Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lemon and Limoncello Bundt Cakes or Buddy Can You Spare a Dime

No pun intended with a posting about lemons, but I've been a little soured on humanity this week. That's unusual for me-I really do try and look for and see the best in people . In high school I was in the Drama Club and one of my performances was based on an excerpt from The Diary of Anne Frank. A quote from that book has stayed with me my entire life "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart"-Anne Frank.  I have to tell you this week really tested that belief. I won't bore you with the depressing details and I won't get on the soapbox-not my style . I will share with you one of the little dramas that I encountered this week that made me want to kick myself. Believing in the goodness of people tends to make me a little more trusting than usual. I was on my way to work,  and I was running just a few minutes behind the other morning.  I came out of the parking garage hurrying down the street. A gentleman was crossing the street directly in front of me and coming my way. My guard went up only because it was still dark outside and I was alone on the street. As he approached he let out a sigh of relief and said oh you work for Clipper. I'm on your boat this morning (it was the logo jacket that gave me away !). He then said how happy he was to see me because he had just locked his backpack,wallet and keys in his car in the same parking lot I had just exited. Could I help him out ? He had used the change he had in his pocket to call a locksmith-problem was the locksmith required $25 cash to unlock his car. And this gentleman only had $15 on him. Could I loan him $10 and he would bring it back to the ticket counter when he checked in for the boat. You know where this is going right ? My first excuse is-I hadn't had my morning espresso yet so I wasn't thinking clearly; and secondly, he kind of looked like you would expect someone traveling that morning to look like . I "loaned" him the money, he was ever so grateful and waved to me with his God Bless You, God Bless You ,see you in a little bit, as he walked away. As I crossed the street I glanced over my shoulder and saw him head down an alley-not into the garage and I knew immediately I had been duped. Me a former 911 dispatcher-I should have known better. I was kicking myself all day long for allowing that to happen. By the end of the day I was able to laugh about it, still embarrassed by my gullible nature, but able to reconcile with myself that if given the same circumstances I would do it again. Yes I still believe that people are really good at heart. I also have to give the guy credit for creativity ! Moral of the story-come up with a good enough story and I will probably fall for it, I mean really if he was legitimate I would have felt good about my actions that morning. So why did I feel so duped. He apparently needed money bad enough to come up with that story ! After I thought about it, I realized it was my take on it -I just hope I didn't buy him his morning fix. Yes, still gullible and trusting and proud of it !

So I decided this posting would be my way of taking the proverbial lemons I encountered this week and making some sweet lemon and limoncello bundt cakes !

You remember back in August I made Limoncello, well believe it or not we still have some left so I thought I would put it to good use with this recipe. If you don't have limoncello just use fresh lemon juice.

I found this recipe over on Jane's Sweets and Baking Journal. I love her blog-she always has something scrumptious going on-check it out.

Lemon and Limoncello Bundt Cakes with Limoncello Glaze
Recipe from Jane's Sweets and Baking Journal
Based on Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America's Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 24 mini bundt pans.
2 and 2/3 cups All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs, large
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 Tbsp. limoncello (lemon flavored liqueur)

Limoncello Glaze
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup approximately of limoncello (or enough to make the glaze thin enough for drizzling)
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside

Using the paddle attachment cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest for about 5 minutes, until smooth and light. Scrape the bowl down a few times during the mixing.

Add in the eggs one a time, still at medium speed, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Mix well after each egg.

On low speed, add in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in three additions. Mix just until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more, until the entire mixture is smooth and light in color.

Add in the lemon juice and limoncello. Blend just until evenly mixed, no more than 30 seconds.
Portion the batter evenly into your pans and smooth the top of the batter.

Bake until the center of each cake springs back when pressed lightly and a cake tester inserted in the center emerges clean. This will be about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes before inverting the pans onto a cooling rack to remove the cakes.

To make the glaze, mix the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and about 1/2 of the limoncello in a small bowl and stir until any lumps are completely gone. Thin the glaze to the desired consistency by adding the remainder of the limoncello-what you don't use (limoncello) take a sip and enjoy ! If you think your glaze is too thin just thicken it by stirring in a bit more confectioners' sugar until it's the consistency you prefer.

To apply the glaze, place the cooled cakes on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze liberally over each cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the icing set for about 15 minutes before moving the cakes.

Hey Mister this Bundt is for you !

Enjoy any left over Limoncello !


bellini valli said...

These little gems would melt even the most cynical of hearts Sandi. I am actually happy to see that there are still people who are trustin in this world. I would not use the word gullible>D

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

How Sweet Val,
Thank you

Lora said...

I had a similar experience on the way to work in NYC many years ago. He actually got $20 out of me. Most of us want to do the right thing and believe in the good in people.

These cakes are just lovely. Limoncello always makes me smile because I think about drinking way too much of it on the Almalfi Coast.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Gorgeous little cakes, and they have to be good if they have Limoncello in them. I'm going to look for your homemade version, I'd love to make it.
As for being duped, the way I like to think about it that the person who duped you was wrong, but clearly in need and desperate; I agree with Anne that people are basically good.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is kinda old, but this is exactly the kind of recipe I'm looking for. The only problem is you don't indicate how much limocello goes into the batter, unless I missed something. Can you provide me with the other details.

Anonymous said...

you don't say how much Limoncello to put in the batter

Roadtrek Girl said...

I'm sorry you missed it in the recipe. It's a 1/4 cup more or less -start with that and you may add a little more until you reach the consistency you would like in the glaze.

Gretchen said...

The ingredients for the batter say nada about lemon juice or limoncello, but than the text says to add lemon juice and limoncello and mix until smooth or whatever. The ingredients list includes lemon juice and limoncello for the glaze only, which kinda sorta goes with your response to the two people who asked about the amount of limoncello in the batter and you responded but indicated you were discussing the glaze. What gives?!?!?!

Roadtrek Girl said...

My apologies. You are absolutely right-I must have been sipping on the Limoncello ! I have corrected the recipe..enjoy..Sandy