Make German Lemon Cognac Cake.
As with all great recipes, this one has a story.
My delightful neighbor Sandra gave me a big bag of fresh-picked lemons. Although they look really sporty as a centerpiece (see below), I thought it best to begin using and enjoying them. Enter this recipe, which I have adapted, below.
Originally titled “German Lemon Cake” (Zitronenkuchen), as you can see, it has morphed into a German Lemon Cognac Cake. The first time that Miss Scarlett and I made this cake, we were out of rum. Necessity being the mother of invention, we substituted Courvoisier. It was to die for. When Mr. Logistical got home, he had a slice and was also wowed.
"Mr. L.: “It’s great. What is in this?”
“Mr. L: You used COURVOISIER in a CAKE ????”
He proceeded to have a cow.
For the record, it only calls for two tablespoons of liquor. And a tad extra in the glaze, if you like.
The next time I made it, remembering the have-a-cow incident, I stuck with the recipe and used rum. It was okay, but frankly, it was nowhere near as exciting. I am not a huge fan of rum, so that may have influenced my judgment.
So today, when I decided to put my fresh lemons to good use, I went looking for the Courvoisier. I couldn’t find it in the bar area, in the storage area, or even the very high cupboard that I cannot reach without a stool. I did find some Jim Beam and the Grand Marnier up there, but no Courvoisier. I finally sucked up my courage and asked Mr. Logistical where he had hidden it. After he had a cow (yes, again), he looked and we determined that it had been used up. At that point, he dug out some cognac and brandy. Certain that I can tell the difference between Remy-Martin cognac and Korbel brandy, I challenged him to a taste test. Mind you, this taste-testing was taking place around 10:45 a.m., and I am sure the neighbors are talking. Naturally, I failed the “pick the high-quality alcohol” test and picked el cheapo. This is not a surprise – in fact quite typical for me. However, Mr. L., who was being a sport and taste-testing right along with me, decided I should probably go with the fancier hooch.
I have a couple of other notes about this recipe.
-Although I despise sifting, which is tedious, I sifted the flour and cornstarch. To me, if you are going to use up five eggs and over a pound of butter, you’d better go all out and sift to make sure it doesn’t come out lumpy.
-Fresh lemon juice is nice but the bottled works fine.
-I add just a tad – a half-teaspoon – more hooch to the lemon juice-powdered sugar mixture that goes over the warm cake. Oh, why not.
Although the recipe calls for poking the cake with a long fork or a knitting needle, a chopstick works fine.
German Lemon Cognac Cake
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)
1 1/8 cups butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 T. rum, cognac, whatever . . .
1 cup white flour
1 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, once at a time, mixing well after each one. Stir in the (rum, cognac, whatever) then mix in the flour and cornstarch. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
While the cake is baking, mix together the lemon juice, confectioners’ sugar, and a splash of rum, cognac, whatever. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke with a long fork, knitting needle, or chopstick all over. Pour the glaze over the top, and let it soak in. Cut into slices to serve.