Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vegan Lemon Bundt Cake with Zested Lemony Frosting (Dear Fall: Please Come Quickly. . . I'm Melting. Convection Cooking to The Rescue!)


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!
This recipe for Vegan Lemon Bundt Cake is amazing. I'm convinced you will love it. I had a recipe from over five years ago I cut out from Good Housekeeping in one of my binders. There was a big hand drawn star in the corner, so I knew I had had good luck with it in my pre-vegan days. With my vegan changes, it still holds that big, bold star rating! Not much in the way of cakes enters this home without frosting. That's my personal choice, but you could certainly opt out on this one and use a lemon glaze. But why??? Using fresh lemon juice is a must!

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)
3 lemons
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!

13 comments:

  1. My oh my...you and I have so much in common. I've been wanting that toaster oven for so long, and I loved hearing you talk about NPR (it is all I listen to as well!) This lemon bundt cake looks divine, such bright and refreshing flavors.
    http://anecdotesandapples.weebly.com

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  2. this looks so delicious. I've never thought to try actually baking in my convection oven., although its not a very good one so maybe thats why. I'm a snow baby myself and i'm just crossing my fingers hoping it cools off soon. Hope it cools down for you too :p

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  3. Ok, that cake looks ridiculously delicious! The fact that you are on day 6 is a testament to your will power. That cake wouldn't last around me more than 2 days. And that is why I CANNOT have cake sitting around on my counter:( My metabolism(late forties) sucks). Maybe I'll make it, eat a piece and give the rest away quickly before I change my mind.

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  4. We like lemon anything and I had to laugh about the hot flash! Thanks for posting. By the way, we are in Iowa and have the wettest summer on recored I do believe.

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  5. I was just lamenting my lack of baked goods in the house, and I am refusing to turn on the oven! I do have to bake some bread tomorrow so maybe I'll sneak in a cake or some cookies before the bread goes in. Your cake looks so amazing! I need to check into that little convection oven - I've never seen one before! I love NPR too, but for some reason the reception goes in and out in my house so I can't hear it every day.

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  6. Your cake looks wonderful and I love lemon for summer! Im currently in need of a new oven, my old one has been broken for a long time. The little tabletop one I use currently is okay but when trying to bake cookies or muffins, it will only cook the tops and never the bottoms. Is the oven you just purchased good for things like that? I am really looking for a small oven to buy because at the moment I cannot replace the large oven that broke. Thank you for your advice!

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  7. Hi Guys!
    Monet! Thanks so much! The toaster part is what I wanted, too. But I didn't realize the things could bake as well! That's when the fun began!

    Hi Neo-Homesteading! Thanks so much for the comment! I love the snow! It's going to be 111 today! I mean, honestly, that is like a low temp. dehydrator temperature!

    Hi Veganhomemaker! As always, thanks for the comment! I just had a sliver of cake last night, so we are stretching it to day SEVEN! I hope you give it a try--it is VERY share-worthy and folks loved it!

    Hi Jane! Thanks! WE would gladly take some of that rain--my yard is parched, veggies are struggling right now, too. Your rain you are getting just floods our rivers eventually--so we sort of do get a bit of the rain, I suppose!

    Hi Jeanne! Thanks baker-friend! Bread baking has not been tested in the "little man" oven yet--but soon, very soon!

    Hi Jacklyn! Thanks for the comment! This little oven has a "fan" that blows the hot air around when I put it on "covection baking"--there's actually a button for that. I read the manual and it says it CAN bake cakes (small pan)and cupcakes, too--which I bought a six-muffin pan just for that--so I will probably have to bake one batch of batter at a time. I got this one at Bed, Bath and Beyond. In the section of the store where they house these, they also had a display of baking pans just for this sized oven. I am very pleased so far. I will post about "convection cooking cupcakes" when I get around to that!

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  8. Thank you so much for your help. I must rush out and get this...I've been dying to bake for so long!

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  9. Kelly, I really hope you have plans to do a vegan cake cookbook. (I think I've said that before but I really, really mean it!) I'm so sorry St. Louis is having such a miserable summer. :( I have no idea how you are baking anything in that kind of heat! Love seeing the pics of your kitchen and the puppy! :)

    I just bought a Vita-Mix *and* a pressure cooker - and now I'm envious of your toaster convection oven! My wallet (and counterspace) can't handle any more appliances! :)

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  10. You are so funny - such a sweet tooth!! I swear we are polar opposites on that - I almost never have a sweet in my house, just once in a great while, and you almost always do! Well, this would be worth the next time the fit strikes me! And you have all my sympathies on your garden - ours looks like crap, and a bush died in the heat. It's so sad!

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  11. That cake looks fantastic and I love your kitchen!

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  12. I have to give this big shout out to a long lost comment gal, Monique a.k.a Mo and say--HI and Thank you! I cannot reply for some reason when you comment in my gmail account so I'm saying it here!

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