Monday, April 27, 2009
lemon yogurt pound cake
A few weeks ago, for Easter, my brother and I made a decidedly non-traditional dinner. Neither of us really eats ham anymore (unless it's prosciutto, but that's a whole 'nother story) or any of the traditional Easter offerings. Instead, we opted for a light and refreshingly springy meal of homemade wild mushroom ravioli with an asparagus and gremolata sauce.
And to finish the meal, I made the Barefoot Contessa's lemon yogurt cake. It was perfectly delicious, and was even better the next day! The recipe calls for both a simple syrup that sinks into the cake, infusing it with extra lemon-i-ness and a bit of moisture, and a lemon/confectioner's sugar glaze. I decided not to make the glaze, and the cake was delightfully without it! I imagine you could also make this with orange zest, or a mix of orange and lemon for something a bit different. OH, and did I mention the best part about this cake? No mixer needed!!! You whip the whole thing up by hand.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
The Barefoot Contessa at Home
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment (this will insure the cake does not stick). Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one 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 is all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester places in the center of ther loaf comes out clean (*here's a general baking tip - always under-estimate baking times. You can always bake something longer, but you can never un-bake a burnt cake. So, if a recipe recommends a 50 minute bake time, check your baked good at 40 minutes!)
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 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 to soak in. Cool. (*I will admit, I had a bit of trouble with the "soaking-in" bit, and used a pastry brush to disperse the simple syrup over the loaf).
For the glaze, combine the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice, and pour over the cooled cake.
Enjoy! - e