With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, 90% of my waking thoughts have turned to chocolate. Copious, gluttonous, obscene amounts of chocolate.
And not just any form of chocolate, mind you – because while candy is dandy for some, my craving goes a bit (read: a LOT) deeper. Here’s my current mindset: a rich chocolate cake, filled with deep, dark chocolate custard, covered in smooth chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles. Then topped with chocolate ice cream and swimming in homemade hot fudge sauce.
Some people may cringe at the thought of all that chocolate, but I’m not like most people. If I could, I would eat chocolate all day, every day. However, since not all family members feel the way I do, I made them a bright, puckery Lemon Cake. It may not scream Valentine’s Day, but it sure is good.
Iced Lemon Cake -adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.