Have you ever seen a celebrity without makeup? Sometimes, you’d never even recognize them if they passed by on the street. It’s magically transforming, the job that professional makeup artists can do, and most mornings I wish I could win a consultation to absorb a little of that genius.
On the other hand, how many goofy family photos are tucked away in your shoe box from the time you dressed up and played in makeup as an 8 year-old? I have plenty, plenty. Ok, so maybe when I was twelve it still wasn’t much better, but you get the point. Now let’s say an 8 year-old got their hands on your cake glaze and swirled and poured and flicked it atop the cake until the “masterpiece” was complete.
Uh..Okay, guess I’m ready to show you. Promise only to snicker, no audible laughter, please.
Here it is. My “masterpiece” beauty queen that wasn’t. My mother bought me a gorgeous chrysanthemum bundt pan for Christmas, and I just couldn’t wait to test it out. I buttered and floured every nook and cranny, and it slid out beautifully (although I took it out too early resulting in later cracks). I stirred together a simple milk, lemon extract, vanilla, salt glaze and thought all was well….until I saw what a terrible job I’d done. Someone, please explain how to beautifully glaze a cake. As you can see, my elementary school-aged self took over here and destroyed what could possibly have been one of my most prized “lookers” of a cake.
I also baked a lemon yogurt cake (an Ina must-try!), my favorite loaf cake to date, to sell for a charity fundraiser tomorrow. If you haven’t tried the recipe, I highly recommend you do (and don’t skip the lemon juice-sugar syrup, as that really rocks the cake).
Lemon Buttermilk Poundcake
Adapted from Nick Malgieri
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon extract (or better, use a few tsp. juice and zest)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup strained lemon juice
Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan and flour the buttered surface, shaking out the excess. Combine butter, sugar, flour and baking powder in mixer with paddle. Beat on low speed 2 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients and add to mixer in 3 additions, beating 1 minute between each addition. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, until cake is well risen and well colored and a knife inserted between the edge and tube emerges clean. Place cake on a rack in pan. Poke holes in cake.
Microwave water and lemon juice until hot. Stir in sugar to dissolve and slowly pour over warm cake.
Stir together approximately 1 c. powdered sugar, 1 T. milk, the slightest bit of lemon juice or extract, and a bit of vanilla. Mix until thick and add milk until it reaches a good consistency. Consult someone who knows how to beautifully glaze a cake, and follow their advice.