Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lemon Pound Cake and The Little Chef

I may be a "just-getting-by" cook, but I love to bake, and let's just say, no one who's been a recipient of my baking, has gotten food poisoning yet. I guess it's wanting and thoroughly enjoying the baking process, that produces pretty tasty treats. I'm not tooting my own horn, by any means, but I'm not half bad as a baker.

Over the holidays I bought the Handmade Holiday Christmas magazine that Martha Stewart puts out, and had high hopes of making several of the mouth watering items, shown in Martha's cool mag. Of course, I didn't get around to it, until today.

One recipe in particular, made me start salivating almost immediately, as I love lemon and lemony recipes. This one is called Glazed Mini Lemon Pound Cakes, but since I didn't have any heavy cream in the house (fresh out...hahaha), I opted not to make the glaze. They are really quite good without the glaze, and you'll save yourself a few hundred calories....not that I'm counting.

A food photographer, I'm not. Actually I'm not good at photography in general, and don't have a burning desire to learn, so these pics will just have to suffice.

As a side note, how much do you love that birdie dish towel? My wonderfully sweet Tia Sylvia made it, and gave it to me for Christmas, along with two other equally fabulous towels. I almost can't bring myself to use them for something so mundane as drying the dishes....but I'll manage. I love the dish towels that Anthropologie sells too, and these remind me of those, only better, since they were hand made by my favorite aunt.

As I was photographing the pound cakes, I had to stop, and admire my Little Chef, also a gift...from my lovely Grandma Clemen. He is actually part of a set of several little chefs, and my Abuelita has had them displayed in her kitchen since I was a little girl . The chefs and I have had a mutually exclusive love affair since then, and a few years ago, she gave them to me. They are "well-loved" and I count them among my most prized possessions.

Talk about going off on a tangent... If you are still reading, and want to try making the glazed (or not) mini pound cakes, which I highly recommend, the recipe (taken from Martha Stewart's 2008 Holiday magazine) follows below:

Glazed Mini Lemon Pound Cakes
Makes 9

For The Cakes:
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus three more for brushing
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tables spoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish

For The Glaze:
1 cup plus three tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 table spoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat over to 325 degrees. Coat nine 2 1/4 by 4 inch mini loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice; beat until combined.
Add eggs one a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour and poppy seeds, and beat on low speed just until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans, dividing evenly, and filling almost to the top. Transfer pans to a large baking sheet.

3. Bake until a cake tester (aka toothpick) inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.. Immediately brush tops of cakes with lemon juice. Let cool thirty minutes in pans, then unmold and remove to a wire rack. Cool completely, top sides up.

4. Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar, cream and lemon juice until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into another bowl. Drizzle cakes with icing (about two tablespoons per cake) and garnish with poppy seeds. Cakes can be stored in airtight container, at room temperature for up to three days.

Another side note: I did not have the small mini loaf pans that the recipe called for. Mine were a little bigger, still mini though. It took another thirty minutes or so, for the cakes to be done. You can probably even use the standard size loaf pans (not sure of the dimensions, off hand), just keep your eye on the oven, so they don't burn.

Happy Thursday and Happy Baking!


PamperingBeki said...

YUM!!! Please ship some to Kansas!

Vanessa Sanchez said...

It's gone! Can you believe it? My mom and dad babysat for us last night, and cleaned me out, LOL!!