Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter Preview: Lemon Torte

So, this isn't really an Easter preview. It would no doubt be lovely for Easter and is springy and so lemony and light—but in my family, Easter is definitely a pie occasion. But I have been waiting and waiting for the first signs of spring to make this cake again so that I can share it with you all! (All two of you!)

I made this cake last April at a Sur La Table "Easy Italian Cooking Class" with my friend Margaret at Pentagon Row. The menu was so delicious: Crostini al Pomodoro; Onion, Chickpea, and Prosciutto Frittata; the surprisingly amazing Fennel, Arugula, and Orange Salad; Zucchini Ribbons; and finally, Lemon Torte. I recreated most of it last Mother's Day, but making my mom a lemon cake instead of a chocolate pie would be laughable!

What got me most excited is that in our usual morning-light-only kitchen, I got the first rays of all-day spring sunlight! These pictures are so much better than usual. Thanks, sunshine!

Lemon Torte
Easy Italian Brunch with Robyn Webb

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks (save the wrapper to butter the pan!)
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 c. nonfat lemon yogurt (you'll need slightly more than one container of yogurt)
grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 T. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. cake flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch round nonstick cake pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter to a cream and add the sugar, a little at a time, beating constantly. Add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the yogurt and beat it in; then beat the lemon zest and lemon juice and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until no traces of white remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour (mine took 50 minutes).

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely. When cool, remove from pan* and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*Tip: I've never really had much issue with getting cakes out of pans, but this one didn't cooperate. I found a great tip online that really helped. If, when completely cool, it still won't budge even after running a knife around the edge and gently shaking the pan upside down, heat a burner on your stovetop and put the cake pan over the flame for about 10 seconds. Turn upside down over your plate and repeat the gentle shaking. If this still doesn't work, flip the cake pan back over, and put the bottom of the cake pan on the heat for another 10 seconds. The cake should release (mine did!) after several rotations of this.



Katie said...

YUM!!! Not only does this look sabsolutely delicious(I love yogurt in any baked goods!) but it's beautiful too! So perfect for spring!

Sara said...

I'm pretty sure there are more than two of us readers. :) Silly girl!

Oh, I should pass on a recipe for a dark chocolate whiskey-soaked cake with espresso. To. Die. For.

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