Thursday, September 28, 2006

Experimenting with a new ingredient

Glazed Lemon Loaf
Cakes: 1,001 Classic Recipes From Around The World Copyright 2003

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup potato starch
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest I only used about 1 tbsp. lemon and orange zest
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Lemon Glaze

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan. My pan was more like 10x4. Line with waxed paper. Butter the paper. Sift the flour, potato starch, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just blended after each addition. With mixer at low speed, gradually beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a rack. Carefully remove the paper. Drizzle the glaze over the cake while it’s still warm.

Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice I used lemon and orange juice
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest I used about 1 tsp orange and lemon zest

Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in 4 tablespoons lemon juice and zest until smooth, adding the additional tablespoon of lemon juice as needed to make a good spreading consistency.

I was drawn to this recipe because of the potato starch. I was anxious to see what the result would be using this ingredient, since I had never used it or even seen it in a recipe before now. I'm not usually a huge fan of lemon cake but curiosity got the best of me. I actually used lemon and orange. I think any citrus would be fine. BTW, how many lemons would one have to zest to get 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest? I grated one orange and 4 or 5 lemons and I only netted about 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of zest. And that was plenty.

There was definitely a difference in the texture of this loaf, compared to loaves I've made with other flours. I don't know how to describe it. It was a bit more crumbly, almost seeming dry but it melted in my mouth. Next time I would poke the entire loaf with a long skewer before pouring the glaze on. The parts where glaze met cake were the best parts.

I got my groceries last night and I think I got everything I needed for next week. I saved a lot of money last week by not making multiple grocery store visits. Well, I did end up going back only once, to get diapers, and amazingly I walked out of there with only the diapers, a newspaper and some Pez for my son. Actually I went back twice - the other time I walked out of there with just the rolls I needed. Truly amazing. Oh wait, I had to go back a third time because I dropped my cell phone in the parking lot and I didn't buy anything that time. Wow! Who knew I could restrain myself? It's not easy, that's for sure.

I almost forgot, this is my last chance to remind you about this month's cookbook giveway. Saturday is the deadline.

A Blast From The Past: Brown Sugar Meat Loaf from October 2005. I made little meat muffins using this recipe the other night.

Question of the Day: What's the last new (to you) ingredient that you worked with?


Anonymous said...

yum! I love lemon loaves, so this is on my to-make-soon list. Like you say, the best part is the glaze!!

Newest ingredient... hmmm... hard one there. I just bought carob powder and intend to use it this weekend - so that's the "future" newest ingredient!!

Anonymous said...

Orange flower water....for a "lebanese semolina cake" from my newest fave cookbook, "Short & Sweet". (I THINK it's called orange flower water....). Just made this on Tuesday night, for my hubby to take to work for "Wednesday Treat Day". The cake seemed kinda dry to me as I cut it, but the aroma from the orange flower water was amazing.

Unknown said...

I think the last new ingredient I used was wheat bran. I put some in a turkey loaf that I made. I've also been putting it in my oatmeal. I also recently discovered wheat germ. LOVE IT! I think I'll probably try whole wheat PASTRY flour next. I haven't been able to find it but found it last week in a local whole foods store in the bulk bins.

DancesInGarden said...

I think it is a tie between ground cardamom and cake and pastry flour. I don't usually use white flours and while I have used whole cardamom a few times I really wasn't familiar with it as a taste. I do like it (smells heavenly) but boy does it lose potency fast once ground.

Others most recently have been pine nuts, basil, and pears! Mashed pears in a muffin recipe. Pretty good too.

ThursdayNext said...

My heart be still; I love any kind of lemon dessert. Oh this sounds delish. The newest ingredient I am working with is rolled oats; I put it in a turkey meatloaf two weeks ago and it was so good!

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the last time I tried a new ingredient. Does a new brand of chocolate chips count? LOL

Maybe sunflower kernels in brocolli salad, but that was over a year ago. And now I add them to lots of different salads.

Anonymous said...

I just finished off my first jar of vanilla powder. America's Test Kitchen preferred it over vanilla extract in cakes and baked goods, especially where the vanilla is the key flavor. I did my own taste test with yellow cake, just like they did, but I used my own vanilla extract made at home from vanilla beans and vodka, which they also preferred in previous tests with cakes over storebought extract. (But they found imitation vanilla to be just as good in cookies, whose higher heat burns off the top notes of homemade or real vanilla extract). So they liked vanilla powder more than storebought vanilla extract, and they liked homemade vanilla extract more then storebought vanilla, but they didn't actually compare the vanilla powder to the homemade extract. So, being totally OCPD and wanting to bake some yellow cake, I did that last test. I was so relieved that I much preferrd the homemade extract in the yellow cake. The vanilla powder is expensive! At least, it is only sold at the two most expensive grocery stores in San Diego :).