Monday, September 24, 2012

To Brighten Your Day (Lemon Yogurt Cake)

I live in a land kissed by the sun.  I wake up before the she rises and see her break the horizon almost every morning.  So soft and beautiful, a delicate ball rising only to sear my shoulders in a few short hours.  Living under a cloudless sky seems like happiness, maybe romantic, but I grow tired of the bright, hot days.  It is as if I live in my own Groundhogs Day.  A repeat of sunny days, bright weeks and scorching months.

Last week we were granted a break.  A glorious gloomy day.  The sun never broke through the clouds and it was a perfect gray.  The drizzle and light rain danced around one another and never grew tired.  The performance was lovely.  For a moment I was transported to the overcast skies of the northwest, though the heft and warmth of the air quickly brought me back home.

I found myself making a bright, bold lemon cake that day.  Ironic to find me, the one who loathes the bright sunny days, making up for her absence.  As fall begins and will turn into winter, the grayer days are upon us.  If you find yourself missing the sun, make this cake.  She will brighten your day.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home, Ina Garten
yield:  1 loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.  In a bowl of an electric mixer, mix together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  With a large rubber spatula, fold vegetable oil into the batter, making sure its all incorporated.  Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, cake tester will come out clean.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Set aside.
  4. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from pan and place on a rack that has been set inside a rimmed cookie sheet or pan.  While the cake is still warm, poke holes on the top using a skewer.  Using a brush, soak the cake with the lemon syrup.  Allow it to soak in.  Cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, combine the confectioners sugar and lemon juice and pour evenly over the cake.

1 comment:

Mama Pea said...

Glad you got a break from the heat. I'll trade you now and then! I love the looks of this cake. It looks fantastic!