Two Loaf Cakes - Banana & Lemon
Posted: 29 May 2008 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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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:
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/bill-yosses-lemon-pound-cake
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…

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Posted: 29 May 2008 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mmmm yummy. Makes me want to bake a lemon cake now. Interesting technique of adding lemon segments into the batter. Did the segments stay whole after the cake was baked? By the way, Bill Yosses used to be a student of Rose’s. He is now the pastry chef at the White House. I was watching a program on the Queen’s visit to the US and he was interviewed. Rose must be so proud.  smile

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Posted: 29 May 2008 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No, the recipe calls for beating the batter for 30 seconds or so after you put in the lemon segments so as to break them up a bit. Some of mine were broken up before they got into the batter wink

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Posted: 29 May 2008 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yumm…. thanks for sharing Barbara smile.

I have to say the banana loaf sounds absolutely wonderful.  I might have to give it a try with the coconut and macadamia nuts (love them both!!!).

Have you tried Ina Garten’s Lemon loaf cake/bread (also with a glaze)?  It’s pretty darn good, but no lemon segments.  One of her books has an orange version of the same loaf.

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Posted: 29 May 2008 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I LOVE lemon so I will be trying more recipes—I’ll put Ina’s on the list! Maybe I should save and freeze a slice from each lemon loaf, then have a grand thawing-and-comparison-tasting after a while.

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Posted: 29 May 2008 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Now you’re talking!

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Posted: 30 May 2008 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, a side-by-side comparison would be better than relying on memory. If we were all in the same area we could each bake on and have a tasting party!

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Posted: 30 May 2008 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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We could have a bake-along, I suppose. I feel really inspired. Last night I started making up a list for the Lemon Loaf Cake project. Today I thought, why restrict it just to loaf cakes? Perhaps it will expand to the Citrus Cake project (have to have SOME sort of theme here).

My idea is to find a bunch of different, tasty-sounding and interesting cake recipes to bake up, all with lemon or other citrus flavors. Say, Rose’s Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake—and her Orange Chiffon Cake—and the Lemon Layer Cake that was in Cooks Illustrated recently—and—- and—help! Too many ideas, too little time!

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Posted: 31 May 2008 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I can’t rely on my memory… that’s why my cookbooks are all marked up with hand written notes smile.

Barbara - I look forward to your findings!

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Posted: 31 May 2008 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Maybe you should add Maida Heatter’s lemon cake recipe too. Wish I can taste all these…..........

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Posted: 31 May 2008 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks!

Patrincia, Rozanne—can you help me track down the recipes you mentioned? Any idea which cookbook they are in? (I have many of Maida Heatter’s but none of Ina Garten’s—yet. The public library has ‘em though, so if we can narrow it down a bit I can find it…)

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Posted: 31 May 2008 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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OK, I officially declare this the Lemon (or Citrus) Cake Project and Bake-Along!

My next project will be Rose’s Lemon-Poppyseed Pound Cake, recipe in the Cake Bible (under Perfect Pound Cake), variation in Rose’s Melting Pot, and a posting on the Web at http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/02/the_missing_pbs_recipes.html

My goal for myself is to make it by the end of June. I’d like to make it earlier but I have about 100 tomato and pepper plants that need to go into the ground. They’re my first priority for the coming week(s).

Anyone who wants to join in this project is welcome! My goal is to have fun exploring a lot of different cake recipes.

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Posted: 31 May 2008 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Barbara, it’s in this book…....

http://cgi.ebay.com/Cakes-Maida-Heatters-Classic-Library_W0QQitemZ300228880876QQihZ020QQcategoryZ378QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1638Q2em118Q2el1247

I think it’s called The Best Damn Lemon Cake. There is another lemon cake recipe in the same book which was created by her daughter.

I made Rose’s Lemon Pound Cake last week without the poppyseeds (didn’t have any at home). My husband and daughters didn’t / couldn’t wait till the next day to eat it as Rose suggests, so it was eaten the same day. I don’t blame them, the cake was awesome! It’s the first time I had made it.

Let me know if you plan to make Maida Heatter’s cake, I’ll join in (from across the border of course!).

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Posted: 31 May 2008 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Here you go Barbara:

Orange Pound Cake - Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Lemon Pound Cake - Barefoot Contessa Parties
Lemon Yogurt Cake - Barefoot Contessa at Home (this is a variation of the lemon pound cake above)

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Posted: 31 May 2008 09:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks so much to both of you!

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Posted: 04 June 2008 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Hi guys,

Just a thought on lemon segments-  I made a lemon cake recently and used half-circle segments to trim the top outer edge of the cake.  I soaked them in simple syrup and Limoncello for several hours until they were sweet enough to eat by themselves.  After a quick draining on paper towels they were perfect to put on the cake.  Very tart, but more complex and edible than just pure slices of lemon.  And with using them for a topping or decoration, you can control perfectly how sweet or tart you like them, without worrying about weighing down the cake or having the cake become too sweet because you soaked it it syrup for the sake of the wedges!

Originally, I had planned to cover the whole top of the cake with layered segments, so that it looks like a flower, but I ran out of time!  I got the idea from the Love of Three Oranges pie in the P&PB;.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on lemon cakes, I love them all!

Julie

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