Lemon Fraiche Cake
t's easy to make for the most part, with probably the most difficult part being the creaming and mixing. A note about the ingredients. Make sure you use cake flour for this recipe, not the regular kind. Cake flour is specifically meant for making cakes lighter, softer, and fluffier. If you refuse to buy it, or just can't for whatever reason, you can substitute a combination of 1 3/4 cups regular flour and 1/4 cornstarch (you'll have some leftover since the recipe only calls for 1 1/4 cups).
For the creme fraiche, just get some! I'm not sure what an adequate substitute would be for it. This was my first time trying it, and its taste and texture is sort of a cross between sour cream and heavy cream. Simply put, the stuff is heavenly. I'd use this as a topping for fruit, waffles or pancakes, anything chocolate...but I digress.
- Lemon Crème Fraîche Cake
- 1 1/4 1 1/4 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 1/8 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 3/4 1/2 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter , softened
- 1 1 1 cup sugar
- 2 2 2 eggs
- 1 1 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 1 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 2/3 2/3 2/3 cup creme fraiche
- 3 3 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 2 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- to 350°F. 9-inch-round in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch-round cake pan.
- to 40 to 45 and smooth top with a spatula. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done in center.
- In a medium bowl, stir confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until well combined.
- to to 10 a wire rack and allow to cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, cool completely on rack, and drizzle with glaze.
Make sure you don't overbake this cake. The recipe suggests 40-45 minutes, and mine was perfect at exactly 40. Of course I panicked slightly upon opening the oven door, as I saw a dry-looking brown cake top staring back at me. I was worried I'd screwed up, but an inserted toothpick showed perfect doneness, and the aroma was absolutely delicious.
After all this hype I've given, it's going to be VERY hard for you to let the cake cool completely before eating it. Good luck with that...but just remember, you still have to glaze it! And the sweet, lemony glaze just increases the amazingness. You won't exactly drizzle the glaze as the recipe suggests; I'd say just pour the whole amount on top, and thinly and evenly spread it out to the sides. Once it hardens (yes, you have to wait even longer to eat), it becomes a thin, translucent, lightly crunchy coating that is absolutely perfect.
So now you're finally ready for a slice. Try not to eat the whole thing! The cake has a ridiculously amazing texture: pillow-soft, light as air, and literally melting in your mouth. Amen to cake flour. And even though it's so light, it's incredibly rich and moist. Amen to butter. The lemon flavor is so pronounced and mouthwatering...but perhaps the most important element of this cake is the creme fraiche. The rich flavor of fresh cream really comes through, and it's such an amazing combination with the lemon. I would imagine cream in any baked good lends a superb finished product, but this one really takes the cake.