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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lemon Velvet Squares

Yes I have been missing for a while now. So many things going on at the same time in my life. Yes I bet it's the same for everyone too. February has just gone by too quickly for me. It has come where I had to make a decision in my career, something that I probably never quite expected to move from since it has been really really long since I last moved. Well, there is always going to be a start somewhere isn't it?

I have made my choice and yes I'm moving on. Hopefully by April, things will settle down and I can focus more on the things I really want to do in life :) We shall see, isn't it?

Still, it's the Lemon month remember?? At Little Thumbs Up, we are still baking or cooking with Lemon. I'm so encouraged by everyone who contributed and tried to do something with lemon. I see so many lemon entries that it just got me excited :) Now we already have 74 entries!! 

It's coming almost to the end of the month already and I want to submit mine too before it ends :)

This recipe is from Carole Walter's Great Cakes, a book that I incidentally am baking from with my fellow Cake Slice Bakers. This is another successful bake that I want to share with you. See my modifications in blue.

Ingredients:

225g sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
113g unsalted butter
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
300g 180g or 200g caster sugar (depending on how sweet your orange juice is)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp icing sugar for garnish (optional)

Method:
  1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F 160 degrees celsius. Butter the cake pan.
  2. Using a triple sifter, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the large bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the lemon and orange zest and soften on low speed. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in colour, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time at 1 minute intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the water, lemon juice and orange juice.
  8. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquids, dividing the flour mixture into three parts and the liquid into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Do not worry if the batter appears to curdle; it should smooth out after the floor is blended in. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a tablespoon.
  10. Center the pan on the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake is golden on top, springy to the touch and begins to come away from the sides of the pan.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven and set the pan on the cake rack to cool. Just before serving, place the icing sugar in a fine-mesh strainer and dust the top of the cake. Cut into squares.
  12. You may also choose to coat the cake with a thin Lemon glaze or warm lemon sauce.
Can you see how pretty the lemon velvet cake looks? Wait till I taste them. I'm going to see if it's really as velvety as the name claims it to be.






Honestly, I half expected to find this velvet cake dense but when I first cut it into squares and ate a square (by myself of course!! :)), the texture of this cake is so so soft! This is definitely unexpected. It could be that there is no other added ingredient to soften the cake like yoghurt or cream that made me have that impression. Then I figured it could be the acidic reaction from the lemon and orange juice that blended in well with the batter to give that soft velvety texture from this cake.

Overall, I would say I love this lemon velvet square and will definitely bake it again when I feel like having a tea cake or just something simple yet sweet for tea. Ah yes, you probably noticed that I omitted the lemon glaze once again. I'm not really a person who is all fond of icings, glazes etc. I very much prefer my cake as it is plain which allows me to fully taste the texture of the cake.

Of course, if you like such coatings, you can always use some simple lemon curd to coat the top or top it with some lemon glaze. The world's your limit :) I just like mine this way - simple and nice.

I'm going to submit this to The Cake Slice Bakers where this is our February bake for 2014.





I'm also linking this post to the event, Little Thumbs Up organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite DIY which is hosted by me.



The Little Thumbs Up event begins every first Tuesday of the month until the last day of the month so you are just on time. Do join us! 

To join, simply cook or bake any recipe with the theme of LEMON for February 2014 and link up with us at this post anytime until 28 February 2014.

Do not forget to display your Thumbs Up picture or display the badge above. 

Your post should be:
  1. a current post i.e. only for February 2014
  2. Please mention 'Little Thumbs Up' in your label and post and link back to Bake for Happy Kidsmy little favourite DIY or/and Grace of Life can be Simple. For more details, you may refer to this.
I'm also going to submit this post to Cook-Your-Books#9 hosted by Joyce of kitchenflavours.


I'm also submitting this post to Alphabakes hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes and Ros of The more than occasional baker.



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