I held out against the siren song of Tuesdays with Dorie for as long as I could. I wanted to join them back when they were baking through Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking, but the group was closed to newcomers by the time I found out about them. They finished Baking a few months ago, and have moved on to a book that Dorie wrote with Julia Child, called Baking with Julia. I refrained, thinking that I didn't need baked goods around the house every week. I read posts of folks who participate in both TwD and FFwD, and everything they were making from Baking with Julia looked so, so good. And, contrary to my expectations, it wasn't all sweet. About a week ago, it clicked in my head that they weren't posting on a weekly basis. I ran to check Tuesdays with Dorie's website, and realized that yes, it's a bi-weekly group. Twice a month sounds much friendlier on my waistline than four times a month. Yeah, boyeeee! I ordered my book and skipped off to a vacation in New Orleans.
My enthusiasm to get started immediately upon my return from the trip contributed to the mediocrity of my Lemon Loaf Cake (pg 252, or recipe can be found on our hosts' posts, here or here.) I in no way blame the recipe, and I want to try it again, properly. See, my book hadn't arrived yet on Sunday when I went to the supermarket, so I bought ingredients that I thought could be in it, hoping the book would arrive on Monday so that I could bake it by Tuesday. I did not anticipate cake flour or heavy cream, and my loaf pan was the wrong size. I ran to CVS in a monsoon yesterday, certain that they would have heavy cream, but all I could find was half and half. My toddler and I were already drenched, so I grabbed the half and half and crossed my fingers that it would work.
The loaf came together easily and smelled wonderful while it was baking. It has a nice lemon flavor (though I think a lemon glaze icing on top would be perfect), but the texture was definitely wrong. No doubt about it, this tough, chewy crumb was not as it should be. Oh, well. Note to self: half and half is not a valid replacement for heavy cream. Ha! My husband took the cake to work (Navy), so he could put it out in the USO. Sailors always wander through there looking for treats, and I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
I'm super-excited to be part of the group and baking along with this remarkable, intimidating book. There are some complicated recipes in there! Holy moly. I'm especially excited about all the breads. I'm in bread mode these days. Should be fun!