Cake and Cast Iron

It would take a lot to bump off my all-time favorite dessert, Creme Brulee. I baked a cake two nights ago that has well, seriously distracted me ... Lemon Yogurt Cake.

This is a dessert that made it worth having my fingers grated along side the lemon rinds. Ya, that good. I think it was the double glaze of fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar that hit it outside of the ball park. Tart, tangy and satisfying.

The real deal. So much that I perused my other cook books to compare recipes. A research assignment that went on all morning.

My Tharan watched me running around in this heightened state and said with a knowing smirk, "Ya know - you're a little weird." I wish he knew what it was like to be enthralled with food. Its not just the eating, cooking, reading, but to make the dish right ... and then perfect it. Does anyone hear me out there? Can I get a hell-yea?

Lemon Yogurt Cake
from barefoot contessa at home - Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 t grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

for the glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, one cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cook in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Cast Iron Dreams

I am baking Maple Baked Beans right now as I type this. Being a parent helps in the area of multi-task-oriented-statedness... yea, just what I said. The glazed stew has been brewing in my friend Keith's borrowed Le Creuset dutch oven for four hours - two more hours to go.

Never made baked beans before, such a shame. Come on now, I grew up in a family of four generations of Asian women all living in the same household. No baked beans, no Wonder Bread, not a Ding Dong in sight. I grew up with salted fish & steamed pork, salted duck eggs (more on this in later postings, I promise) and every kind of greens stir fried.

Delicious and still ... here's to the lone ronin and breaking out of family molds. Organic maple syrup, thick-cut smoked bacon... it smells like Texas all up in here.

Speaking of Le Creuset, I want the dutch oven. I want it bad. Santa came and got me a Le Creuset frying pan this year and I am grateful. So grateful, don't get me wrong ... but it's been my dream to have the cobalt blue big dutch oven (at only $400 retail). I have hijacked my friend's for the past 2 -3 months (lost count) and must return it soon. Uh huh, soon..

1 comment:

  1. Looks really good. I love Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa). For someone that hates to bake (or rather hates the hassle of baking), she has quite a knack for it! I'll have to try out this recipe. It sounds delish!

    If you're interested in Le Creuset, I recommend the outlet mall in Marysville. That's where I bought my medium size Le Creuset pot and a cast iron skillet for hardly anything (I want to say around $180 total). You can't beat the deals!