Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Two new favorites to add to our list...

Treat day is back again for this week! Tuesday is the day I do baking for Wednesday Treat Day so Jeff can bring in treats for his coworkers. We have not done a cake type item for awhile so I wanted to do something with that. I mentioned that the star ingredient would be lemons and do they ever demand your attention in this cake!

East 62nd Street Lemon Cake is a dense and bright yellow buttery cake filled with bits of lemon zest. The glaze for this cake is a bit different - instead of a thicker glaze, usually made with confectioners' sugar, this cake uses a syrup mixture of lemon juice and granulated sugar. Do not make this syrup ahead of time, wait until you are ready to coat the cake - otherwise it will begin to crystallize. While the cake is still quite warm, this is brushed all over the cake which quickly absorbs it. It seems like a lot of syrup, but the cake will eagerly drink it up. This creates a sweet lemony crust on the outside as it cools. It also helps keep the inside very moist.

When we cut into the cake, we were surprised how much you could see the bits of lemon zest swimming throughout. I like how the top (well it was the bottom while it baked) of the cake came out very smooth - I used Pam with Flour and nothing stuck at all to the pan. This is one cake where we were wowed by the intense lemon flavor.

Linguine with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Bacon was the dish for dinner. I think we were both surprised with how much we liked tonight's meal. I do have to say, I think there was a bit too much asparagus for us and it kind of overwhelmed some of the other flavors if you got too much in one bite. If you decide to use dry pasta instead of the fresh, make sure you only cook the asparagus for just a couple minutes. Fresh pasta cooks in a short amount of time, so if you use dry and follow the directions, the asparagus will be way overcooked. To start off the sauce, bacon is cooked until crisp - you then saute onion, garlic and oregano in some of the flavorful drippings left behind. Halved cherry tomatoes are added in and then some chicken broth. To bring some richness to the sauce, just a tablespoon of butter is added along with some salt and pepper to season. Once everything is mixed together and plated, a good amount of nutty paremsan cheese and salty crumbled bacon is added on each serving.


  1. Ohh.. that cake looks lovely! You are really cooking!!!!!

  2. Looks great, Joe. I may have to put this one on my list for end-of-the-season lemons from our tree.

  3. "Intense lemon flavor" -- SOLD!

  4. I absolutely adore lemon cake, and that slice seems to promise a wealth of bright, fresh flavours. Man, are Jeff's co-worker's really going to miss you two!

    Supper looks pretty delish, as well. It looks suspiciously like a strong contender for AARF.

  5. Joe, your cake looks awesome!!
    That is exactly the type of cake I like, no frosting, no fillings, just a simple and tasty cake. The picture won me over, and then reading your description as it being dense and buttery... yum, seems like a perfect cake! (although I am not a big fan of lemon cake... but I would imediately eat, just because of your nice picture!! hehe!!)

  6. Catherine - Thanks! Trying to get back to normal!

    Harry - I'm going to miss our lemon tree!

    AK - it intensified overnight too!

    s'kat - Thanks - I think it went over quite well too!

    Ana - Thanks! Sometimes what seems simple and plain can be very tasty!

  7. Joe, I've made this cake before! I brought it to a bake sale last fall, and despite it's homey appearance (compared to all the frosted and chocolatey things also for sale), it sold out very quickly. I agree with you on the intense lemon flavour. It's just excellent!

  8. now those are two recipes i must try!! and with mothers day coming up i can pawn off the leftover cake on the inlaws ;)

  9. Your cake is beautiful! I'm wondering what type of pan you used. From the picture it looks like it was a tube pan because of the straight smooth sides, but in the description you note "I like how the top (well it was the bottom while it baked) of the cake came out very smooth", which suggests you used a bundt pan, and yet you usually don't see a bundt cake with a smooth flat top. On the other hand, the bottom of a cake baked in a tube pan is still the bottom of the cake after it's cooled, isn't it, or aren't you supposed to turn a tube cake right side up after removing it from the pan?

  10. Tania and Cat - Definitely one for lemon lovers!

    Anon - I used a regular tube pan (think angel food cake pan). For me, the bottom of a tube pan cake will often be the top.