Friday, January 21, 2011

There was silence

You know that you have made something good when there is silence when it is being eaten, sometimes punctuated by a few small groans or grunts during consumption. Gotta love that. This cake was one of those things.  I made it for dessert to feed to the hubster and his friend when they were watching a football game (I don't like football.  Any reason not to be in the living room while the game is on is A-OK with me). 

You're supposed to let the cake cool completely before glazing it, and certainly before cutting it.  That didn't happen when I made it.  I had two men in my living room that had been smelling cake for half an hour, and it was all I could do to make them wait the 10 minutes you are supposed to wait to take it out of the pan.  However, this cake AH-MAZING warm, with yummy melty glaze on it.  I can't officially condone cutting into the cake before it's cool, because I respect the recipe, but man was it good. 

The recipe calls for nonstick baking spray with flour for the pan.  I forgot to get this when I went to the store, so I just used regular nonstick spray.  My cake came out of the pan just fine, but my bundt pan is also nonstick, so I'm guessing that helps.  You decide which you want to use. 

When you make the glaze, you probably won't think it's enough.  It is, especially if you put it on the cake when the cake is still warm, so it melts and thins out a little.  I also ended up using more lemon juice than called for, because I thought the glaze was just too thick. 

Oh, and one more thing:  this cake is light (meaning less fat and calories than regular cake)!  That means you can eat twice as much, right?

Light Lemon Bundt Cake
Source:  America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
Serves 16

Note:  You'll need 1 to 2 lemons to make 1/4 cup zest.  This cake tastes best when made with whole milk.  When separating the eggs for this cake, be sure not to get any yolk into the whites or the whites will not whip properly.

(flourpile note: i didn't have whole milk, so i used 2%.  still fantastic)

Nonstick baking spray with flour
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup grated fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tarter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Light Lemon Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a 12-cup bundt pan with the nonstick baking spray. 
  2. Whisk the flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, zest, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, egg yolks, oil, butter and vanilla together. 
  3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tarter together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute.  Gradually whip in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, about 1 minute.  Continue to whip the whites until the are shiny and form stiff peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. 
  4. Whisk the milk mixture and lemon juice into the flour mixture until smooth.  Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula until combined, smearing any stubborn pockets of egg whites against the side of the bowl. 
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.  Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. 
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rack.  Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours.  When cool, drizzle with the glaze, if using, and let the glaze set before serving, about 15 minutes. 
Light Lemon Glaze
(or orange)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
5 teaspoons lemon (or orange) juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon (or orange) zest
Pinch salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth.  Slather about as you please.

Nutrition info (yeah, yeah, whatever)
Per serving, with glaze:
Calories: 280
Fat: 8g
Sat. Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Carbs: 52g
Protein: 3g
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 210 mg

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