According to the article in the April issue of Bon Appetit, Cook Like a Pro, these cakes started out in a loaf tin, then ended up in the muffin-pan zone. Yotam Ottolenghi liked the version with the lemon slices on top. Others on his team disagreed. The Bon Appetit’s recipe came without the lemon slices. I added them back so that they clearly looked like lemon cakes. I was baking and serving an orange cake at the same time for company. It was an all citrus dessert ensemble and didn’t want to confuse my guests as to which was which.
I have served the orange cake several times and it has proven to be a consistent crowd pleaser. But this lemon cake recipe was sort of untested, other than the reputation of the chef who created it. What better time to put these lemon cakes up for direct tasting comparison?
Guess what, these little lemon cakes were instant winners, favored by the majority of my friends. The taste was utterly lemon forward. Six tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of grated lemon zest poured into the syrup for just 12 little cakes was nothing short of bold. The cakes were moist and marzipan-y in the center.
The key is to beat the butter and sugar thoroughly for a full five minutes (see the cheat sheet below for details), giving these mini cakes lift.
There was nothing left for me to take a second bite. I’d have to make another batch to satisfy the test-kitchen scrutiny and for the IHCC’s June potluck gathering! Just the right excuse to bake more of these truly lemon-iest lemon cakes.
|The lemon-iest lemon cakes|
|200% column doubles the recipe to make 24 mini cakes|