Saturday, May 9, 2015

Recipe #74: Lemon Cream Cheese Poundcake Infused with Lemon Slicks

Back in 1994 at my previous job at United Airlines, I was working baggage service one day and happened to take a lost luggage report for cookbook author, Judith Olney.  In 1982, she had written the book "The Joy of Chocolate", which I owned, and had just come out with her new book "The Farm Market Cookbook".  She was a pleasure to take care of, and was kind enough to give a me a "signed right then and there" copy of the book.   I have made this recipe many times over, and if you are a lover of lemon, you will LOVE this cake.  And, even though it's a pound cake, it goes down so easy.   The "slicks" are the holes you create for the luscious syrup to go into.  Also, I have bumped up the flavor even a little more by adding lemon extract...

2 1/4 cups sugar                                                            zest of 2 large lemons
4 oz cream cheese at room temp                                juice of 2 large lemons, strained
1 stick unsalted butter                                                  1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs                                                                               2 cups flour
2 tsp lemon extract                                                       sparkling white sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 325.  Generously butter a 10" tube pan.  Add a small scoop of sugar to the pan and rotate all around until a thick coat adheres to all sides, (see below).  Place the cream cheese and butter in a mixer and cream until blended and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and continue beating.  Let the sugar feed in slowly and whip it for 5 minutes to incorporate fully.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition.  Add the lemon zest, 1 tbsp of the lemon juice, the lemon extract and the salt.  At low speed, add the flour and mix just until blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, (it's great raw, by the way).   Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.  Ten minutes before the cake has finished baking, make the syrup.  Place the sugar, water, lemon extract and the remainder of the strained lemon juice in a small saucepan.   Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture is syrupy.  Take the cake from the oven and immediately poke 2 row of holes around the cake with a bamboo or shish kabob skewer.  Spoon half of the lemon syrup over these holes and let it absorb.  Cool the cake for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the mold and turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.  So now with the cake on the bottom, do the same thing with the holes and syrup.  It should soak in much more quickly on this side.  Turn cake back over and let cook on a rack.  When placing on a plate after cooled, you will need to be careful, as the cake will be sticky and somewhat soft.  I use a pancake turner or large offset spatula to bring the cake from the rack to the plate.   I then spoon about 2 tbsp sparkling sugar (see below) all around the top of the cake.  It gives it a really nice crunch and some sweetness that offsets the tart of the lemon.   Bon appetit!


2/3 cup sugar                                                               2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon extract

you can see through the sparkling sugar where I poked the holes into the cake

doesn't it look so pretty...

butter, then sugar...all the way around, even on the inside...

lemon syrup

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