Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lemon Yogurt Cake and Great News

While in San Francisco over spring break, I made this amazing lemon cake for dessert one night with my grandparents and cousins. It was finished immediately, which disappointed my leftover-loving grandpa, but I guess it's a good sign when the plate is licked clean!

I wish I had gotten a picture of the cut cake, since texture was so perfect, but it was gone before I got the chance! The cake was perfectly fluffy, but moist, and not too sweet thanks to the tangy lemon. I served it with strawberries and blackberries soaked in a little sugar and lemon zest. Amazing.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (more or less as needed to reach desired consistency)
lemon zest, for garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, lemon zest, and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
4. Add in half of the flour mixture, then beat on low speed to combine. Add the yogurt and milk, beat to combine, then finally beat in the remaining flour mixture.
5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice to form the glaze.
7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely before drizzling/spreading on the glaze and garnishing with lemon zest.

Now, onto great news! Last weekend, I finished my first full marathon! It was truly an amazing experience and I couldn't be more proud. I finished ahead of my 5 hour goal at 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 11 seconds. I never really "hit the wall," surprisingly, but I'm not complaining. I cruised through the first 23 miles with a comfortable pace, alternating running 4 miles and walking 1 so I didn't burn out. Then, I somehow gathered the strength to really just crank out the last 3 miles and was nearly sprinting to the finish line. Maybe that means I could have gone faster in the beginning, but I was much happier having some energy at the end than I would have been if I used up all of my energy in the beginning.After completing a feat like that, anything really seems possible (except for running right now, since some sort of foot injury followed the race)! 

And to follow that story...I have an internship for this summer! I'll be working at Global Gourmet Catering in San Francisco. It seems like a great company and they work completely with local, sustainable foods to cater events from 20 people to 20,000 people, so I'll be getting a great variety of experiences!

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