Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lemon cakes...they make life magical!

I am re-reading George RR Martin's A Game of Thrones (for the 7th? time...something like that).  I started 60 days prior to the premier of the HBO series, which I am very excited about.  I haven't been this excited for a TV show in a long time.  If you've never read the series, I urge you to give it a try, even if you don't care for the Fantasy genre.  It's good.  Really good.  It's a character rich, character driven store, with only hints of the fantasy flavor.  I'd describe it more a book of political intrigue and power struggle, set in a world with a little magic and mythical yore. I almost want to describe it as the most "human" fiction book I know of- no character is safe, and just because you are the "good guy", you aren't invincible.  (On the same note, I would say almost none of the "bad guys" are bad without cause, or truly evil.)

As part of my celebration and excitement, I made Lemon Cakes yesterday.  Lemon cakes being one of the favorite foods of one of my favorite characters, Sansa Stark.  Lemon cake seems to be the dessert choice of highborn Ladies, served with tea and at tourney feast alike, and I just had an immense need to make and consume one.

The recipe was easy:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar  (I actually used 1/2 cup of Splenda baking)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

The recipe was originally intended for muffins, but I broke out the bundt cake pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture.

Pour into pan, spreading evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.

Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth. Pour over cake, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set 30 minutes.

The Septa just shook her head in disapproval.
I cooked mine for 20, and it was done.  I let it cool a few minutes, and then flipped it on a piece of parchment paper.  This was actually a disaster.  Most times, my cakes always stick to the pan.  Instead of sticking, however, it literally flew out of the pan, the parchment sliding, and some of my poor lemon cake ended up on the floor.  It was so tragic.  Lemon cake should be pretty, just as life should be magical and filled with songs.

I brushed myself off, literally as I was hit with some of the cake.  And then salvaged what didn't hit the ground.  After a bit, I poured on the lemon glaze, and voila...ugly Lemon cake.  Not something to win a handsome knight with, but delicious nonetheless.  The cake was just hinted with just enough lemon.  The glaze was very lemon-y, and despite it's disfigurement, the cake was consumed in one day.


  1. Oh the humanity!

    But as long as it was tasty, that's all that really matters. I will have to try that recipe next time Julia asks for cake...

  2. I actually had a craving for more tonight. Too bad we ate the whole thing, so instead I made some apple crisp. <3

  3. You need to try the "official" lemon cake recipe that HBO put out and post a review!

  4. I actually did make them last week, Lauren! I just haven't had a chance to post, but it will get up there!

  5. Nice! What did you think of them? I made my own batch (see here) and I thought they were so yummy!

  6. I thought they were really delicious! Definitely more of what I pictured in a Lemon cake, and pretty easy to make too. Though zesting is a pain ;)

  7. Yeah, zesting isn't my favorite pasttime. lol I think when I make the cakes on Sunday, I'll probably leave the zest out or just do less of it. I don't know if it was my zester or what, but I would get a bite every now and then of the zest when I ate my cakes, and I wasn't a fan of that. Mine turned out very lemony, so I think they'll be ok without the zest.