10 June 2014

Foodie Tuesday | Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Let's start first by classifying this recipe as "OM-NOM-NOM" which, like "entrée" and "appetizer" is now an official food category.

Next, let's acknowledge that we here at Casa Kilfoyle might be just a *bit* lemon-obsessed. Oranges? OK. Tangerines? Sure, I guess. Limes? Not bad.

But lemons? Lemons are pretty much the flavor bomb. And when lemon marries cake?

NUCLEAR-LEVEL DELICIOUSNESS.

For realz.



LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE
Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes | Makes: 2 loaves
      
Ingredients:
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
  • 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated (white) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup lemon zest (4-6 lemons)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
 
Ingredients:
Syrup
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
 
Ingredients:
Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
        
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two (2) 9" x 4" loaf tins with cooking spray; set aside.
      
  2. If you have a counter mixer on hand (lucky you), cream together the butter and sugar. If you don't have a stand mixer (like moi), use a hand mixer, but however you cream it, do so until it's light and fluffy (roughly 5 minutes). With the mixer/beaters on medium-low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then the lemon zest.
      
  3. In a second bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and poppy seeds. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
      
  4. In a third bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk briskly. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the creamed sugar, starting and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour (until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the centre emerges cleanly.)
        
  5. When the loaves are 15 from complete, combine a 1/2 cup of lemon juice and a 1/2 cup white sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover, set aside.
       
  6. Remove the baked loaves from the oven and allow to stand on the counter for 10-15 minutes, cooling. Turn the loaves from each pan onto a cooling rack. Allow to stand an additional 10 minutes.
        
  7. Place each loaf in a rectangular container that's at least one inch (1") larger on all sides than the loaf itself (I use a glad container.) Using a toothpick, bore small, deep holes randomly over the top of each loaf. Evenly divide the hot syrup over each loaf and allow 20 minutes to absorb, turning occasionally on each side so the syrup is absorbed all over. Place the soaked loaves onto a cooling rack under which you've spread parchment or waxed paper (to catch the drips... because it will drip.)
       
  8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 2 cups icing sugar with 6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Spoon over the top of each loaf, evenly dividing the glaze between the two. Let solidify, then slice and serve... with tea and sweet cream, preferably!
       
You can store your loaves in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days, but any longer and you risk it molding. Technically you CAN refrigerate it but honestly, I find storing this or any kind of cake in the fridge just dries it out. I'd rather eat it fresh and moist in two days than dry and crumbly in five, but maybe that's just me. It's your cake. Do what you want with it.

Oh, and any leftover syrup? Pretty fabulous over vanilla ice cream. Just, you know... if you were wondering.

NOTES | KID-FRIENDLY, EASY, VEGETARIAN
 
Thank you, Ina Garten. Your Lemon Loaf is delicious.