Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lemon Cake

Last week I took a couple of long train rides.  They were supposed to last eleven hours each but ended up lasting over twelve hours.

An additional hour shouldn't have been too bad, but I was ready to never get on a train again after eight hours.  The additional twelfth hour was cruel.

It was particularly painful to get back on the train four days after the first twelve hour train excursion.  Both train rides were overnight, and I sat in coach.  It was a traumatic experience.  It may have been my last long train ride. 

I made this for a barbecue a few weeks ago.  The recipe for the lemon cake and the whipped frosting came from Martha Stewart.

The ingredients for the cake are 1 cup butter, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 cups sugar, 2 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup buttermilk, and 1 thinly sliced and seeded lemon.  The frosting ingredients are 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract.

I made the cake by whisking the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest together.

In another bowl, I creamed 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar and the butter together until they were light and fluffy.

I beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time.

I beat in two tablespoons of lemon juice.

I alternately added thirds the flour mixture and halves of the buttermilk, ending and starting with the dry ingredients.

I poured the smooth batter into two greased and floured eight inch cake pans.  I baked the cakes for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the cakes baked, I prepared a lemon syrup.  I combined 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan.

I added the thinly sliced and seeded lemons.  I simmered the syrup for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, I removed the lemon slices and added 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

I slowly poured the glaze over the cooling cakes.

You should prepare the frosting just before serving.  I made mine three or four hours before eating the cake, and the frosting had wilted.  It's not a sturdy frosting.  It doesn't last long and cannot be refrigerated.  In a heatproof bowl, I added egg whites, sugar, salt, and water.

I whisked the egg white mixture over a simmering pot.  The water didn't touch the bottom of the heatproof bowl.

I whisked constantly over the simmering water for three minutes.  The egg whites become frothy.

I whisked the egg white mixture with an electric mixture for 3 minutes after removing the mixture from the ban marie.  The frosting becomes stiff.

I stirred in the lemon extract.

I frosting the cake with care and precision.  

This was a fabulous summer cake.  It was bright and tangy.  The lemon flavor was prominent.  The cake was moist and light.

The frosting was luscious and creamy when I first made it.  By the time we cut into the cake, the frosting had deflated.  It didn't do well in the heat.  If you wanted to make this for a picnic, I would suggest another frosting.

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