Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Zucchini Cake

September 27, 2010

Zucchini Cake

The leaves are changing here in the upper Midwest, and as much as I don’t want to admit it summer truly is behind us. If you live in a warmer area you might still be harvesting zucchini and if you are, this recipe is for you. If you don’t have zucchini growing in your backyard this cake will be worth their purchase from your local grocery store.

When I made this cake I was very doubtful that I would like it. I was willing to make it, learn from it and toss it. I don’t like throwing out food, but I was willing to this one time just for the sake of learning.  Rest assured none of this cake went to waste, but rather to “waist”. My husband and I both loved this cake.

You might be wondering what about the recipe made me doubt it’s tastiness? The fat in the cake comes from olive oil. I thought for sure I wouldn’t like olive oil in this type of baked good, but I was so wrong.  The original recipe comes from Gina DePalma’s book Dolce Italiano. I don’t own the book, but I’d like to get my hands on it to discover what other gems are waiting between the covers. If this cake is representative of the rest of the book, it may become a must have book, because this cake is genius.

The cake is super moist, and the lemon glaze gets a little crunchy when it sets. The lemon compliments the zucchini and olive oil in such a way that you don’t think of the zucchini and olive oil as individual components. They come together in an interesting and delicious way that I wouldn’t have guessed. I wanted to share this cake with everyone and make believers out everyone that zucchini and olive oil could come together in a cake without being covered up with chocolate. I want everyone to taste it and love it the way my husband and I do. Unfortunately the cake didn’t make it far. A few slices went to the neighbors, and we ate the rest of it over the course of a few days. Seriously! Two of us ate almost the entire cake. It’s that good.

Zucchini Cake with Lemon Glaze (adapted from the web, where is was adapated from Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano)

1 c. pecans or walnuts toasted and chopped (I used toasted walnuts)
2c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2. t. nutmeg
3 eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. finely grated zucchini

For the glaze:
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 c. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 c. bundt pan with non-stick spray and dust with flour.
Sift together: Flour, leaveners, salt and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and stir in the vanilla.
Mix in the dry ingredients, and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
Pour the mixture into the bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.

While the cake is baking stir together the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Stir it well and let it sit while the cake bakes.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Add the powdered sugar to the lemon and sugar mixture. Use a brush to apply the glaze to the cake while it is still warm/ Let the cake cool completely. A silicone brush works well for this but a pastry brush will also work.

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Ultimate Lemon Filled Cupcakes

June 24, 2010

Instead of writing up a whole new post about these cupcakes I’m going to pretty much cut and paste from an email to my friend Melinda.

It’s been sort of a funny day all due to some cupcakes. It’s a good thing I like to learn things in the kitchen, because it’s been a day full of learning!! LOL!

Last night I got the bright idea to make cupcakes from a recipe I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years. It graced the cover of the Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2008 magazine. It’s called Ultimate Lemon Layer Cake . I thought I’d try it as cupcakes, fill them with the lemon curd, and ice them with the seven minute frosting. That seems reasonable doesn’t it? We’re going to go watch our son ride in his first race at the track tonight and I figured I could have the fun of making them, and in cupcake form they’d be easy to give to his teammates to enjoy and then my husband and I wouldn’t be tempted by all the leftover cake.

So yesterday at about 5 pm I made the cupcakes. They are the ugliest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. They have no dome. That’s not to say they didn’t rise. They did. They just didn’t dome and they oozed ever so slightly onto the muffin pan. Thank goodness I didn’t use the silicone liners or I would have really had a mess!! Of course that little bit that oozed over stuck to the muffin tin, so when I took them out they almost all ended up with torn edges. They tasted great, but they were ugly and I was pretty discouraged. I went to a meeting and got home at about 9:30. At that point I thought, oh heck! I should make the lemon curd and if worse comes to worse I’ll chop up the cupcakes and make the mess into a “trifle”. So I made the lemon curd and put it in the refrigerator and went to bed.

This morning, I thought. Hey! They won’t be that ugly if you fill them and frost them. So I filled them, and I’m here to tell you that isn’t as easy it sounds, but it wasn’t a total disaster. (By the way the lemon curd is fantastic!!!!!) Unfortunately I have twice as much lemon curd as I need because it doesn’t take nearly as much lemon curd to fill cupcakes as it does to fill 4 layers of cake. (In the original recipe you make two 9″ layers, split them and fill them.)

After they’re filled I move on to the seven minute frosting. It seems like everything is coming along just fine but it will not cool off enough to make nice peaks! What the heck!? I decided that my new hand held mixer would be fine for this job. My old one was great for this. The new one has a nice whisk attachment. After an absurd length of time I realize the frosting is never going to cool enough because of the stupid mixer! The heat from the mixer was keeping the frosting at about 80 degrees!! So, I dig out the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, dump the frosting in there and in about 3 minutes I have beautiful frosting. The whole time I was thinking, of my grandma who used to do this with a hand powered rotary beater. Remember those?

The cupcakes are now frosted. The cake part is fine crumbed and moist, the lemon curd filling is fantastic, and even the seven minute frosting is great. They have you put some lemon juice in it and it’s the perfect amount to make it more interesting without being too much.

All that said, I enjoyed the cupcakes and had a ball making them. Now I will be so happy to give them away. This is a good enough recipe to repeat, but definitely in cake form. NOT cupcake form!! And, the frosting didn’t cover all the ugliness. There are some beauties and some toads. Frankly, I got tired of trying to make them pretty and sort of gave up. Those young athletic bikers won’t give a hoot what they look like!

By the way, someone had planned to order a cake from Byerly’s! On the one hand I should have let him, on the other hand I had a lot of fun even though it doesn’t sound like it.

Here’s a photo of the inside of an ugly one.

Last, but not least the recipe. Someone posted it here.

It’s definitely worth making. But! A word from someone one year older, and one recipe wiser. Make the layer cake as indicated in the recipe. It isn’t cupcake friendly.

Lemon Bliss Cake

October 7, 2009
Lemon Bliss Cake

Lemon Bliss Cake

Tomorrow morning bright and early I leave for Houston. I’m looking forward to the trip even though technically it’s work related. While doing laundry and packing I decided I could multi task and use up the lemons in the refrigerator. I turned to the King Arthur Flour website to find a recipe in a hurry and found this recipe for Lemon Bliss Cake. It’s easy and very good. The crumb is very fine and moist and the lemon flavor shines without being too tangy. I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was the perfect recipe to make while doing other things.Lemon Bliss Cake 016

My only deviations from the recipe involved baking time and the glaze. My bundt cake pan is dark and I think the cake baked faster because of that. It was done in 45 minutes. For the glaze I juiced both lemons which gave me about 4 oz. of juice so I added a little more sugar and used all the juice. I used superfine sugar because I thought it might dissolve more completely. There aren’t any crystals, so I guess the superfine sugar did what I had hoped.

Lemon Meringue Pie

August 22, 2009
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

This lemon meringue pie is almost everything I want a lemon meringue pie to be. The lemon flavor is pronounced and is sweetened with just the right amount of sugar,  the meringue didn’t separate,  and is tall, light, and not too sweet. The filling is firm without being gummy, the crust is flaky, and there is no sogginess. I would give it five stars out five, but for one thing, and it is my fault, not the fault of the recipe. I”m not sure exactly what happened. When I completed beating the egg whites they seemed just right, and then I let them sit while I reheated the filling to make sure it was really hot before putting it in the pie shell. When I put the meringue on top of the filling the texture had changed and I couldn’t make nice peaks with it anymore. I went ahead and used it anyway.

I would definitely make this pie again. It is far, far better than other lemon meringue pies that I’ve made. I have never been happy with my lemon meringue pies. If it weren’t for Anna at Cookie Madness I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to try to make lemon meringue pie again due to previous disappointments, but I’m so glad I tried this. Check out Cookie Madness to see Anna’s recent lemon meringue pie recipes. We’ve been chatting and she’s going to try this version too. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

I found the filling to be slightly tart, but just the right amount of tart. There were extra steps to the meringue, and I think they were worth it. I’m going to make it again sometime to reevaluate that part of the recipe since I mucked it up this time. But, since there is no puddling, and almost no beading to speak of, the extra steps were worth it to me.

The recipe for this pie can be found in The Dessert Bible by Chris Kimball. If you don’t have the book, the recipe is temporarily posted here. Get it while you can, or buy the book.

Lemon Roll Out Sugar Cookies

December 30, 2008
Lemon Roll Out Sugar Cookies

Lemon Roll Out Sugar Cookies

After referring to the cookies in my previous post as my favorite sugar cookies I hesitated before writing about these. Don’t get me wrong, they are good cookies, but the taste and texture remind me more of spritz cookies than sugar cookies. They disappeared quickly and were enjoyed by all, so I guess they deserve to be talked about at least a little.

Lemon Roll Out Sugar Cookies

2 1/4 c. flour

1/4 t. salt

3/4 sugar

3/4 c.  butter

1 egg

1 T. finely grated lemon zest

1 t. vanilla

Whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugar until very light and fluffy. Blend in the egg, lemon zest, butter and vanilla.  Add the flour and salt mixture and mix well. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll out between pieces of waxed paper. Stack all four pieces on a cookie sheet and chill until firm. When firm remove from the refrigerator and cut out with decorative cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Cool completely and decorate as desired.