Thursday, January 31, 2013

Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

I still had some Meyer Lemons leftover from my big score at Sam’s Club. Can you believe they were selling 2lb containers of Meyer Lemons for 0.98 cents!!! I’ve made lemon bars, lemon pudding, lemon cookies, lemon pound cake, and still have a few lemons left over.

What to make, what to bake? A final search of the internet turned up one more treat that would use up my last few Meyer Lemons...

Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Cupcakes, which I found on the blog Way More Than 52 CupCakes which in turn came from the recipe book: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat 175 Cupcakes .

The cupcake is in essence white cake with a little lemon curd on top. The pictures on 52 CupCake’s looked delicious and intriguing, but mine looked odd and a little unappetizing. Even my Mom who loves lemon curd gave the cupcakes a funny look. She said it looked like old egg yolk sitting on top of a muffin!

They look a little better once they were sliced open, but I had to do some serious arm twisting to get my family to even taste them.

And sadly even after the taste test, the cupcakes didn’t get rave reviews. Most people said the lemon curd was nice, but the cake was way too dense.

Oh well I guess this proves that sometimes things look better than they taste, or in my case they taste as bad as they look.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Easy (Meyer) Lemon Pound Cake

I was grazing in Sam’s Club one day (they give out the BEST food samples) when I stumbled across a 2 pound container of Meyer Lemons for 0.98 cent. Yes 0.98 cents. I think someone made a BIG mistake there.

I meekly mentioned my pricing concern to the cashier, but like any 20-year-old he didn’t seem to care. Feeling slightly guilty I handed over my $1.08 and dashed quickly out of the door. I zigzagged a path to my car, slithered into the driver’s seat, and tossed the container onto the floor. Heart pounding, palms sweating, I felt like a sticky-fingered shoplifter.

Returning home I pulled out my Kindle and searched the internet for something to bake with my ill-gotten gains. I found a recipe for Easy Lemon Pound Cake on Perfect. I also had a new silicon loaf pan that I wanted to try out so this was like a twofer.

This was the first time using the silicon pan so I followed the instructions and greased it up well.

The Easy Lemon Pound Cake as indeed EASY. 

The batter came together in a matter of minutes. No creaming of butter and sugar. Just stir melted butter and sugar together, throw in all the other ingredients and voila… pound cake. I did make some adjustments to the recipe based on comments associated with the original recipe on I used 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice instead of 1, and I added a teaspoon of Meyer Lemon zest.

Yum-meee. Just look at that beautiful lemon batter. Thick and rich with tiny flecks of zest.

And it looked beautiful coming out of the oven too. Golden brown with no burnt and crispy edges. Usually my loaf and Bundt cakes look like someone has taken a blow torch to them, but this one came out just right. The silicon pan is also a little longer and narrower than my metal loaf pan, so that may have promoted more even baking and less burnt edges.

And the cake just popped right out of the pan too. I had never used a silicon pan before, but this single baking experience has made a believer out of me. No more trimming burnt bottoms for me.

So how did it taste? 
Well... it was very lemony.

I’m not a big fan of lemon desserts so for me the extra tablespoon of lemon juice plus the lemon glaze made it a little to lemony for me. But if you like lemons the concentration would be just about perfect.

I also didn’t think the cake was rich and dense enough to be called "pound cake". It was just too light and fluffy, more like lemon cake.

So because the cake was soooo easy I whipped up another batch. This time I used 1 Tablespoon of Meyer Lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. I also substituted 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream for the milk. Heavy whipping cream, like butter, makes everything better!

Perfection. On this version I also eliminated the lemon from the glaze and added pecans. Now that is my kind of Easy Lemon Pound Cake.

Easy (less) Lemon Pound Cake - The Bake More

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1-2 tablespoon lemon juice (depending on intensity of lemon flavor desired)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional depending on preference)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup water or lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Cake Directions:
• Grease a loaf pan, and preheat the oven to 325°F
• In a small bowl combine flour, salt and baking power.
• In another bowl stir together 1 cup of sugar and melted butter.
• Add beaten eggs to butter/sugar mixture and stir till combined.
• Add lemon juice and extracts.
• Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
• Finally stir in the cream.
• Bake at 325°F in a well-greased loaf pan for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

 Glaze Directions:
• Stir 1/3 cup lemon juice (or water) and ¼ cup powdered sugar
• Use a toothpick to make holes in the top of the warm cake and drizzle the glaze on top of the cake.