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I’m obsessed w/ loaf cakes – always looking for new ideas & the best recipes. I like a slice of loaf cake next to my espresso cup in the afternoon or as dessert after lunch or dinner or accompanying my espresso nightcap… I think you get it.
Best is a loaf cake with some sort of icing keeping your cake moist – that’s the reason behind, however… it’s really hard to resist to just grab a slice & take a bite of this juicy & creamy or even chocolaty deliciousness.
…& the main point in the beginning is just: how to get a loaf cake soft & moist?
I recently found a recipe on the food blog scrummy lane which went back to a recipe found wherever. It was appealing; so I analyzed the recipe & thought about it & made some minor adjustments.
In general – unless you didn’t notice until now: I am no recipe developer. I don’t have any ambitions to develop any new combinations – maybe even weird ones – like baking salmon steaks on a bed of diced pumpkin mixed w/ lots of jalapeños dripping from avocado oil whipped w/ white balsamic vinegar and black sesame seeds on top.
Instead I like to rely on classic recipes which may originally result in long hours of work in the kitchen – while trying to simplify, to shorten preparation time w/o losing the deliciousness & the flavour. The same is true for recipes, maybe even new recipes, I find on food blogs or in magazines or in new cookbooks, however, if a recipe seems fine compared to my ambitions I just try it as it is coming.
Loaf cakes are no new idea in the food universe – on the contrary they are part of the basics concerning baking. It’s more the diversity of ingredients which seem to come in the limelight today. When my mother baked a loaf cake it was simply “butter, sugar, eggs, flour & milk“ for the cake. (Ingredients like chocolate bits, raisins, candied orang peel etc. were on top!).
Today we can choose among butter, olive oil, sunflower oil etc., among milk, buttermilk, sour cream, yoghurt, ricotta, mascarpone, cream, cream cheese, crème fraîche etc. & work w/ all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, spelt flour, rye flour, oatmeal, almond flour, coconut flour etc. Well: all has to be combined according to their special characteristics resulting in using more or less fat, more or less liquid etc.
So baking a loaf cake might get really complicated. Coming back to my blueberries…
At the end I got a nice soft loaf cake w/ fresh blueberries & a deep lemon flavour. However, it was long way to this point.
My 1st try: the loaf cake got really moist & sticky & heavy as if not really baked thoroughly. I thought: well, let’s reduce the moist ingredients – somewhat.
So my 2nd try: fortunately this went well. Okay – I reduced quite a lot of the more liquid ingredients & I did completely w/o any lemon juice. Only the lemon zest remained in the cake.
Now let’s have a look at the baking process…
What do we need in general?
- all-purpose flour mixed w/ baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- Greek yoghurt
- zest of an organic lemon
- lemoncurd (i. e. less than in the photo!)
- fresh blueberries (also less than in the photo!).
We start w/ preheating the oven to 150°C w/ fan.
Then we keep ourselves busy w/ creaming butter & sugar & adding the eggs. We add the freshly grated lemon zest & the flour. Then comes the Greek yoghurt & finally the lemon curd.
When all is said & done we fold in the blueberries – maybe rolled in some flour which should prevent the blueberries from crowding at the bottom of the tin.
Now we’ve got a fine batter which will be poured in the loaf tin clad w/ baking parchment. That’s important for getting the cake later out of the tin w/o stress.
In the preheated oven at 150° C w/ fan the cake will bake for at least 1 h (I left it for 1 h plus 10 min!)
Then it’s fine.
- 150 g butter
- 125 g sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 100 g Greek yoghurt
- 175 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- zest of an organic lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon curd
- 75 g fresh blueberries
- 50 g butter
- 150 g icing sugar
- 100 g cream cheese
- a loaf tin about 25 cm
- an electric handheld mixer
- Preheat the oven to 150° C w/ fan.
- Line the loaf tin w/ baking paper.
- Clean & pat dry the blueberries; roll in some flour (if you like).
- Grate the lemon zest.
- Mix butter, sugar, salt & lemon zest w/ your electric handheld mixer until soft.
- Add eggs.
- Add flour mixed w/ baking powder.
- Add yoghurt - all w/ the electric handheld mixer.
- Now fold in lemon curd & blueberries w/ a spoon.
- Pour the mess in the loaf tin & bake for about 70 min.
- Make the famous test w/ the wooden pin...
- Let the cake cool in the tin; remove the tin after about 10-15 min.
- Let the cake cool down completely.
- Mix icing sugar & butter w/ your electric handheld mixer until well mixed & fluffy.
- Fold in cream cheese.
- Distribute over the cake.
- Add some left-over blueberries for decoration - if you like.
However, we have not yet reached our destination!
I decided to bring together a cream cheese frosting – combining only 3 ingredients:
- icing sugar
I prepared a wonderful cream cheese frosting for the loaf cake. Reading the food blog Kaffee und Cupcakes I found a foolproof instruction. (There is also a more scientific explanation why it works exactly this way on eat and feast.)
In short: the most important thing is to cream at first icing sugar & butter until fluffy. Only then you may add the cream cheese.
If you go otherwise the cream cheese icing will get runny…. and ruin your cake.
At the end I had lots of icing for the cake…
I admit: During my 1st try I made too much icing so I could rely on the leftovers for the 2nd try – for the recipe I had to redo even here.
If you like decorations (you know: I always have my difficulties w/ it!) you may add some blueberries on top like this:
You may even try to arrange the blueberries geometrically in perfect order!
The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks
This cake for my espresso was very fine. I really, really liked the cream cheese icing which is so easy to make. The slices aren’t soooo big, but extraordinarily soft & moist.
I think my experiments will go on to find out the best basic mix for a loaf cake. Eventually it’s always a fine batter w/ different ingredients & another icing.