Sunday, February 06, 2011

Lemon Cream Cheese Cake

I adapted this recipe from Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcake recipe which can be found in the Martha Steward Cupcakes book (which I'm absolutely loving by the way!) I just made a few minor changes to the recipe, like using salted butter instead of unsalted, regular lemons instead of Meyer, and of coarse I made a cake instead of cupcakes. I very much like to cook and bake with what I have on hand. If I need to buy special ingredients or *gasp* plan ahead, it usually doesn't happen. I am going to give you the recipe for the cupcakes and at the end I'll include the changes that I made for the cakes. This recipe makes a ton of cupcakes. If you are making them for personal consumption and not planning on sharing them with a crowd of people, you may want to half the recipe or plan on freezing some.

A little preemptive warning. These cakes are dense, very very dense. It is much for of a pound cake type of consistency.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (Martha called for Meyer lemon zest)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (Martha called for Meyer lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) of butter, room temperature (Martha called for unsalted)
3 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 325. Line standard sized muffin tins with liners.
- Whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low until each is well incorporated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture in three batches, and be sure to only beat until the batter is just combined
- Divide evenly among the cups filling each about three quarters of the way full.
- Bake for 28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

***Changes I make when baking this as a cake***

Warning, math ahead! If you are anything like me, this is when your brain with shut off to protect itself.
- I wanted to make a mini cake so I used two 6" inch cake pans.
- I halved the above recipe and it fit perfectly
- I baked the cakes just about 20 minutes longer then the time quoted for the cupcakes at the same temperature of 325). Basically I set my timer for the 28 minutes and then checked it every five minutes after that.

I filled this cake with a really easy homemade Lemon Curd that I made in the microwave, believe it or not! You can find the recipe for that here
Easy Lemon Curd on All Recipes
I've made this Curd a few times now and it has always come out great...even though microwaving eggs seems scary. I do strain the curd (you must do this as soon as it is done cooking and screaming hot) to removing and teeny, tiny bits of egg that have cooked. Seriously though, it has always been such a minute amount that I really don't have to strain it. I'm just a little particular about that. Oh, and I also omit the zest since Jeremy doesn't like chewing his curd...ha!

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