365 Recipes: Lemon Chiffon Cake for Mama

The Recipe: 
My mama, sadly, is allergic to milk protein. She’s also a big lover of lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. So last year I made it my mission to invent a milk-free lemon cake with vegan-cream-cheese frosting. This year I perfected it– the only thing I wish I’d done, but didn’t was to buy lemon curd and spread it between layers. That would’ve taken this from good to great. But this frosting exceeded my wildest dreams. It’s pillowy and lemony and the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Try it; you won’t be sorry.

The Ingredients:
For the Cake:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup wheat bran
2 cups minus 4 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 tablespoons vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
For the Frosting:
8 oz Daiya dairy-free cream cheese
1/2 cup very soft butter (slightly melted in microwave if need be)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons lemon extract
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon

Lemon curd for filling

The Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Add lemon zest and whisk through.
2. Combine all wet ingredients in a graduated measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly.
3. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.
4. With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add lemon juice, extract, and zest (reserve a little to garnish the cake), and whisk until combined. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating until incorporated before adding next cup.
5. Ice the cake, spreading lemon curd between the layers. Garnish with strawberries, mint leaves, and lemon zest. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

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Copycat Chips Ahoy Cookies

How could I not make cookies for a man who takes such awesome pictures?

Marriage is full of compromises. This is my attempt at a compromise between Steven’s desire for boughten chocolate chip cookies and the rebellion that rises in my soul at the very thought of boughten chocolate chip cookies. Recipe from here.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1/8 cup water
6 oz. chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars and blend with an electric mixer until smooth. Add salt, vanilla, and baking soda.
2. While beating at low speed, slowly add flour. Once incorporated, add water. Mix thoroughly, adding extra water if necessary to make the dough stick together. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3.Form the cookies by breaking off bits of dough and patting them out with your fingers into 2-inch rounds about 1/8″ thick.*
4. Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 12-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Wait until cool to eat for that coveted boughten cookie texture.

*Don’t try to make them thicker unless you like doughy cookies (which I do but this isn’t about me, right?)