Ring the Spring, Bake the Cake (May - Sep, 2017)

Long time no bake… here comes the lemon teacake, recipe from Pierre Hermé.

Actually I have tasted at a recent party a really good cake brought by a professional baker. It has very lemony tangy taste. From what I understood, he has drilled holes in the cake for the lemon syrup to penetrate into the cake overnight. (Of course he didn’t totally reveal the recipe…)

I tried to reproduce this cake with this recipe I have found. I brushed the lemon juice syrup on the cake, which is quite nice (airy and light) but nothing close to the “pungentness” of that cake. I will need more lemon juice in the syrup and less sugar next time.

Recipe here:

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Oh goodness a Proustian moment. This version was a staple in our house: Mother made a box cake in a pan. (Possibly box pound cake). Syrup was lemon gelatin (Jello), extra lemon juice (fresh for us, we lived among lemon groves) and a little extra sugar. Kids were allowed to poke the warm golden cake with a straw (exuberance is the key: make many holes). Syrup then poured over the whole surface, we watched it sink into the crust. The scent! Astoundingly good.

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That looks beautiful!! I have a recipe for a cake that I make in a bundt pan. I pour the glaze over it while it is still warm. I don’t poke any holes into it, it just soaks right in. Then I let it cool a bit more before turning it out of the pan. Those kinds of cakes are my favorite!

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Buttermilk lemon cookies. Cookies aren’t my favorite, but these are really mini cakes and they are so good. After cooking I put most of them in the freezer and they thaw out fresh and tender in about 15 minutes.

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I just did a post on my blog about baking a banana cake using a carrot cake recipe.

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Share the recipe Robin?

I love the chrome translation of the Hermé cake. Some of it I get, some is quaint, and some i don’t get at all.

In France is there flour with yeast or is that self rising flour?

Try to use translator REVERSO, it should be better than Google.
http://www.reverso.net/text_translation.aspx?lang=EN

I can try to help if you have translation problem.

Self-raising flour in anglophone countries has 7-10% baking powder, the market leader in France (Francine farine à gâteau) only has 3% - so an approximation of self-raising flour that an anglophone would get “at home” needs some extra baking powder added…

I prefer to use plain flour and add yeast according to each recipe.

Wow, that is a brilliant idea! I am going to put that on my test list! It looked beautiful. The recipe called for a 9x13 pan, but your cake was round. Did you bake it in a springform pan for all that volume?

Sure - I’ll grab it when I get home and get it posted for for you.

Hi Heidi, Look again at the carrot/banana cake recipe and you’ll see that it calls for two 8"round pans. So, I used this 8" aluminum pan – actually have two – I bought when I got married in 1968.

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That attached gizmo turns beneath the finished cake to loosen it making removal from the pan easy. Even so, if a recipe calls for greasing/flouring the cake pan, I still do that.

When you try the recipe, I hope you’ll post about your results and what you think of the cake.

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Speaking of lemon buttermilk, I made a lemon buttermilk cake for Mother’s Day that was really fantastic. It was so moist with a nice crumb but not overly dense. Great lemony flavor-- sour and tart and sweet all at the same time. This one was a keeper for sure.

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Buttermilk Cookies (the recipe is from the January 2008 Gourmet).

3 cups flour
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used a splash of homemade extract and one scrapped out pod that had steeped in the extract)
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350, with rack in middle. Butter large baking sheets.

Whisk flour, zest, baking soda, and salt together.
In mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating, starting/ending with flour.

Drop tablespoon of dough onto baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 12-15 minutes. Let cookies cool on rack

Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 TBS buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla.

Spoon, brush, or dollop onto cooled cookies.

Once the glaze was set I placed the cookies into freezer bags and froze them; they only take few minutes to thaw.

Way too hot to bake yesterday, but I needed a treat to take to the neighbors this morning, so I tried a new-to-me no-bake salted truffle bar recipe. Insanely easy and delicious. You just crush a package of chocolate wafer cookies, add 1/2 stick of melted butter and half a 13 oz jar of Nutella, mix well and press into a 9x9 pan. Then you melt the other half of the Nutella with 12 oz of bittersweet chocolate and spread that over the crust. Sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt and fridge till firm. Delicious!

Thanks Robin.

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Recently, I have tried a similar concept for a tart crust. Crushing some shortbread with a mixer and mixing with some melted butter. Spread the paste in a mould and off in the fridge. Fast to make, though personally I have preferred the crust cooked in an oven, more crispy and I can mix in the vanilla beans.

Even though is was 108° outside, I felt like baking, so I cranked the a/c and went to work. Lemon pistachio shortbread cookies.

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Not much baking to report lately but I did make a very nice rhubarb streusel cake last weekend. Not too sweet, perfect with a cup of coffee. I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, which she adapted from Martha Stewart: https://smittenkitchen.com/2012/05/rhubarb-snacking-cake/

I added vanilla to the batter and used cinnamon instead of ginger (didn’t have any). I also added a bit of additional butter to the streusel but the proportions given in the recipe are WAY off - too much flour, and it really needs some white sugar to brown properly. I should have gone with my cut on this but decided to try it Martha’s way this time, and it was a mistake. I prefer a streusel with equal parts sugar and flour, plus enough butter to make it come together properly (about 1/4 of the amount of the dry ingredients, so 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c sugar and 1/4 c butter, or thereabouts). I generally do half white sugar, half brown.

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