Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Loaf Cake

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!


  1. Yeah! You are here too.

    Actually, this was a nice cake, but not the best I have ever had... So it might not have been you or the heavy cream.

    Stay dry :-)

  2. So glad you've joined! The twice a month schedule definitely won me over. Kudos for hanging in there and powering through the rain and ingredients. :) Like Cher said, it might not have been the heavy cream ... it's not your typical pound cake.

  3. Yay! Another ffwD/TwD dual-poster!

  4. Whenever I need to do some substituting while baking I use this site:

    It has worked every time.

  5. it may not have been the half and half... sure, it is better to keep to the recipe but substitutions work just as well. I too refer to the joyofbaking website whenever I need to fudge something. :)

  6. I love what you are doing with all the cookbooks. Before I buy a book, I get it out of the library. I usually try 3 recipes and if they are good, then I invest in the book. I want to read the Leibovitz baking book that you recommended. I bet I would like it.

  7. I am so glad that you will be baking with us, Ei! It is much easier to handle with the twice a month posting and baking. Your loaf looks beautiful and I applaud you for getting what you thought might be the ingredients for this recipe in a monsoon, no less! This is a lemon cake that does need a little help to get the lemon to shine and I found that if you can let it sit for a day or two it really starts to pick up the lemon flavor.

  8. I did not care for this recipe so much. I love how you are cooking and weeding through your books. I'm cooking only 1 recipe for each book I own. I don't think I could give them up even if I don't cook from them. Kudos to you!