Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lemon Loaf


There's one thing to be said for the Lemon Loaf cake that was assigned for this week's recipe by the Tuesdays With Dorie; Baking With Julia baking group: it's really easy. Really, really easy.  I arrived home very late on this rainy Tuesday afternoon and stood in my kitchen debating with myself whether I had time to bake this cake.  Or more importantly, whether there would be enough daylight after the cake was baked to photograph it so that I could actually post it on time.  When I saw how short the recipe is, I started pulling out ingredients and before I knew it, the cake was in the oven.  And was baked, cooled (mostly) and sliced in time to photograph in natural light on the back deck, thanks in just a small measure to Daylight Savings Time.

n.o.e.'s notes:

-  You can find the recipe for the Lemon Loaf on the blogs of this week's hosts:
Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life

-  The virtue of this recipe is that it is made in a bowl with a whisk; no mixer or creaming of butter required.  Instead, the butter is melted and folded into the cake batter at the end.

-  I baked 1/2 recipe, in a little skinny loaf pan that my daughter JDE brought back from her 2011 trip to Hong Kong.

-  All of the lemon flavor of the recipe is from lemon zest.  I wanted that zest to contribute its lemony limits, so I used a favorite Dorie Greenspan tip: first I rubbed the zest into the sugar with my fingers, until the sugar was a bit damp and very fragrant.  Then I whisked the sugar/zest mixture with the salt and eggs as directed by the recipe.

-  I deviated a tiny bit from the recipe by adding a healthy dose of lemon oil to the batter (about 1/2 teaspoon for my half recipe).


the verdict:

This had a wonderfully dense, moist crumb, but wasn't in the least bit heavy or dull.  The lemon flavor was subtle, but noticeable (in part from the lemon oil I'm guessing).  It made a wonderful dessert with some sliced strawberries.  This is a great recipe to keep bookmarked for those occasions where you need a not-fussy, quick, easily transportable cake.  Although I kept mine plain, the cake could easily be gussied up by adding a lemon glaze or soaking it with a lemon syrup.

16 comments:

Abby said...

Looks beautiful, Nancy! I love the split top. It was easy, wasn't it? I was so happy that it came together so quickly.

Di said...

I keep forgetting that I have lemon oil. I'll have to add some the next time I make this. I love how easy this one is to make.

Audrey said...

Oh! I forgot about rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar. I love that trick.

smarkies said...

arggh... I forgot to rub the lemon zest into my sugar. Should have remembered that.
The cake did come together easy which is a blessing on a busy day. :)

wendy (pinkstripes) said...

I loved the ease of this recipe. I forgot about using lemon oil. Great idea.

ostwestwind said...

Lemon oil, sounds interesting, hard to find here

Ulrike @K├╝chenlatein

Peggy said...

Beautiful. I love anything lemon!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great looking loaf!

Tracey said...

I love recipes made with just a bowl and a whisk. Everyone needs a few of those in their repertoire! I need to look into this lemon oil you speak of, sounds right up my alley :)

Cher Rockwell said...

This was simple, wasn't it? Good thinking to rub the zest into the sugar.

Cathleen said...

Great looking loaf. It was a super easy recipe. Wish it had more flavor.

mike509 said...

I think this is the pound cake recipe of choice now - EASY! I rubbed the zest and sugar as well - but added much more lemon (somehow I just knew it needed it)... but a wonderful looking loaf Nancy - the "dome" is just perfect!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

lemon oil was a good call...i have some, but didn't think to use it.

Rachel said...

Ha it's crazy how much I time my baking around whether or not there's light left for photographs (becasue obviously waiting until the next morning to taste a treat isn't an option...) I love lemon so I should really give this one a try--looks great!

Jessica said...

That pan is just fantastic! You always have the best pans (the Nancy pan lives in a special drawer in my kitchen). And I concur with the rest of the bunch: a nice cake recipe that comes together with a bowl and a whisk is a lovely thing to have in one's arsenal.

Kayte said...

Looks wonderful inside and out! Really really wonderful! I could not believe how fast you got that together that day...I was still debating whether or not to make it with you and you were DONE! lol Lovely, just lovely.