Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lemons make me think of Spring

It's February, post-holiday, winter has set in for months and I'm ready to think about Spring. I haven't posted a recipe in awhile as I think I get burned out during the holidays with all the preparing, cooking, baking, and eating! So what better way to conjure up thoughts of Spring than with the tart and fresh taste of lemons.

This Lemon Yogurt Cake turns out great every time.



Turns out my husband's favorite desserts involve lemons. I had no idea for several years and then I started making this cake and his lemon persuasions were uncovered. This cake, from Barefoot Contessa, is very moist and packs a lemony punch. It makes an excellent hostess/holiday gift, pairs well with your morning coffee, or acts a fail-safe dessert for company. I love this recipe.



Trace the bottom of the pan with a pencil for a perfect parchment paper lining.



Using a strainer keeps the seeds out of the lemon juice - but if you don't have a strainer, just squeeze the juice over your hand catching the seeds in your palm.

This simple syrup of lemon juice and sugar is what makes the cake so moist. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I poke tiny holes in the cake with a toothpick before pouring the syrup over the top.

You can use a little of the lemon glaze, or a lot. You can tell how I like it.


Lemon Yogurt Cake
by Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients:1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Enjoy!

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