I keep making the mistake of planning what I'm going to make next on a full...overly full stomach. So when I look through the book, nothing really sounds good. Which is kind of a problem when I need to make another dessert. Truth be told, we're not really huge dessert eaters at our house. And even though every dessert thus far has been good, we just don't make much of a dent each day. So a week later, we still have dessert. And then I have to make another one! It was making the project a little tiresome.
Considering these facts, and others, this Lemon Lemon Loaf turned out to be the perfect recipe. First of all, it makes two loaves but can be easily frozen. Secondly, it has a light lemon flavor that isn't overly sweet, making it less overwhelming. But don't let that fool you; this is not a light, airy cake. In fact, the texture totally surprised me. I was expecting cake, but it was denser than that. Quite eggy. Which may not necessarily sound super appealing, but I actually really liked it. It was like a lemony, loafy version of crepes.
I was fully intending to say it needs some poppy seeds. The recipe specifically says it doesn't want extraneous ingredients like poppy seeds, but I love them. I love them! I love some texture in my food. Like, I love the pulpiest orange juice I can find, and I usually double the poppy seeds in any poppy seeded recipe. Nevertheless, I had to admit that, despite my misgivings, these Baked guys were right; it just wouldn't be quite right with poppy seeds. And that's okay with me.
There is a part of me that wonders if I did something wrong...I followed the directions exactly, except where it said to mix the batter in a food processor, since I don't have a food processor. I mixed it in my Kitchenaid with the whisk attachment...but that wouldn't be the same. Maybe someday I'll have a food processor and can try it again.
If I were to change something, though, I would make the loaf itself more lemony. Despite a lot of lemon zest and some juice, the flavor didn't come through a lot. It's pretty dependent on the painted on, lemony glaze.
It was good, though. And I have another loaf in my freezer. This time, I'm actually glad there are plenty of leftovers.
Lemon Lemon Loaf (printable recipe)
For the Lemon Cake:
1 1/2 c cake flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 c sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 c grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
2 c (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1/2 c sour cream, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1/3 c sugar
Make the Lemon Cakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9x5x3-in. loaf pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
2. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
4. Sprinkle in the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Make the Lemon Syrup
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.
3. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes. Yield: 2 loaves
(The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.)
Recipe courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copied with permission.