Ina Garten. Seems the exact time I was reading emails, she was baking this on her Food Network show.
I can not say no to lemon anything. Yes, even when chocolate is a choice. I will grab the lemon every time. Problem with my cake baking, I am not good at it, so when I do see something I just have to take a chance at, it had better be a basic dump cake.
Ina always comes to my rescue. She gets me. Even I can be successful with her recipes.
Hey, want to hear a few food facts?
Why do we eat a sweet after dinner at the end of the day?
Ever hear these sayings?
A sweet treat is a reward for surviving another day? or, Leave the sour day behind with something sweet?
No? OK. Do you know why hotels almost always leave a piece of chocolate on your pillow?
Sounds weird? Think about it.
Is it to wish you "sweet dreams"?, to sweeten the tip or is there really a story behind it?
Some say Cary Grant started the tradition in St. Louis when he tried to woo a woman who was staying there. Every night he would have the staff send up chocolates to her room. I imagine he was successful and I am sure the hotel sold that idea to others, using this story to seal the deal. Others started to do the same thing and voila!! A tradition was born.

Let's get cooking.....

Lemon Yogurt Cake
Courtesy of Ina Garten
Makes 1 loaf
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I combined 1/4 cup hi-maize cornmeal + 1 1/4 cups AP)
* 1 tablespoon cake enhancer
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
* 1 cup coconut palm sugar
* 3 extra-large eggs
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice + 1/3 cup granulated sugar (for glaze)

For the glaze:
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Review: I know my glaze was too thick so it did not run down the sides and since you pour it over all at once, there was no going back. Next time I will forgo the glaze completely and serve with creme fraiche. A good, easy, go to recipe.

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