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.
- You can find the recipe for the Lemon Loaf on the blogs of this week's hosts:
- 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).
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.