When you buy a bag of Meyer lemons, you need to use that bag of Meyer lemons. I made these lovely lemon pudding cakes a few weeks ago and loved the flavor of the Meyer lemons, sweeter than a regular lemon but still tart. How could I go wrong by using them in a lemon pound cake?
I’ve been on a kick with this cookbook lately. It’s a great resource and it’s where I found the recipe for this pound cake. I’ve made a cold oven pound cake before that is really special, but is pretty involved, whipping egg whites and such. This cake come together quickly and uses a food processor to mix the wet ingredients so that curdling isn’t an issue thanks to the quick mixing speed.
You can make this pound cake in an 8-inch loaf pan or in mini loaf pans, which is what I chose to do so that I could give these as gifts. I added lemon juice, lemon zest and poppy seeds to the classic pound cake recipe to make these cakes. From what I can tell, this would create a fantastic plain pound cake as well and I’ll probably be trying it soon.
The flavor of this cake is perfectly lemony. The texture is light and the crust is slightly crunchy and totally delicious. I think it’s sugaring the pans, one of my favorite things to do with quick breads, and now with pound cake. The small loaf pans allow you to have a small piece that still looks complete instead of cutting a larger piece in half. I think these would be perfect for a brunch, bay shower, tea party, etc.
To make the cakes: Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl, then set aside.
In the food processor combine the sugar, lemon juice, zest, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined, about 10 seconds. With the processor still running, pour in the melted butter through the tube in a slow, steady stream. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Sift 1/3 to half of the flour mixture over the wet ingredients and whisk until almost no flour is visible. Repeat with the remaining flour in 1 or 2 more additions. Whisk in the poppyseds just to combine and be careful not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan/s. If you use mini loaf pans, 2 cups of batter each is about right.
Bake for 40 minutes (for mini loaves) and 50-60 minutes for an 8-inch loaf until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
To make the glaze: after sifting the sugar add lemon juice, start with 1 tablespoon, then add juice one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire. Drizzle onto the cooled cakes.
This challenge sure snuck up on me…like many other Daring Bakers challenges of the past. Thankfully I remembered enough in advance to get this dessert completed in time! We had an option this month to complete one or both of these desserts; ice cream petit fours and baked Alaska. One day I will try baked Alaska, but I chose to make the petit fours only.
The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
Another recipe from America’s Best Lost Recipes that I received for my birthday and where I got the recipe for the peach puzzle.
The only unexpected thing about this pound cake is the baking process. The pan goes into a cold, as in DO NOT PREHEAT, oven. It then cooks for an hour and a half. I’m not sure if the time the cake is sitting in the heating oven is what creates such a nice crusty exterior, but that crust is lovely. Encased within the crust is the soft, sweet, buttery cake that just melts in your mouth.
I absolutely love plain pound cake. It’s for the same reason I would rather have a plain slice of cheesecake than one with caramel, chocolate or fruit sauce. Simple is just the only way to go sometimes, and with pound cake you can focus on the textures and delicate sweet vanilla flavors instead of whatever extras are interfering. I know even while I type this that sometime very soon I will probably have to eat my words and fall in love with some fancy pants pound cake. But, for today at least, I am a plain pound cake lover.
The only complaint I have with this cake is that it gave me some trouble coming out of the pan. I can grease and flour a pan with the best of them, but it still stuck…not terribly, but it wasn’t exactly picture perfect. Despite this minor imperfection in appearance, the cake is delicious and definitely worth trying.
Cold Oven Pound Cake
America’s Best Lost Recipes
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk (or 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs, separated
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
Grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan.
Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, vanilla and egg yolks. In a separate bowl beat egg whites to soft peaks.
In a separate bowl beat butter, shortening and sugar on medium high until fluffy.
Reduce speed to low and flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, in 4 batches, beating after each addition until just combined.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place in a COLD oven.
Heat the oven to 300 F and bake for 45 minutes. Increase the temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes, run a knife around the edge, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve plain or with fresh berries and whipped cream.
In Waco, our HEB had a bulk section where I could purchase just enough of a spice I needed for a recipe and pay a measly $0.27 for it. Here, I have to purchase an entire jar of a spice when I only need 2 teaspoons, and pay $5.99. A jar of cardamom was such a purchase, so I decided to use some of it instead of neglecting it in the spice cabinet and letting my $5.99 go to waste.
This recipe is from Martha Stewart. In addition to the cardamom, the use of semolina flour and almond flour drew me to this cake because I had both of those ingredients. What are the chances? These were purchased as specialty ingredients in other recipes and I was glad to be able to use them.
The cake is dense and rich, as a pound cake should be. The texture is more complex than your everyday plain pound cake, which is to be expected due to the use of the coarse almond flour. The cardamom is definitely noticeable, but not overwhelming. When a recipe says “room temperature” you should have those ingredients at room temperature. This is an easy task. Just leave them out of the fridge for a few hours. It does make a difference in a pound cake, and most recipes. The ingredients come together much more easily, and the texture seems better. I know there is some science behind it, and I have even read an article about it, but I can’t explain all of that to you. I just know that I’ve done it both ways and having your butter, eggs and other wet ingredients like milk, buttermilk, sour cream, etc, makes for better cakes.
Cardamom Pound Cake (courtesy of Martha Stewart)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek
Preheat oven to 325. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Sugar the pans as you would with flour, and tap out excess. Whisk together flours, salt, cardamom, and baking soda.
Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Raise speed to high, and beat until smooth and glossy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt. Divide batter between pans.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)