Monday, April 1, 2013

Lemon Pound Cake

Guess what? It`s Hearts In My Oven`s FIRST YEAR! Actually, the anniversary of my first post was on Friday, March 29th. However, I was on spring break at home and left the recipe at my college apartment, so I couldn`t share this post until today! :)

I cannot believe it`s already been a year! Is it just me, or do you feel the years go by faster as you grow older? I usually don`t stick with many things for this long, so I`m really happy I continued blogging. I`ve blogged before here and there (not about food, though) and it never lasted this long. I`m incredibly thankful to this food blogging community for introducing me to my favorite hobby: baking. I`m also extremely thankful for you: my readers. Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I`ve made. I know there are better things you could be doing! Haha~ Thank you, thank you, and thank YOU!

To celebrate, I baked a cake! This may not be a big deal since I see cakes all over food blogs. But, it`s a big deal for me, because I hardly bake cakes. The task requires a lot of time and patience! For someone who`s eyes sparkle when they see the words "quick and easy"...I tend to stray away from cakes. Especially layered cakes.

I LOVE looking at all the pretty cakes on blogs and Pinterest, but I don`t have 20 people to feed the cake to. However, HIMO is turning 1!! What better way to celebrate it, than baking something I never do, to challenge myself?

I`m a huge lemon fan. Naturally, this recipe appealed to me. Before baking this cake, I watched hundreds of videos about baking and decorating cakes. Even though, I never attempted a layer cake before, I felt the videos definitely helped.

Originally, I had planned to pair the lemon pound cake with strawberry buttercream, but my buttercream was not turning out right. I tried the recipe twice, but it didn`t work out. It tasted divine, but it looked grainy? I`m not sure how to explain it. It didn`t hold up as normal buttercream would. In the end, I made lemon buttercream.

Since the strawberry buttercream tasted fine, I frosted the cake with both. As you can see from the pictures, I used the strawberry buttercream in the middle and outside. Then, I coated it with another thin layer of lemon buttercream. It was a wonderful cake, indeed.

I used to think I wasn`t a cake person, but I guess I wasn`t eating the right kind of cakes! My roommate and family loved this cake as much as I did! I`m definitely saving this lemon pound cake recipe. You don`t understand...every time I took a bite of this cake, I marveled at how delicious it was!

The recipes come from the famous Brown Betty cookbook. I was so excited to try out this cookbook, finally!

Lemon Pound Cake
Adapted slightly: The Brown Betty Cookbook | Yields:(One 2-layer) 9inch Cake | Level: Medium | Total Time: ~2-3 hours | Print

Lemon Pound Cake:
§  4 ½ cups all purpose flour
§  1 teaspoon salt
§  ¾ teaspoon baking powder
§  ¾ teaspoon baking soda
§  1 ½ cups (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
§  2 cups superfine sugar (can substitute for granulated)
§  1 cup granulated sugar (can substitute for superfine)
§  8 large eggs, room temperature
§  1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
§  1 tablespoon lemon juice
§  ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
§  1 ¼ cups buttermilk
Lemon Buttercream:
§  2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
§  ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
§  ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
§  1/8 teaspoon salt
§  2 ½ cups powdered sugar
§  2 tablespoons lemon juice
Materials Needed:
-          2 - 9inch cake pans
-          1 large bowl
-          2 large bowls w/ electric mixer (or wash)
-          2 rubber spatula
-          cake leveler
-          offset spatula
-          fridge

Lemon Pound Cake:
1.      Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of your cake pans with parchment paper and grease sides.
2.      In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3.      In the large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
4.      Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).
5.      Add eggs, one at a time, while beating in between each addition.
6.      Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon extract and mix.
7.      With your mixer at a low speed, add ¼ of the flour mixture (this is about 1 cup) and ¼ of the buttermilk (about ¼ cup) and mix well. Continue alternating between the flour and buttermilk, while mixing well in between.
8.      Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
9.      Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300°F and bake for another 30 -40minutes, or until tops are golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
10.  Run a knife around edges of cake. Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes.
11.  Remove cakes from pan and allow to cool completely.
12.  Once cooled completely, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lemon Buttercream:
13.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 3 minutes).
14.  Add butter, lemon extract, and salt and continue to beat until combined and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
15.  Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing until everything is combined.
16.  Add the lemon juice, little at a time, until it reaches a spreadable consistency (I used 2 tablespoons).
17.  Then, beat on high until fluffy (1 minute).
18.  Level your chilled cake layers, if your cake baked with a dome. Place cake on a cake board (or make your own with cardboard and aluminum foil).
19.  Put a little frosting on the cake board and place your first cake layer on top (bottoms of the cake faced up).
20.  Spread some frosting on the first layer and top it with second layer.
21.  Do a crumb coat, starting from the top. Place some frosting on the top and work your way to the sides. (This should be a thin layer of frosting to capture all the loose cake crumbs.)
22.  Chill in fridge or freezer until frosting hardens slightly (about 15 minutes in freezer).
Continue frosting cake and decorate as desired.