Hi folks, I got into baking mode again a few evenings ago and made two loaf-pan cakes.
1) Banana Loaf made using “Hana Banana-Nut Loaf” recipe from Bernard Clayton’s “The New Complete Book of Breads.” If you are looking for a “banana bread” recipe, I recommend this one highly. It’s very banana-y and easy to make. For this version, I made 1 1/3 times the recipe and baked in a larger loaf pan, because I ended up with 2 cups of mashed bananas rather than the 1 1/2 cups the recipe calls for. I also substituted whole wheat flour for one-third of the total flour (all-purpose) called for in the recipe. I used pecans rather than macadamia nuts (too expensive!) and left out the optional coconut. Yum! My neighbors asked me for the recipe.
2) Bill Yosses’ Meyer Lemon Pound Cake from marthastewart.com:
I was interested in this recipe because it calls for putting “chunks” of the lemon segments into the batter itself, as well as grated zest. Then you soak the cake in lemon syrup and then put on a confectioner’s sugar icing (which I omitted). Also, the mixing method for the cake was very strange, and I was curious to see how it turned out. I made half the recipe as given, and baked it in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
One thing I learned, it is easier to segment lemons if they are cold and firm—don’t roll them on the counter as you would if you were going to juice them!
The picture shows that there were some “holes” in the cake, but overall it was rather dense and spongy in texture. It was a bit more dense than I would like, and I didn’t feel there was quite enough of the lemon segments. I would try using 3 Meyer lemons per small loaf instead of 2.
I didn’t have enough lemons left to make the full amount of syrup. I ended up with 1/4 c. lemon juice and 1/4 c. sugar for the syrup. I should have had 3/4 c. of each. I added a bit of my home-made Meyer lemon extract to the syrup and that was great. But next time I will make more syrup. It was the best part of the cake!
I’m not sure I used the right amount of flour. As is usual (sigh), the recipe doesn’t say whether you should use bleached or unbleached flour, or give a weight for the flour. I used bleached all-purpose flour and spooned it into the cup. I must “spoon” differently than Rose because I ended up with about 135 grams of flour to a cup. That gave about 185 grams of flour total. That’s more than the traditional “pound cake ratio”—since this cake has 150 grams of sugar and 150 grams of egg you would expect it to have about 150 grams of flour as well. Next time I might try using Rose’s measurement of 121 grams per cup of spooned bleached flour, which would give a total of 166 grams.
This recipe also has less butterfat than a traditional pound cake, even when you take into account the butterfat in the creme fraiche. A traditional pound cake would have 150 grams of butter (about 120 grams of fat and 30 of liquid). This one has 81 gm of butter and 90 gm of creme fraiche, a total of only 90-95 grams of fat depending on the richness of the creme fraiche.
I like the idea of making a “spongy” pound cake (rather than a buttery, tender one) and then soaking it with LOTS of syrup. I also like the idea of putting the lemon “pieces” right into the cake. But I didn’t think my first try at this recipe quite lived up to my dreams for it. Maybe next time…