Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: lemon pound cake
Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.
It's a good day to stay home...and bake a cake, and this recipe for lemon pound cake, an adaption from a recipe on southernliving.com, will make your kitchen smell like spring, despite another dump of white powder. "As I walked through the kitchen today, someone was squeezing lemons to make our lemon pound cake, and even though it's snowing, spring will return this weekend, and this lovely lemon layer cake with lemon curd and a lemon cream cheese frosting embodies everything I love about the season" says Barb, who recommends pairing the cake with a glass of cold milk.
3 cups cake flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs; separated, at room temp 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/3 cups buttermilk 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted before measuring1/4 cup heavy cream 1/3 cup lemon curd, purchased 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup lemon curd, purchased
To make the frosting
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter 2 minutes, until fluffy. At low speed, beat in confectioners' sugar, cream and lemon curd until smooth. Cover; chill 20 minutes, until spreadable consistency.
To make and assemble the cake Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt. Sift into another large bowl. 3. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed 2 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture (about 4 flour additions and 3 buttermilk additions). Beat just until blended. 4. In small glass or metal bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. With rubber spatula, gently fold egg white mixture, in thirds, into batter. 5. Spread batter in prepared pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes Invert onto racks. Cool.
Using a serrated knife, level tops of layers if necessary. Place 1 layer on serving plate; spread with lemon curd. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to set the lemon curd. Top with remaining layer. Frost cake; refrigerate. Bring cake to room temperature for serving. Garnish with fresh berries or candied lemon slices, if desired.
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