07 July 2010

Heat advisory on the east coast

Fact: It is far too hot right now. I can't even fall asleep, which should tell you something if you know me at all. Clearly with the heat index in the triple digits the past (and future) couple of days, the last thing I want to do is switch on the oven.

So I shall take this opportunity to pimp a great recipe from Cooking Light that I tried a few weeks ago. My flatmate Becca had made a red velvet cake earlier in the week, and there was buttermilk left over. Since we hardly ever have buttermilk in the house, I took the chance to use some to make a cake for a birthday in the lab. The cake was such a great hit -- it was gone by lunch time, and I didn't even get to try it! -- that I made another one for Becca and myself. The rest of the buttermilk had to be used up somehow, you know?

Glazed Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light.

This cake was deliciously lemony and moist, and not too sweet. The sweetness came mostly from the glaze drizzled on the outside.

3 Tbsp. grated lemon rind (2 lemons)
4 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 1/2 lemon)
1 1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. lemon extract
3 eggs
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine zest and lemon juice in a small bowl, and set aside.

Coat a 10-in. Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar.

Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring well with a whisk.

Place butter in a large bowl; cream with a fork until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 1/2 c. sugar, lemon mixture, and extract, beating until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture and beat, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 min. Cool in pan 10 min. on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 Tbsp. buttermilk

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm cake.

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