Tuesday, June 18, 2024

ChezCindy: Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Glaze


Pound cakes are comforting and welcome for any occasion.  Not considered as a fancy dessert, but maybe more of a snacking cake with afternoon tea.  Personally, I like to eat it for breakfast, as well as with a glass of a crisp white wine after dinner.  This tangy lime glazed pound cake is perfect for most any occasion.  

Key limes are not essential but do add a bit more sweetness than standard limes.  Either way, the cake and the glaze are not shy on the amount of lime in flavor.  The cake could also be made with other citrus, or a combination of, such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  

Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Glaze  

For the Cake 
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice

For the Glaze 
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Key lime juice
2 tablespoons lime zest

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Generously butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, add in the flour and baking powder, whisk together then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and salt mixing on medium speed.  Once blended, gradually add in the sugar, mixing for 5 minutes until light in color and fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next egg.  Mix in the lime zest.

Add in a third of the flour mixture, along with half of the lime juice, mixing until just combined.  Add in the next third of the flour mixture and remaining lime juice, mixing until just combined.  Add in the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, filling until 1-inch from the top.  You may have some batter left over but do not use it to fill the pan.  The cake may spill over if you use all of it.  Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  

Bake for 1 hour until the cake is set in the middle.  Check the cake after 30 minutes.  If it is browning too quickly on the top, tent with foil and continue baking loosely covered.  At 1 hour, check for doneness in the middle, baking additionally at 5-minutes intervals until fully set.  Remove from the oven, allowing to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Loosen the edges and turn out the cake onto a serving plate with raised edges to contain the glaze.  

Meanwhile, make the glaze.  In a glass or ceramic bowl, add in the cream cheese and butter, mixing until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.  Mix in the lime juice.  Place the bowl over a pan of hot water creating a double boiler stirring for about 1minute until the mixture loosens to form a glaze.  Alternatively, the bowl can be gently warmed in the microwave, heating and stirring at 20 second intervals until loose.  

Use a wooden skewer to poke holes in the now cooled cake.  Pour half of the lime glaze over the cake, letting it sit for 10 minutes.  Then pour the remaining glaze over the cake, and sprinkle with the lime zest.  

Monday, June 10, 2024

ChezCindy: Spring Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette


This spring salad of arugula and asparagus might be considered as somewhat ordinary.  Nothing special.  Maybe it is, but the magic comes from the Parmesan Vinaigrette.  By simply adding Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to the tart vinaigrette, turns this salad into a celebration.  You can use domestic Parmesan cheese or seek out the "King of Cheeses" in Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy.  

Spring Asparagus Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette 

1 large bunch of thin asparagus (about 20 stalks)
2 cups arugula
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
4-ounce chunk of Parmigiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Parmesan Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Trim the ends of the asparagus.  Bring 1/2 cup water to boil in a wide shallow pan, wide enough to hold the full length of the asparagus.  When boiling, add in the asparagus sprinkling with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Gently nudge the asparagus in the pan to keep them partially covered, blanching them for roughly 1-2 minutes.  Transfer the asparagus and the water to a sieve to stop the cooking, running cold water over the asparagus.  Drain the asparagus on towels, setting aside to cool and dry.  Once cool, cut on the bias into 2-inch pieces.  Set aside.  

Divide the chunk of Parmesan into 2 equal pieces.  Use a grater with large holes to grate one piece.  Use a vegetable peeler to make shavings or curls with the second piece.  Set both aside.  

Make the Parmesan Vinaigrette:  
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon agave or honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano cheese

In a large bowl, add the white wine vinegar, agave, Dijon and salt, using a whisk to combine.  Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking the entire time to emulsify.  Stir in the grated Parmesan.  

Putting it all together: 
Place the arugula, blanched asparagus, and chopped basil into a large bowl.  Add 6-ounces of the Parmesan vinaigrette to the bowl, tossing all to combine.  Evenly divide the salad on 4 salad plates/bowls, topping each with the shaved Parmigiano.  Drizzle with additional vinaigrette if desired.