Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Rose Levy Beranbaum

I posted my dessert menu on Facebook a few days ago and was asked for the recipe.  We had Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake with organic strawberries and cream.

I used the recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins (1989).  They cite Ms. Beranbaum and The Cake Bible pg. 27 (1988) with this recipe.  You may already be familiar with Rosso and Lukins for their other cookbooks in the Silver Palate series.  The New Basics cookbook is one of my favorite books to use in the kitchen-the recipes are not too elaborate and the results have been quite good over the years.  This background material is for those of you who are looking for some inspiration in the kitchen.  So, onto the recipe!

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake  with organic strawberries & cream

3 Tbs milk (I used soy)
3 lg eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 c sugar (I used white)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I used kosher)
1 Tbs grated lemon zest (I added a little lemon juice to the wet ingredients also)
3 Tbs poppy seeds
13 Tbs unsalted butter, room temp.

Lemon syrup
1/4 c + 2 Tbs sugar (I used less)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice (I had to use concentrate)

1. Preheat oven 350F Grease a loaf pan, line with wax paper, then grease and flour paper.
2. Lightly combine milk, eggs and vanilla.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl.  Add lemon zest and poppy seeds.
Mix on low speed for 30 sec.  Add butter, and half the egg mixture.  Increase to medium (or high...I use a hand beater) and beat for 1 minute.
4. Scrape sides.  Gradually add remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
5. Spoon into prepared pan, and smooth with spatula.  It will be about 1/2 inch from the top if you use a 4 cup loaf pan.
6. Bake, and after 30 minutes, cover the pan loosely with buttered aluminum foil.  Total baking time 55-65 minutes.  (Mine was done at 55 min.)
The original recipe includes how to get the split in the loaf.  I did not do this as there is always the potential of the cake falling.  Here is what you do: Wait until the split is going to happen naturally at about 20 minutes, and then use a greased sharp knife to mark the cake along the middle.  Do this fast and shut the oven door. The split will then develop as the cake cooks.
7. Make syrup in a small saucepan.  Heat together until sugar dissolves.  Adjust lemon juice for taste.
8. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place it on a wire rack and poke it all over with a skewer.  Brush it with half the syrup.  Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.
9. Loosen the sides of the cake and invert it onto a greased wire rack.  Poke the bottom of the cake with the skewer and brush it with syrup.  Re-invert to cool completely.
10.  Serve with strawberries and cream while slightly warm.  The original recipe calls for you to wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store for 24 hours.  Serve at room temperature.  It's actually pretty good cut up cold from the fridge too.

This is a very pretty dessert, sliced thin and layered with strawberries between and on top of the slices.  Drizzle with cream or whipped cream.  Serve with coffee.


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