This is the first recipe I have made using my Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which is kind of sad being that this blog is the show’s namesake.
This recipe, which kudos to me, turned out AMAZING, combined my two favorite foods/ingredients – lemon and yogurt. Any one who knows me, knows I love lemon – lemon bars, lemonade, lemon heads, lemon chicken- if it has lemon in it, I’m all in. My obsession with lemon started in high school when I made a lemon bar recipe. I devoured those in a matter of days. It was love at first bite.
Although this cake is made in a loaf tin, don’t mistake this for bread. This cake is incredibly moist, decadent, sweet and tart. The vanilla extract in the batter pairs perfectly with the lemon, with the yogurt providing the cake with an extra bit of tang.
But it was the lemon sugar syrup that put this cake on a whole different level. I combined equal parts of sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and heated the mixture until the sugar dissolved. Once the cake was out of the oven, I poked holes in it with a toothpick and poured the syrup over.
Excuse me while I wipe off the drool on my chin.
The baking process almost went off without a hitch, almost. C’mon, what did you expect?
My only issue came from grating the lemon. Note to self: buy a microplane (Google it), it will save you time and pain in trying to grate a tiny lemon on a huge grater. More lemon remained on the grater than in the batter. In order to make up for my lost lemon zest, I added a teaspoon of lemon juice to the batter. Crisis adverted.
I think the Barefoot Contessa would be proud.
Next mission? Master her chocolate cake recipe.
Things might just get messy.
From the book, Barefoot Contessa at Home
Makes one loaf
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used two 6oz cups of low-fat vanilla yogurt)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons) – The death of me!
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Don’t even think of using imitation)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (Used only 1/4 cup- The Barefoot Contessa will kill you.)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper (Puh-leeze, just oil the thing and dust with flour).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
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.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.