Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Lemon Loaf Cake


I love lemon anything, and the tarter the better, so my first impulse was to jump right in and bake this cake.  I had planned to bake it for Easter and serve it with fresh berries, but something kept telling me to wait...

and it's just as well that I did.  Life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing, and I got crazy busy with work projects, school work, and the garden.  Meanwhile, I kept pulling out BWJ and rereading the recipe.  It was pretty straight forward but it just didn't sound like it was going to be very lemony.  I knew the zest of three lemons would provide a lot of lemon flavor, but the only way to get the bright lemon flavor and tartness I wanted would be to add some lemon juice.  So I decided to reduce the sugar by 1/3 cup and add an equal amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice with the pulp strained out.  The other substitution I thought might add some tang was 1/2 cup of creme fraiche in place of the heavy cream.

Once I had the substitutions worked out my only decision was which zester to use.  This one from The Pampered Chef makes pretty, long strips perfect for a garnish, but too big and chunky for the cake...
The Microplane zest was too fluffy and fine and I wasn't sure it would impart enough lemon flavor...


The Oxo hand-held grater gave me something in between the two that was just perfect...

I didn't variate from the mixing and combining instructions and got the split, domed top the recipe promised.

Et voila!  Lovely lemon loaf cake.

Lessons learned:  Trust your instincts after reading a recipe and don't be afraid to play around a little if you think you can improve on it.  The lemon juice added the bright, lemony flavor I was looking for.  This cake is similar in texture and density to a pound cake, but I think it would be even better, and a little lighter in texture, if the eggs and sugar were beaten a little rather than just whisked together.  A lemon soaking syrup or lemon glaze would put this cake over the top.  A mixture of macerated berries along with a dollop of creme fraiche would make a nice accompaniment.

Visit Truc at Treats and Michelle at The Beauty of Life where you'll find the recipe or buy the book by clicking on the cover over here -->.  Check out the TWD-BWJ blogroll here to see all the other glorious versions of this cake.

10 comments:

mireia badia said...

Looks great, good idea on adding lemon juice!!

Karen from SoupAddict said...

Good call, adding all the extra lemon. Love the split top on the cake!

Stephanie B said...

Yeah, i was worried it wouldn't be lemon-y enough, too. Luckily, the lemon curd I made from the de-frocked lemons did the trick!

smarkies said...

Agreed! the more lemon the better!
I had mine with some lemon curd.

Cher Rockwell said...

Very nice and I love the zester dilemma!

Julia said...

I added some juice as well and was very glad that I did! Your cake looks delicious.

Melissa said...

I agree! The lemon could have been a bit stronger -- I didn't add any lemon juice and would add some next time. Great reviews of the graters too. I served mine with lemon curd and whipped cream.

Cathleen said...

Beautiful presentation! Sounds like you had a winner.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Your loaf came out nice. Like the different ways of using zesters.

~Carmen
http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

Catherine Daugherty said...

Lovely loaf and nice pictures along the way. It is good to bake with you. Blessings, Catherine at www.praycookblog.com