Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lemon Buttermilk Cake and The Forgotten Books

How many times have you borrowed a book, or numerous books and forgotten to return them?  That is so unlike me.  I'm usually very good about reading the books as soon as I acquire them and returning them promptly.  Somehow, this time it slipped my mind for months.  I'm embarrassed to say how long.  I noticed the books, yet again, laying there still not returned. I decided the time had come. It's not like I had to take them far for delivery.  My friend, Jhumpa just lives down the street.  Deciding the least I could do was to bake her a cake, I quickly made a trip to the grocery to pick up a few missing ingredients.  Back home, I retrieved a Diet Coke from the refrigerator,  turned on the music, preheated the oven, and began to add the ingredients together.  It didn't take long for my house to smell like cake and lemon combined.  Once this confection was done and cooled, I hurriedly put on the glaze.  This is the embarrassing part.  As I stood there looking at this sweet mound of loveliness, the aroma had surrounded my nose. I just had to have a piece.  I immediately cut into it, just one little slice, quickly becoming bigger.  Next thing I know, I'm returning the long forgotten books, along with slices of the heavenly Lemon Buttermilk Cake, but not the whole cake.  

Buttermilk lemon cake, butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt ,buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg, confectioners sugar
Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Makes 1 (9") bunt cake or 36 cupcakes

Cake or Cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
4 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Glaze:

1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Cake Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350'. Spray 9" bunt pan with bakers spray or line 36 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light in texture, about 5 minutes.  While the butter is beating, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, and 4 Tablespoons of the lemon juice and set aside.
Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  In 3 additions, alternate adding the sifted dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, stirring on low until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan or fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter.  Bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Bake cupcakes until they rise in a dome shape and spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, 16-20 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife.  Invert the pan and turn out the cake.  Place a wire rack in a baking pan and set the cake, right side up, on the rack.

Glaze Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar, the remaining 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon cold water and stir until very smooth.  Add a little more confectioners' sugar or water as necessary to achieve a glaze consistency (similar to that of honey).  Spoon the glaze evenly over the cake.  When the glaze has firmed, transfer the cake to a  plate.   Slice and serve at room temperature.