Monday, December 30, 2013

Lemon Loaf Cake


Well hello there, you ├╝ber lemony of a  gem!

I'm finally over my "A-recipe-failed-and-I-don't-want-to-bake-again" syndrome. Those almond cupcakes were bleh, and I figured I needed a couple days to recover from the shock of a recipe fail. I haven't had one in years. Not exaggerating at all.


Back to this lemon loaf cake.

Er, shall I say, "Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake" minus the drizzle. Long story short, I didn't feel like making a drizzle after it came out of the oven because the cake look and smelled amazing, and I felt like it didn't really need any fancy drizzle to dress it up. Plus, while I hate eating anything dry, I also despise anything that's too moist. Moisture is not a good word in my dictionary. Except for on my skin.

Nobody likes a cake that feels like an old rug on their tongue, but I don't want a piece of cake that feels, texture-wise, like a soggy sandwich either. This cake is nothing like any of the above. This cake is fabulous. As a lemon loaf cake rightfully should be.


I got this recipe from a cookbook I've treasured for a long time, the "Primrose Bakery Cookbook." This cookbook contains many delightful cupcake, breads, cookies, and bars recipes, among many others. My cake isn't exactly identical to the one in the cookbook because mine is sans the drizzle (Or, as I'd say, the drizzle arrived "Fashionably late.") However, it tasted magical, which I'm sure the cookbook one did, too.

Please excuse the bad lighting. Eight PM in Hong Kong makes for some horrific pictures.

The cake itself is so tangy and wonderfully filled with the delightful scent that lemons naturally have. Because of the pound cake-like type of recipe this is, it does taste majestically buttery as well. There are sudden bursts of lemon amongst the constant waves of butter. It is amazing. The edges form a beautiful crust as it bakes, giving you two different types of texture: A tender, not-dry (I'm not using the word moist), buttery, smooth cake, and a somewhat crispy, browned edge. Look forward to both. 

There's also minimal sugar for you to fully experience the clashing of the butter and lemon. I added a tad less sugar than the original recipe and found myself with a tangy, slightly sweetened, buttery loaf. If you'd like more sugar, always feel free to stick to the cookbook recipe!


I apologize for the recipe I'm including in advance because it is in grams, not cups, so for those of you who are used to measuring in cups (I do both), sorry! 

While I see this as a downside for those of you who rely on cups, I also have been told countless times that measuring by weight is nevertheless always more accurate than measuring by cup. Measuring in grams will ensure your recipes, or this recipe, at least, to turn out the way they should.


I'll also leave you with the drizzle recipe, since I know there are some people out there who enjoy the moister (no thank you) side of cakes!

Recipe below.

Enjoy.


Happy baking!
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Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake adapted from "The Primrose Bakery Cookbook"
Makes: 1 loaf, 8-10 slices 
*See notes below

Ingredients:
Cake--
155g all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
155g sugar (I used 120 for a more tangy cake)
20g cornflour (cornstarch)
155g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Line a standard loaf pan or grease with butter/cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Put flour, baking powder, sugar, and cornstarch into a food processor and pulse until evenly mixed, about 5 seconds. 
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pule just until evenly blended, about 10-15 seconds.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
5. Bake, in the center of the oven, for 35-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan.
6. Make the drizzle (see below). Prick the top of the cake with a fork and pour the drizzle all over it, allowing to set before serving.
7. To serve, remove the cake from the pan. Cake keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Drizzle:
Ingredients:
160g granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Directions:
1. Stir the sugar with the lemon juice and mix well. Use as directed above.

Notes:
-Check on your loaf around 25-28 minutes in. If the loaf is browning too quickly, be sure to make a tent with a foil to cover it for the remaining cook time.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle Cookies


Tis' the season to bake everyday, folks!

And when I say everyday, I really mean "everyday". 

A girl needs her shopping breaks.


Quite frankly, you're probably thinking that I gained 2,000 pounds by eating all these baked goods.

But no, I didn't eat any.

Okay, maybe only the piece of cheesecake I had yesterday.

But other than that, I didn't eat a single snickerdoodle, a single brownie crinkle cookie, or a singe square of the loaded S'mores bars that I made right after I made these. *self control*


These cookies really only required some basic mixing here and there, a sprinkle of this, a sprinkle of that, and voila! 

No mixer required either. Melted butter, one large bowl, a whisk, and you're good to go. The recipe did also require some chocolate chips, so I threw some in, and that was it.

Okay maybe that wasn't only it.

You'll need to chill the dough for 30 minutes, but it's only thirty minutes. You can wait.


If you haven't realized already, this post contains minimal words.

I don't feel like talking a lot today, and I think these cookies speak for themselves.

Sometimes in life you just need to sit back and eat a simple cookie. Like these ones.


On behalf of these crinkle top cookies, I urge you to go and make them.

They are well worth your time and well worth the chocolatey calories.


Recipe here.

Now please excuse me while I go on with reading The Fault in Our Stars…...


Happy baking!
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars



Woohoo, I'm back!

This is a pretty rare occurence--two posts in 1.5 days.

It's a treat, you guys.

And speaking of treat, these cheesecake bars are definitely a treat.


With a thick cracker crust and an oh-so-smooth creamy filling, they're simply irresistible. 

Mind you, I am eating a square of these as I speak (type?)


They're really nothing too technical or difficult, just the normal ingredients you'd find in a cheesecake poured over a thick cracker crust. Then sprinkle on some chocolate chips, lather on the strawberry jam, and that's what I'm talking about.


These were actually made for a Christmas party that I'm attending today. Yes, the snickerdoodles from yesterday were for the same party, too. But teenagers gotta eat. And did I mention that I'm bringing S'mores, too?

Let's hope I find time to make those. I'm going all out. After all, it is holiday season.


Back to the cheesecake bars.

Like I said, they're so simple to make.

Really, the one thing you need to even worry about is waiting for it to set in the fridge. Other than that, there's nearly nothing that could go wrong with these.


After you whip up the filling, you will have to pour it onto the cracker crust, and that was the only tricky part for me. The filling was really thick, and it took a lot of muscles to smooth it out. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but you do have to work for what you want to get, right?


The filling was really what drove me bonkers over this recipe. Four ingredients for the cream cheese filling, then an additional 2 ingredients of chocolate chips and strawberry jam. That's all it takes, folks. And of course, you can't forget the crust, but that's only 3 ingredients so it shouldn't even count. Easy as 1-2-3. 


Now, while I finish scraping off the crust crumbs off my plate, I'll leave you with the recipe.


Happy baking!
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snickerdoodles.


I'm back.

And I cannot believe it's been this long.

Oh yes, it's been way too long. And I apologize.

But today is the VERY LAST DAY of my exams! So….to celebrate this rather amazing milestone, I decided to make snickerdoodles.

Soft, puffy, cinnamon-y snickerdoodles.

Gorgeous, winter sun…I know it's hitting hard on my cookies but I don't intend on doing anything about it.


We're doing secret Santa at our school, plus I have a Christmas party to attend tomorrow. What better gift to give than a fresh batch of homemade cookies?

I can't think of anything better to give (other than a Starbucks gift card, of course.)

Anyhow, I've been wanting to make these cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction for a long time. I've finally pulled myself to doing it. And oh my goodness, they are adorable. Ah, the feels.


I really don't have anything else to say other than: try it.

Seriously, try it.

And since it's holiday season, I think my "I-need-to-bake-every-day Season" schedule is gonna kick in.

Ready or not, here I come.


Recipe here.


Super easy, super soft, super puffy, and oh-so-adorable.

Now excuse me while I go dig myself a hole and eat cookies…...




Happy baking!
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