We had a fairly busy day yesterday. Jam plans weren’t until today, and have to be postponed or canceled due to an unexpected cold. Regardless, we accomplished a lot, including the mandatory Sunday nap-time.
Cream of Asparagus & Mushroom Soup (wheat-free)
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add a few tablespoons of rice flour. Add about a cup of whole milk. I ended up adding about 4-6 cups of milk, and in my estimation too much rice flour. Once you add the milk, get the sauce to boil, then make your adjustments as it will thicken as it gets hotter. I had to switch to an 8 quart pan because I forgot to heat it more thoroughly. Regardless, it was seasoned with salt, pepper, coriander, and tamari. I sautéed leftover baked asparagus and fresh mushrooms in butter in a cast-iron skillet for about five minutes. When the sauce/soup was the right consistency, I added the asparagus and mushrooms to the soup. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes on the stove until served.
Lemon Cake (modified) & Lemon Butter-cream Frosting (modified)
This recipe is from the Magnolia Bakery in New York. It’s a tried and true favorite Lemon Cake recipe. They focus on doing things the “old fashioned way” meaning what was done in the 50s. They would encourage a hand-held electric mixer, but I used my stand mixer this time. I’ve done it both ways. The important thing is to add ingredients slowly and then alternate between dry and wet ingredients when finishing the batter. This is a moist, dense, flavor-packed cake.
Lemon Cake Ingredients
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs (farm fresh better), leave out for at least 1 hour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, leave out for at least 1 hour
- 3/4 cup whole milk (bottled in glass, lightly pasteurized)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
Lemon Cake Instructions
First, it should be noted that I used two lemons for this cake and frosting. I had to substitute about 1/4 cup juice from concentrate to make up the rest. I grate the lemons on two sides, first, to use as much of the rind as is feasible to get enough zest and garnish for the cake. Then, I juice the lemons. The first cake I made, Saturday, the two lemons yielded just under 3/4 cup juice. Sunday, the lemons only gave me 1/2 cup juice. The recipe also calls for self-rising flour. You can substitute 1 cup of all purpose for every 1 cup of self rising by adding 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, each. This recipe has been adjusted for that substitution. After making the substitution, I add all the dry ingredients in one bowl and stir with a fork. This is part of my “ingredient gathering” stage of baking so I can simply read and dump into the mixer.
Second, begin! Cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugar, until fluffy and incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, until butter-sugar fully incorporates. Alternate dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) with wet ingredients (lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk), until all ingredients have been mixed well. Make sure you are continuously scraping the side of the bowl to ensure proper mixing.
Third, have two 8″ or 9″ cake pans greased. Then, cut out wax paper in the diameter of the pans, and flatten into the bottom. This makes for super easy removal of the cakes. Preheat oven to 350. Pour batter evenly into two pans (or three and make a three layered cake). Bake for 20-25 minutes until sides just start to come away from the pan and the middle bounces back once pressed lightly. Cool for ten minutes, remove from pans onto plates with waxed paper. Cool overnight or for one hour in the freezer before frosting. If cooling in the freezer, remove wax paper from bottom of cakes and cover with towel.
Frosting Ingredients & Instructions
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened, leave out for at least 1 hour
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
Cream butter in bowl. Slowly add sugar alternating with lemon juice. Don’t be shy by using this amount. The original recipe calls for 8 cups of powdered sugar, but I often find that is too much. Even with 6 cups, this is a very, very, very rich and sweet frosting. You can either use all or part of the lemon zest in the frosting. I often like to reserve some to garnish the finished, frosted cake.
Finally, eat and enjoy!
- Beginning of the Summer Wine (michellelasley.net)