Thursday, September 13, 2012

Eggless Meyer lemon cake and a milestone

When life gives you lemons you enjoy lemonade. When life surprises you with Meyer lemons what do you do? I kept coming across many flattering notes about Meyer lemon in the cook books and shows I read or watched. It has been hailed as the wonderful lemon by many chefs and I kept wanting to discover this treat causing such a stir in the culinary world. Last year with our relocation, I missed the season as it runs November through March. But then with so much popularity and demand the fruit has been cultivated and you do notice off-season picks in stores. May be one day, it will be available around the year :-). I found boxes of these mini beauties in Costco last week and immediately brought home a box to feel, taste and experiment with them.

For the uninitiated, Meyer lemons are smaller lemons (compared to the usual ones you find in grocery store isles) and are a mix of lemon and mandarin/orange. They have a rich yellow color bordering on orange. This is a native fruit from China brought to the US and grown locally now. I recently found out that you can grow meyer lemons in pots, and it is on my list of future things to do. Why all the hype around Meyer lemons? These have a tangy flavor like regular lemons but are not as strong as the regular lemons that make you pucker, you can actually eat it as a fruit if you like the tart mandarins. What makes Mayer lemons special is the overwhelming flavor, the aroma simply takes your breath away. It is a very refreshing feel in the kitchen. There are down sides, these are not replacements to lemons or mandarins for that matter because it is a cross between the two and also at the higher price tag you should stick to lemons and mandarin to do their regular job :-). But, it is definitely worth once in a while to indulge in these delicious fruits.
I tried these Meyer lemons in various recipes and the verdict: it gives a wonderful boost to cakes and quick breads and makes a quick pickle (the skin softens faster than the regular lemon) but is not a good substitute if you are making lemon rice :-). Will I use it again, yes when in season and cheaper but not resort to impulse buy out-of-season denting my pocket.

My daughter loves lemon cakes, the soft, slightly tangy ones are her favorites. So I set out on a search for a lemon cake preferably without eggs (as amma is visiting and she doesn't eat eggs and though no restrictions I would love it without eggs too) and googled quite a bit. Finally zeroed on a recipe from here. She uses regular lemons, adds lemon extract, extra virgin olive oil and maple syrup as sweetener. I made certain changes to suit my family's taste and used what I had in my pantry, we ended up loving every bite of the the soft, moist and 'Meyer lemony' cake.

Oh about the milestone, this is the 100th post on Sattvaa :-). It has been 8 months and I had no targets (still do not have) on the number of posts and here I am with my 100th post. It feels very good and I am grateful to all you readers that visit me often, it makes my day to see your comments and see the stats. Those of you that have chosen to remain anonymous so far for any reason, consider taking a moment next time you visit and leave me a comment (good, bad, ugly anything), I would love to hear from you.

So here is a celebration recipe of a simple eggless, butterless Meyer lemon cake to go with your evening chai. And yes, you can definitely use the regular lemon in this recipe, look for my notes at the end.
What do you need to make Mayer Lemon Tea cake? 
Recipe Source: Chef Chloe
2 cups All purpose flour
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 cup cooking oil (I used Sunflower oil)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
2 heaped Tblsp lemon zest (I grated 3 Meyer lemons)
How do you make Mayer Lemon Tea cake? 
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a wide bowl mix AP flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
  • In a separate bowl add oil, sugar, lemon juice, water, lemon extract and whisk it for a couple of minutes. 
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix them together until it forms a batter without lumps. Do not over mix and I didn't use my hand mixer either. 
  • I used my bread baking pan -  pour the mixture in and bake it for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Let the cake cool down completely before slicing and eating. 
  • Enjoy the lemony goodness with a hint of tangerine flavor. 
  • If using regular lemons, reduce the amount of lemon juice to 1/4 cup to not make the cake taste too tart. 
  • As I mentioned, the original recipe calls for maple syrup but I used regular sugar for sweetener. 


chef and her kitchen said...

Thats a delicious cake..Congrats on ur milestone post and i wish u many more..

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! The cake looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

congrats Sattvaa for the milestone 100 . really GREAT!!! it is so nice and wonderfull . everyday we look for a new dish from you dear!
this egg less lemon cake is very tasty. I just love it.looking more and more new recipes from you.we wish you all the best .

Unknown said...

Lovely teacake recipe, bookmarked. Do visit me

Rose Celebration Cake for Husband

Nandita SS said...

Congrats on the milestone Nagashree!! This cake is perfect for the celebration. Looks delicious :)

Roshni said...

Congrats on your 100 th.. wishing you many more. the cake is looks a great celebration one..

kitchen queen said...

yummy cake and wonderful presentation.

Kannada Cuisine said...

Congrats on the century! Now this post makes me think of Meyer lemons too..

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your 100th post dear..the cake looks awesome

Nithu Bala said...

Congrats on your milestone. Delicious Cake. Happy to follow your blog. Do drop at my blog too when you have time.

Unknown said...

Congrats dear,love the cake...perfect!

Priya Suresh said...

Congrats Nagashree on ur 100TH post,wishing you and more milestones like this..Cake looks fabulous and prefect for celebration.