Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge - Pucker up for Lemon Pound Cake!

Iron Chef Challenge! My first….

I was an Iron-Chef-Challenge-Virgin before yesterday... ….wow that was fun! I messed up the kitchen, did things out of sequence, muttered as a madwoman (to myself …aloud) as I read my new recipe but……..I am very pleased. Both with joining in the competition and the end results!

Clabber Girl Baking Powder is the ingredient of choice………here was my experience.

Epicurious had a dynamite looking lemon loaf photo along with a recipe I thought I might manage. First, let me share the ingredients you’ll need. Then I will share my...ummmm...challenges and the solutions :-)

For the Lemon Loaf

¾ cup cake flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder (Clabber Girl)
1/8 baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
4 large eggs – sit them out so they get to room temperature
1/8 cup grated lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and then cooled
¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Lemon Syrup

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup sugar

OK, First off let me say I cut the recipe in half (the above ingredients ARE the half recipe. ) as the original recipe called for two lemon loaves. I only wanted to make the one loaf….but I have to say, after tasting it…I wish I had made two loaves.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease up a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in one bowl.

Put sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter through feed tube. Add sour cream and vanilla, pulsing until mixed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Sprinkle flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not over mix.

Place the mixture into your loaf pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F and bake for another 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the lemon syrup. In small sauce pan heat lemon juice and sugar until sugar dissolves completely. Once dissolved, cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place your lemon loaf on parchment paper (I didn’t have any) and poke the tops and sides with a toothpick. Now brush your lemon syrup over the loaf and let it soak up the lemony goodness.

Let it sit about 20 minutes before cutting.

Right. Here’s what happened to me because I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly prior to starting. It DID give me a fantastic end result and anyone who has tasted this loaf agrees it’s moist and delicious. OK……at the beginning while dragging flour out of the pantry, I realized I did not have cake flour. Simple fix – I read a substitution for 1 cup cake flour is 7/8 cup all-purpose flour (so 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons).

Great…that’s covered. I don’t have parchment paper. No problem, I greased up the sides of that loaf pan.

The eggs and sour cream were supposed to be a room temperature. So I turn off the oven and let the eggs and sour cream sit around awhile. I put the pan of hot butter next to them so maybe the warm temperature of the sauce pan would help the other two warm up while butter cooled down.

Again, back to reading the recipe thoroughly……I saw the 350 F temp but must have glazed over turning it down to 325 F for those extra 30 minutes. So it did, in fact, bake at 350 F the entire 50 minutes.

But it didn’t matter! It was good……so good……so moist….so lemony. A dab of whipped cream didn't hurt it either.

I made a few screw ups but in the end – the results were grand ….so I am proud to participate in my first ever Iron Chef Challenge.

Please sir, may I have another?

Here it is...submitted to Iron Chef Challenge



  1. I will make this today! I'll let you know how it goes! I've been invited to a friend's place for lunch tomorrow and this will be perfect. Thanks!

  2. Looks v good to me - love anything lemony here! Have some great "grand frais" photos today - Vin crreping through the mists/lettuces ... I shall post them!

  3. SO much fun! Then again, I love any excuse to make a disaster out of my kitchen. The pound cake looks absolutely delicious!

  4. I did pucker up; my mouth is watering and I know by those photos it Must be good. Would have loved to see you in action.

  5. Looks like a really scrumptious cake Tina!

  6. WC - Let me know how it turns out. My kitchen was a mess...totally worth it.

    Mrs. L - I very much lok forward to your photos! I just changed my phone to show Paris time instead of London for "your side" of my clock.

    Joanne - thanks, I recommend this one. Hell, it's a serving of fruit!

    Rita- That's funny you said that ecause I was going to ask Doug to take photos since my hands were a sticky mess.....but he was planting tomatoes.

    Katerina - Thanks, it was moist and gooood :-)

  7. OK, I'm going to start this now, but I'm not using the food processor - I'm not in the mood to clean it up. So, I'll just make the recipe in my Kitchen Aid. I'll let you know how it goes.

  8. I've already encountered a problem and that is that there is too much batter for my pan. I am baking it on a sheet, which was a good call because it's leaked over the sides of the loaf pan.

  9. Ah Tina.......

    This was a total fail for me! The texture is terrible! Kind of a course spongey eggy rubberiness weirdness I can't quite describe. It's also kind of greasy as if all the butter settled at the bottom. Also, totally not lemony enough. I didn't put the glaze on (I didn't see the point after it came out of the over looking like a sunken brick) but the loaf itself is not lemony at all. And I added extra juice, too.

    I have no idea where I went wrong because it's a straightforward enough recipe. I don't think it had anything to do with not using the food processor. I wonder if there's something in the air up here?

  10. Tina, a dab of whipped cream never hurt anything! :o) Seriously, this does look moist and lemony and delicious. And I do that all the time, I halve recipes and then wish I hadn't....

  11. I love the taste of lemon cakes. they are great in springtime. This looks delish. Thanks for linking up to the Iron Chef Challenge. I am happy to be your newest follower and look forward to more posts from you.

  12. WC - I am so sorry that didin't work out. You are genius in the kitchen so, I can't imagine what happened. You can a piece of mine!

    Brenda - True that...whipped cream NEVER hurt anyone. (I don't think so)

    Ott - Thans, I am lover of the lemon and it is a Spring kinda treat. Thanks for being a follower of my ramblings!


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