Citrus Pound Cake

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nothing says spring in the kitchen much like the plentiful citrus fruits I'm hoarding. After we've had so many mojitos and honey lemon teas, one must look beyond the beverages and into the baking pans.

I've done a lemon blueberry loaf, but this time wanted to try an all citrus loaf. We had limes, lemons, clementines and oranges in the basket and they all played a part in enriching this fresh and flavourful loaf.

This recipe makes 2 loaves. Here I used the zest of all the fruits I had. However, this would taste amazing with just lemons and/or oranges. I also went with more zest for more zing. If you'd like to tone things down a bit, a 1/4 cup of zest will do. And of course, I opted to spike this up with Grand Marnier. Optional, of course, but oh-so-good!

1-1/2 cups sugar
225 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed citrus zest - 2 lemons, 2 oranges, 1 lime and 1 clementine
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice
3/4 cup yogurt, thinned with a bit of milk
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (my boozed up version - totally optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (yes, here too!)

Optional Citrus glaze:
1-1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice
1 tsp Grand Marnier (oh, why not?)

1. Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking oil lightly. Cut up some parchment paper to make a sling for the pans, lining the bottom and just the wider sides, just to make removing it easier.

2. Place the sugar and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
3. Reduce the speed and add the eggs, one at a time.
4. Add the citrus zest.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
6. In a small bowl, combine the juice, yogurt, Grand Marnier and vanilla.

7. Now is a good time to crank up the oven to 350F.
8. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the yogurt mixture into the creamed batter, beginning and ending with the dry.
9. Pour into the 2 pans and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour until it passes the skewer test.

10. While loaves are baking, make the syrup by cooking the juice and the sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Then stir in the Grand Marnier.

11. When the loaves are done, let rest (still in the pans) on a cooling rack.
12. With a toothpick, poke tiny holes on the surface and drizzle the syrup on the top and the sides. Go easy, you don't want a soggy bottom.

13. After 15-20 minutes, the loaves will have cooled, and the syrup will have soaked. Remove from the pan and place on the cooling rack.
14. Combine the glaze ingredients, whisking well to drizzling consistency. Add more of either liquids if needed.
15. Drizzle on the cooled loaves.

I didn't or couldn't glaze this because of the numerous threats regarding leaving these beauties unattended. Lest I didn't have anything to photograph, I opted for a quick exit with a sprinkling of icing sugar, took these pictures (of course you didn't notice my toothpick holes) and gave in to the demands of the ravenous kids.

Oh what a joy to see it devoured so quickly!

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