Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lemon Cake (Happy 50th Birthday Daddy!)

Some time ago (March 15th actually...whoops), was my dad's 50th birthday! So I thought, what better way to celebrate than with a homemade cake! He has a thing for lemon so naturally I looked toward lemon cake recipes. I ended up using a good ol' Martha Stewart recipe, which can be found here. Personally, I feel like the recipe didn't really work well for me and that the cake could have turned out SO much better. I mean it tasted delicious, of course, but I have this personal standard I'd like to uphold. So in this case, this post won't necessarily be a formal recipe, but a picture guide, because who doesn't like pictures right? But by all means, try the original recipe for yourself and see how it works for you!

Lemon Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temp.)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk (low fat)

You may be wondering why I've omitted a couple of the ingredients. Well being pressed for time, I didn't read the list very carefully. Those two were meant for the whipped frosting for the original recipe, but I ended up using a different frosting recipe.

I found that 4-5 medium sized lemons were enough for a tablespoon of lemon zest.

After preheating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing your two 8in cake pans, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a bowl.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or an electric hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

It should look something like this.

Mix in eggs and yolks, adding them one at a time, following with lemon juice. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating them, starting and ended with the flour. Continue mixing until just combined.

You'll find that this batter is quite thick and wont rise too much in the oven. I didn't even have to level it, which saves me time for sure.

 Bake for 32-35 minutes and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Use this time to make your frosting! Any frosting of your choice, really. The possibilities are endless! I ended up with a very basic egg white whipped frosting using only egg whites, sugar, and some leftover lemon juice.

And here comes the fun part (and the most difficult part) - putting everything together!
I felt that in this instance, the sweet and slightly tartness of the raspberries would go great with the lemon and I was right, it was so good. (The leftover raspberries and frosting made for a good midnight snack keke.)

After looking at this cake more, I've realized that it looks just like the cake emoji...sweet.

Even though the cake didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, it still looked and tasted great and my family liked it nonetheless. But of course, there's always still improvements to be made! 

As per usual, there's always more things on the way, so until next time, thanks for taking a break out of your busy lives and hanging out with me!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monday Fundays

Surprised to see me? Yeah, me too..
Yes, it's been way too long! But with school and work taking over my life, I hope I'll be forgiven for this hiatus.

This past Monday, I had an amazing day with a couple of my closest friends, and what better way to return than with an all around feel-good-day recap!
Our lives have definitely been busy lately, so being able to spend a whole day catching up and relaxing together is a day well spent.

For lunch, we decided that we'd head on over to Settebello Pizzeria located in the District. It was Tiffanie and I's first time there and it was, for lack of a better phrase, the bombdiggity, and really there's no better way to carry on storytelling than over pizza.

Sydney taking pictures of the menu, and Tiffanie staring intently at her bag.

For our appetizer, we decided on the Focaccia, a flat bread with garlic and other seasonings. I swear, I could probably munch on this forever.

Focaccia $5.00
As for our main dish, we ordered the Genovese, and let me just say that I can't describe with words how satisfied we were. We actually almost ordered a second helping, but with our wallets in mind, we refrained from doing so. 

Genovese $14.00
After stuffing ourselves with delicious food and making a quick Target run, we drove all the way across town to finally sit down at Serenade, a Korean tea and coffee house that everyone's been talking about. I've been here once before, and I'm glad I got to go again with these two. One thing the three of us raved about all day was interior design and this place really fed our obsession for the day. 

Serenade layout

Seriously, I loved this window art and it made for such a nice atmosphere.
Aren't my friends so cute?

Sydney and I both ordered a Cafe Mocha (his looked better).
After doing some shopping at the mall and browsing through books at Barnes & Noble, we called it a night and all headed home.
This was the day much needed that got me back in the swing of things (blogging things that is), and now I can say that you can expect more out of this blog. Now with that said, make sure to check back soon for new content!