24 May 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake w/ Strawberry Frosting

Well, it’s a rainy Sunday on Memorial Day Weekend. Perfect for baking. I improvised this recipe from a couple of different sources. First, the cake recipe is from the Beth El Women’s League “New Kosher Cookbook.” The recipe as printed is a Bundt cake. I’ve made the recipe many times, and it’s a favorite. I only made one modification to the recipe, but as you’ll see in the directions, this time I baked it in a loaf pan rather than a Bundt pan. My modification, I included some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, simply because I had half a lemon in the fridge from another recipe. I’m not sure if the cookbook is available. My wife got it as a bridal shower present … that would be at least 41 years ago.

The frosting is from Go Bold With Butter, a dairy industry web site to promote butter. The recipe was for Strawberry-Lemon Sandwich Cookies. I made a batch of those and had quite a lot of the strawberry frosting left over. So my plan was to make the cake and fill it and frost it with the frosting.

I’m serving the cake tonight. We’re having some friends over to play canasta after dinner.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Strawberry FrostingIMG_1249

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. poppy seeds
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak poppy seeds in buttermilk. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and lemon extract. (I only had a half teaspoon of lemon extract on hand. So at this point, I also grated in some lemon zest and squeezed in about a teaspoon of lemon juice.) Sift the dry ingredients and add alternately with the poppy seeds and buttermilk. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Grease a loaf pan, and pour in cake batter, filling to about 3/4 full. (Depending on the size of your loaf pan, you may have additional cake batter. I made six cupcakes.) Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake from the loaf pan onto a rack. Cool completely. Split cake horizontally. Cover the bottom half with a generous portion of strawberry frosting. Cover with the remaining half and then frost the rest of the cake. (Note that since I was using leftover frosting from the cookie recipe, I only had enough to fill and frost half the loaf.)

Strawberry Frosting:

  • 3 ounces strawberries, rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place strawberries in food processor or blender. Process until pureed. Use electric mixer on medium speed to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add strawberry puree and mix until combined. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and continue mixing until combined and spreadable.

Note that I used farmer-owned co-op products – Crystal Sugar and Land O Lakes Butter.

19 May 2015

Hymie’s Vintage Records truly is the best!

I do like buying things online. If I know what I want and it’s just a matter of price and availability, buying online is quick and easy. But this month, I had an experience that demonstrates what true customer service is all about, and I can’t imagine it would ever happen online.

For Record Store Day in April I went to Hymie’s Vintage Records. We seem to have a pretty robust vinyl scene in Minneapolis, and Hymie’s is often cited as one of the leading vinyl purveyors. The owners, Dave and Laura Hoenack, put on a pretty great block party. Besides that Dave is one of my son’s best friends. IMG_1246

I bought a few things in the store, and as I was checking out, I asked Dave if he had a copy of Cannonball Adderley’s Fiddler on the Roof recording. (Another friend of mine said he’d heard it on the radio recently and it was great.) It is available online. Amazon, just for example, has it as a CD, MP3 download, and even used vinyl ($20). But, I’ve been listening to vinyl in my home office recently, and I thought if Hymie’s had it in stock, I’d buy it.

Unfortunately, Dave told me that he didn’t think he had a copy in the store. So I paid for my other items and kinda forgot about it.

About a month later (just last week as I write this), a parcel was delivered to our door by the mailman. It was from Hymie’s. Sure enough, Dave had remembered my inquiry, and when he found a copy of the album, he sent it to me.

Wow!

By the way, when I set up my home office, I decided to get a record player. I still have quite a few records from my college days. I even still have my old turntable. But it’s beyond repair. So I did quite a lot of research, and the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB gets high marks for being an affordable, high quality turntable. I did buy it online; I can’t remember if it was Amazon or Best Buy.