Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lemon Vanilla Bundt Cake

Isn't it funny how our tastes change as we get older?  Certain things we loathed as kids are things we cannot imagine our life without now.  I used to balk a bit at the strongly scented wishes for a good day as my mom made her way out the door to go to work on school days.  (I love you, coffee.)

I remember wondering what my dad saw in that lumpy, bumpy, greenish-purplish skinned, creamy-green fleshed thing he loved so much.  And why every single pit made its way onto our window sill, balanced on a juice glass by two toothpicks.  (I came around, avocado.)

And what the heck was up with those tall green bottles of sparkling mineral water that never ceased to take up space on the top shelf of our fridge?  They fooled me with a single drawing of an orange, or a lemon, or maybe a lime on their gold or silver pin-striped labels.  I eagerly tried big gulps.  They did NOT taste like oranges.  Or lemons.  Or limes.  They were horrible.  (So sorry I doubted you, Perrier.)
Yes, looking back, always makes me ponder the benefits of all those taste buds wasted on the youth.  Okay, I don't even have to look back.  I need only glance at my three children, cluck my tongue, and tell them that "one day, you'll change your mind".  Trust me, I've been there.

Not only do I love each and every one of those things in their glory now, they also make great components to other things I love.  Take for instance, Perrier.  While cracking that lid and swigging without cringing makes me feel cool and grown-up (never mind that fact that I actually am cool and grown-up, certain acts bring it to the surface), did you know that those bubbles also lend great texture to baked goods?

Plus, that little lemon that I glared at when I was little, now it makes me smile...because I know it will add to the essence of my lemon cake.  Aren't life's little twists and turns magnificent?

Lemon Vanilla Bundt Cake

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: ~60 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert lemons vanilla cake

Ingredients (1 cake)
    for the cake
    • 12 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 c. sugar
    • 1½ Tbs. vanilla bean paste
    • finely grated zest of 3 fat lemons (~2 Tbs.)
    • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
    • ¾ c. Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water, Lemon variety
    for the icing
    • 2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
    • juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon (approximately)
    • ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
    optional
    • Swedish pearl sugar, for sprinkling
    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a bundt pan (tap out the excess flour, so that you just have a light dusting).

    Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and lemon zest in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy, ~3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each. Add flour in three additions, alternating with the Perrier in two additions, beating well after adding each. Add salt with final addition of flour.

    Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and slide into preheated oven. Bake for ~60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (this could take up to 10 minutes or so longer, depending on your oven). Cake should be golden and slightly "cracked" and pulling away from the edges.
    Allow cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Once the cake has cooled, whisk together the icing ingredients, adding the lemon juice a bit at a time until you have the consistency you want. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with some pearl sugar, if you like.

    Enjoy!

    inspired by the complete Magnolia Bakery cookbook
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    I received a few bottles of Perrier for the purpose of tasting.  All opinions stated in this post are 100% my own.