Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

Hi All! Apologies for missing the last TWD post. I had just catered my first wedding (three-tiered cake, 5 types of petit fours, and take home boxes) and was feeling pretty baked out. Between my normal job, my part time job at the restaurant, and baking all of the stuff for the wedding, I really just needed to take a breather!

That said, I WILL be making up the post for Pizza Rustica (dough is already chilling in the fridge), but in he meantime, what could be easier and more fit for spring then a lemon loaf?

I don't really bake quick breads at home much. While I really like the idea of them, or muffins, for breakfast, I always feel like they do more harm then good. I think, "Great! I'm saving myself money because I'm not buying breakfast!" but then I'm hungry again after an hour, so I go have a bag of pretzels, and then realize that I have eaten way more carbs/sugar/calories than if I had just bought a Starbucks greek yogurt parfait on the way into work.

But I do really like lemon loaves, the good ones have that nice sweet/tart taste where the sugar plays off of the nice lemony flavor. This loaf was not one of those. It had a very nice crumb, very moist and tender, but the lemon flavor was a little lacking. I had suspected this, thanks to all the other TWDers that had tried the recipe ahead of time, so I decided to augment the cake a bit. I made a simple syrup flavored with hibiscus flowers and doused the cake in it as soon as it came out of the oven. Doesn't the pink look pretty?

The hibiscus simple syrup served a dual purpose, as it also allowed me to use up something in my kitchen. Using up things is going to become a pretty serious goal for reasons I can't really say just yet, but trust me, there is going to be a lot more "cleaning out my cupboards" baking going on soon.

So, hibiscus simply syrup really added a nice color and boost of flavor to the cake, amplifying the lemon while adding its own fruitiness. I think it would probably be even better with a cake that, at its base, was much more lemony. But I enjoyed it for breakfast (and managed to fend off the pretzel snacking) and everyone at work was very happy to have an unexpected treat - at least, I think they did based on the "yums" I could hear from the other side of the office.

Please head over to the blogs of Truc (Treats) and Michelle (The Beauty of Life) for the recipe and to check out their lemon loaf posts.

I will leave you with a picture of my first wedding cake - I made everything on the cake but the ribbons!