Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie : Lemon (Lime) Loaf Cake

Welcome to this month's second Tuesdays with Dorie post! I missed the first recipe this month and still in the midst of moving, I almost missed this one, too! For shame. I really enjoy cooking through Baking with Julia, so I really need to get it together here!

Ok, one more confession. Not only did I barely get this made, I also swapped out some ingredients. With the move, I've tried not to buy any extra pantry items. With that in mind, I had no lemons or heavy cream but I did have limes and made buttermilk. It was still delicious although I would love to try the original. Below is the recipe as it appears in the book with my additions in parentheses.

Happy Tuesday!!

Lemon Loaf Cake
(from Baking With Julia, Contributing Editor: Norman Love)
Makes 12-15 servings

4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 3 large lemons (I used limes!)
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature (yep, also substituted this out for buttermilk which for me meant milk with the juice of the limes that were zest!)
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and
cooled to room temperature

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken. Whisk in the grated zest.

Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly - there's no need to beat. Sift the flour over the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.

Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan - it will level itself - and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature right side up on the rack. *

You can serve this cake as soon as it cools, although there are those who believe that a pound cake needs a day to ripen. Make a taste test for yourself. In any case, the cake should be sliced with a serrated knife and served in thin slices, a pair to a plate.

Once cooled, the cake should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep at room temperature for 3 or 4 days or, if double-wrapped, can be frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.