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Thursday, January 31, 2013

lemon-walnut bread.

This post marks the last post of January 2013, bringing the total for this month to 12. That seems to be pretty much the average number of times I update this blog per month, regardless of how busy or free I am. Maybe I have a sweets quota programmed internally in me that I must fulfill or not exceed every month? 12 times I bake a month. That translates to 3 times a week and slightly more than once every two days. Yet, I hardly feel that it's enough. This... is mildly disturbing. But then again, perhaps not so. If anything, it tells me that I can probably go on a non-stop baking spree- a stamina I will need if I ever decide to join the bakery biz. Oh ho!

Anyway, this cake, or bread or whatever you would like to call it, is what I should divert my attention to right now. The cake itself is not very lemony (maybe because I didn't use lemon sugar), but the glaze you would apply after baking more than makes up for it. Personally, I think the glaze was a bit of an overkill as it was extremely tart and there was too much of it, but if you like lemon, rejoice. Needless to say, I'm not that big a citrus fan so I like the cake sans glaze or maybe with just a touch. Not just because of the flavour, but also because the glaze softens the crust that was so crunchy and heavenly.

Did I mention that this cake smells so ridiculously-amazing-that-it's-criminal when in the oven?

Lemon-Walnut Bread
makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf
adapted from Baking by Flavour

For the cake:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 cup lemon sugar (lacking this, I upped the quantity of lemon zest instead)
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 tbsp ground walnuts
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled

For the glaze:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar in 3 additions, beating well after each addition. Beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first well before adding the next. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon extract and ground walnuts.

Stir in half of the flour mixture, all of the heavy cream then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing to just incorporate each addition before adding the next. Stir in the toasted walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before unmolding onto a rack.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Combine the lemon juice and sugar in small saucepan and place on low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. After the sugar has dissolved, continue heating for another minute. Pour the glaze into a bowl and stir in the lemon extract. Set aside to cool slightly.

When the cake has been unmolded, immediately brush the cake with the cooled glaze. Cool the cake completely before slicing.

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