Friday, January 22, 2010

Lemon Cake Day

It is the weekend. The weekend needs cake. I made this one.

It's a buttery cake with a course crumb and a topping that lets the lemony goodness melt into the butter flavor. It is a good Friday night cake, or a Wednesday night cake--easy to make and not overly decadent, just sweet, simple, and good.

In my humble opinion, any opportunity to use my tangerine-rimmed milk glass cake plate is fine with me. I believe weeknights, even Friday nights need a little bright-rimmed presentation.

Lemon Cake (adapted from 1001 Essential Recipes)
When I made this, I added an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and it was a little too salty for a cake, but the flavor managed to be reminiscent of cornbread. So...if you need a dinner cake (like cornbread), try this one and let the topping sugar dissolve first in the lemon juice so that the sweet melds more into the cake. Serve warm. Enjoy!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons grated lemon rind
4 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon rind then add the eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. Fold in the combined sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon juice. Stir until the mixture is just combined and almost smooth.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered and floured cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Remove from the pan and turn out onto a wire rack.

For the topping, mix together the sugar and lemon juice without dissolving the sugar, and quickly brush over the top of the warm cake. The juice will sink in and the sugar will form a little crunchy top. Leave to cool (to get the crunchy top), or eat immediately while still warm (if your are like me and just can't help yourself). Enjoy.

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