Was it too hot to bake a cake? Yes. Did I bake one anyway? Yes. A home without cake is sad. Summer is not kind to me. I am a child of snow. Lemon to the rescue! I cherished this cake for over a week--nibbling some as a lite afternoon snack, placing a slice along side a bowl of vegan coconut vanilla ice cream in the evening after dinner. Mmmm. I shared this cake with friends, neighbors and my husband. There is just a smidge of cake left for tonight. This lemon bundt cake took the sad right out of me. It's an old recipe made vegan!
Your cake will need about an hour to bake, but just look at this? I could have easily turned the cake out onto my cake keeper and drizzled a lemon glaze over it, but that seemed wrong. I wanted my cake slathered in lemony-buttercream frosing!
The last vestiges of my cake. . . for tonight!
Been tinkering with my kitchen lately. What's new you ask? My Cuisinart Countertop Toaster Convection Oven, from which those yummy whole wheat chocolate chip cookies were made! I know, I didn't think it was possible either, but it was--low heat, small batch, quick baking! I love it! PLUS I installed the shelving you see there! (I need to replace my very old Mr. Coffee maker--plus, I need something black there.) As for my shelves, yes I found the studs in the wall all by myself. (Well after I had a heart-to-heart with a fella at the Home Depot during which I was initially treated like a "woman" by some part-timer "kid" who did not realize I was the sort to NOT take that "Listen lady, here's the screws, good luck to you" treatment! I hate that. So I went to the contractor section and spoke with a gentleman I know "knows" how to build and he walked me through step-by-step how to install my shelves AND how to locate the studs in the wall!) I had to have the shelves after I got the oven because this side of my kitchen (which is small as you can see)--was feeling lonely. So, on top--more music access--with a little HD radio. I like to cook to music--jazz or country/bluegrass. Strange combo, I know, but it works for me. What can I say? Atop the bookshelves in the corner by the door is yet another "radio" center for news (my NPR radio--one button push and NPR is on--though they can sometimes get on my nerves)--because I am too lazy to muck around switching channels on my HD radio dial. (Plus, for all you "cell phone purists"--that IS my land line phone and I will never EVER not have a land line in my house. I was stuck in the blackout in New York that took place a few years ago. What were the only phones that allowed me to reach Mr. Thyme letting him know I was alive? Land line phones!) I won't bore you with how I balance my checkbook with an abacus!
Picture three of these wooly mammoths sitting around my feet in 100 degree weather! You can imagine why a girl might yearn for a "quicker" cooking and baking contraption. I love my kids, they are so not happy right now in this unbearable summer we're having.
Then I walked outside yesterday and did a happy dance (after I said, "Ouch, what the?")--when I stepped on something really hard in the back yard. Acorns! Yes--the first sign of all things FALL!
I thought this made a lovely composition, one worth painting perhaps.
I was out of pastry. Something had to be done. I don't know if this ever happens to you. There is this pervasive lull in the house if I'm not staring at a baked goodie sitting on top of my kitchen counter. I would hate for the end of the world to come and not have a piece of cake before "going". So I try to keep either the cookies in the jar or the cake in the keeper. Since I am on my sixth day with this cake (had a piece last night)--I can give a 5-star rating to its last-ability. (Though let me state for the record, I have been known to nosh on a cake for almost two weeks--but that's just me.)
So it's been hot. Really hot. I finally bought us a countertop toaster "convection" oven. I bought Cuisinart's. I researched like crazy to find just the right one for all of my kitchen needs. There's a Breville brand and it would have set me back another $150 dollars. I wasn't willing to go that high for mine. The reviews on them both were quite good. Used this so far for pizza--cranked up to 475--Mr. Thyme and I both loved the crust result (which is the most important in all things pizza). Baked those awesome whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from my last post in it, too! Unbelievable how nice they turned out! I was sold then. Really our pizza was almost better than the way my conventional gas oven bakes pizza. Mostly will use this for small batch baking, reheating waffles, toast and for sure pizza and cookies. I just could not bear to heat my gas oven up to 500 degrees, wait a half hour then bake my pizza--the thought of doing that made me have a hot flash.
As for my garden. Well, I'll update you on that soon. I can tell you this much. I am not having as good a year as last year as far as my harvest goes. No one in these parts is. I am therefore, relegated to hitting the farmer's market tomorrow because it is time for me to get canning!
Vegan Lemon Bundt Cake
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (measured with spoon fill and swipe method)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted veggie margerine (2 sticks)
2 cups Florida Crystals Sugar
5 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons warm water (4 eggs were called for, but this blend of egg replacer worked well for this cake)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (*optional)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tablepsoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 325. Spray your bundt pan with baking spray. Zest and juice two of the lemons in a small bowl. You should have about a 1/4 cup of juice. If you end up with more, that won't hurt anything. Next, prep your egg replacer (just be sure to try to get the equivalent of 4 eggs if not using Ener-G). Next, measure out your soymilk and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to this and set aside. (You are making buttermilk.) In a medium bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, blend together margerine and sugar until nice and smooth. This will take about two minutes. Next, add about a tablespoon at a time of the egg replacer you've chosen. Don't add it all at once, it needs to really be mixed into the butter/sugar mixture well. After this, add your vanilla extract to the mix. Now, alternating the flour mixture with milk, beginning with flour, add about of third of each beating well after each addition to mix in. Fold in the juice and lemon zest. Just use a spatula to do this until the juice is pretty evenly distributed. Pour into bundt pan. Bake for about 60 minutes. If your oven temperature runs on the high side, begin checking the cake about 50 minutes into baking. If you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean--it is pretty well done. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Turn pan over onto cake keeper then give it a tap, and cake should come out completely!
Zested Lemony Frosting
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 stick of veggie margerine
1/2 stick of veggie shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2-to-3 cups of confectioner's sugar
Cream the margerine and shortening together until nice and creamy smooth. Add about a cup of sugar and mix until smooth. Then add the juice and zest of the lemon plus the extracts. Continue blending sugar in until the mixture meets your "frosting" requirement. I like my frosting to really hold up to the knife test--strong peaks must be formed! Your amount of sugar you use will vary based on humidity and what not. Just eye-ball it! Spread on cooled cake. Take some zest and sprinkle over the top! YUM! Cake keeps really well!