A Cake Named Content

Lemon Buttermilk cake

Lemon Buttermilk cake

I was typing a really long draft post with a lot of questions and introspective comments, bordering on the existential. Then, I was going to connect how the current state of the food blogging world is representative of the chaotically complex lives we all seem to be leading. You know, it was going to a be an intense and verbose way of linking to why my cake today is.

Then, I realized, that this whole existentialism of the food blogging world was something that I want to write about separately. And, the point of this cake is the elegance of simple and I would completely shatter that with the verbosity of my expostulations.

So, instead, here is a quick one minute summary of why this cake spells contentment. Because, it is the simplest cake one can EVER make and it is utterly, undeniably and defyingly delicious. I know triple bottomed adjectives. But let me tell you its worth it! The value of this cake is far higher than a triple bottom oatmeal pie.

Before I baked this cake (for a dinner at friend's), I was dreaming of making one with a complicated assembly. On the day, I had neither the time nor the fortitude to carry through. Instead, I fell back on an everyday recipe (it is in NOURISHED issue 1), I have baked at least a dozen times, adapted in various ways. I could not have been happier. A great cake by any name is a great cake, don't you agree?!

Bake one, cut yourself a big slice, sit back and live content! 'Coz you are worth it!

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Buttermilk Lemon Cake + Vanilla Whipped Cream

1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

6 T butter, softened

2 T olive oil

3/4 cup raw sugar + 2 T sugar for the meringue

1-1/4tsp baking soda

zest of one lemon

2 eggs, separated

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

pinch of salt

For the cream:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

seeds of 1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 T powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 8 inch round cake pan. 

Mix the dry ingredients together. 

Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add the egg yolks and beat well. 

Mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk mixture until just combined. 

Set aside and whip the egg whites till frothy. Gently drizzle in the sugar and continue whipping until the meringue holds stiff peaks. 

Fold about a 1/3 of the meringue into the batter to loosen it. Gently fold the remaining whites just until you no longer see any white streaks, about 25 strokes.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. 

When cooled, slice horizontally. Beat the cream ingredients together at medium speed to stiff peaks. Spread generously on the cake layers and refrigerate for 20 minutes.