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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Limoncello-Lemon Upside Down Cake


Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C in a Cake!

Lemons are every where right now, on the trees, in stores, in cocktails, and on baking blogs.  This recipe comes from two sources: Nestle® and A Girl and Her Fork, a fellow Sactown blogger.  I used the basis for the cake from the Nestle® pound cake recipe and the upside down part from inspiration from AGAHF's recent post for Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake.  This cake was moist and lemony.  I liked the punch of the Limoncello which added a depth of flavor to the lemons on the top.  This was my go-to breakfast all week. 



Thanks to my friends, Melanie, for forwarding the lemon pound cake recipe, to Dotty for supplying these lovely home-grown lemons, and to Ally at A Girl and Her Fork for the added inspiration--Much thanks, ladies!!!

But, first, let's discover Limoncello...We first saw Limoncello on BIWB in Jacqueline's amazing and now infamous, Lemon Drop Cupcakes.  Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced mainly in Southern Italy.  It is produced from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons.  Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released.  This yellow liquid of pure golden lemon is then mixed with simple syrup.  Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digetivo.   I also read something about the Amalfi Coast having a great limoncello served in chilled ceramic glasses.  I say, all the more reason to become Italian AND visit the Amalfi Coast!   

Lovely lemony Limoncello!  If you'd like to make your own, I found this limoncello recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.  She's Italian, so, hey, why not go to the source!! 

Making my own booze, well, that just might have to happen...  ;-)

d' Italia.  How bad can that be? 


Step-by-Step
Cream the butter and brown sugar and sprinkle in the bottom of the prepared pan. 














Lay the lemon slices over the mixture, overlapping slices to make fit.  Sprinkle with Limoncello.
While the white chocolate chips are cooling slightly, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the lemon peel and melted chips. On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture alternately with lemon juice/Limoncello mixture and then the buttermilk, begin and end with the flour.  I always finish the last bit with my spatula.  I don't know, this just makes me feel better...Your batter will be thick and billowy. 
Pour into the prepared pan over the lemon slices.  Bake as directed, of course.  :-)
Right out-o-the-oven, isn't she a beaut? 
Let cool as directed and cross your fingers that THIS doesn't happen!  Now, wait...wait for it, wait for it...
I HATE my Bundt Pan!!!!! 
And, yes, I had to scrape out some of the lemon slices, sad but true.  Okay, to be honest with you all, I wasn't sure this would work, and duh, it didn't.  I wanted to make something for you that wasn't in my boring tube pan.  I admit it, I wanted something really showy.  My friend, Susan at My Mother's Apron Strings has amazing results with her Bundt pan.  Someday, I will have a wonderful Bundt pan like Susan's...Someday...

This is a prettier shot of the top.  Looks really bad, I know, but it was sooooooo gooooood.  If you love lemons, you will love this cake.  Trust me.  Pretty plate, though, huh?  :)

Limoncello-Lemon Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Nestle® Toll House® recipe for Zesty Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients
Topping
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2-3 lemons, sliced to 1/8 inch (as best you can) and remove the seeds
2 tbsp Limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)

Cake
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons grated lemon peel, (about 3 medium lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Limoncello
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or tube pan; I used cooking spray but won’t next time…

For the topping
Cream the butter and brown sugar and sprinkle in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Lay lemon slices over the mixture, overlapping slices to make fit.  Sprinkle with Limoncello.  Set aside.

For the cake
Melt the white chocolate chips, uncovered, in a microwave-safe bowl on 70% power for 1 minute.  Stir.  The chips may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 second intervals, stirring just until chips are melted. Cool slightly, but don’t let it get too cool or it will harden.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the Limoncello.  In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon peel and melted chips. On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture alternately with lemon juice/Limoncello mixture and then the buttermilk, begin and end with the flour. Pour into the prepared pan over the lemon slices.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes.

Optional:  Combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 3 tbsp lemon juice in small bowl.  Make holes in the cake with a wooden skewer.  Pour half of lemon glaze over the warm cake. Let stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Make holes in the top of the cake and pour the remaining glaze over the cake. Cool completely before serving.  I didn’t do this but it looked pretty…I bet you could even use more Limoncello!  Oh, yeah...


Every mother loves her child, no matter how beautiful or plain...
Well, this Limoncello cake on looks alone
was well loved by its mother!

If you want to make your own Limoncello,
 this is one of many YouTube videos. 
I picked the Italian one, of course.

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9 comments:

  1. This cake has a wonderful, light, fluffy texture. It reminds me of angel food cake, but VERY moist, and more dense. Ellen says it's the buttermilk. I need to get some of that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jacqueline! Get the Bavarian kind and don't look back! :) I can't wait to see your booze-infused truffles post for V-Day!!

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  2. You need a new bundt pan. I recommend the "gold tone" 12-cup that Williams-Sonoma sells. Maybe your special someone can get it for you for Valentine's Day! The cake looks fabulous and I can't wait to try it. Besides chocolate, lemon was my mother's next favorite flavor. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks tasty & tangy! :)
    If you need another recipe for limoncello try the one by the Hidden Kitchen, the underground dinner club that used to be run by Dennis Kercher & his wife (if you google it, it should come up) in Sacramento. There may even be a You Tube video of it. Their recipe for limoncello is delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great tip, Ally! I'll check out Hidden Kitchen...Underground dinner club? Sounds intriguing...

      I really want to make my own limoncello. Broken down yesterday and bought a new bottle. Oh, the possibilities!

      I did find the Hidden Kitchen video for Crema di Limoncello, which sounds delicious. :)

      This is a shorter video on limoncello and direct from Italy:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qJwETx9ewY&feature=related

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  4. This cake is gorgeous! And I bet it tastes even better! Gah, I LOVE lemon cake. It's my all-time fave :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the new look of the blog! One day, I'm going to change mine, but for now, too much other stuff to do. This is a fabulous recipe and yes, it would have been a favorite of my mothers as well as mine. I actually have made Limoncello and loved it. Perfect for baking! I need to get you a new bundt pan, sweetie XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! Your opinion means so much to me...I'm really glad that you like the new look of BIWB, too. A few things to tweak with Ashton's help. Very excited! And, yes, I thought about not even posting this recipe after the pan-release-failure, but then I thought, "No, this is real life baking!" Not everything turns out pretty, that's why we try again! And, someday I will get a new fancy Bundt pan... :)

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  6. I plan to use Ventura Limoncello for my baking needs. I have used it for biscotti and cookies and find it far superior. This recipe looks wonderful...I will also try it gluten free with my own rice, tapioca, and other flours...

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