Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lemon Creme Butter Cake

It's no secret to those that know me well that I am terrified of birds.  I'm sure at some point in my life I thought they were great.  However, after a couple instances in my teenage life, that all turned around quite quickly.

Instance 1:
In the springtime, my mom likes to leave the back door open.  Who doesn't love a fresh breeze in the spring?  Well, one afternoon, more than a breeze flew into the house.  A stinkin' pigeon flaps its way into our house, and soars all the way down to the bathroom.  The flapping quickly peaked my and my brother's curiosity.  We found that rat with wings perched on a shampoo bottle in our bathroom.  We went in there to see if we could shoo it out.  It swooped and dive-bombed us!  What kind of devil bird does that?!  I was trying to crawl under the sink, hide behind towels, or do anything that could get me out of the view of that thing.  After a couple of the most terrifying minutes of my life, I made a mad dash for the door to get out of there.  My oldest brother got geared up with a football helmet, a fishing vest, a bb gun, and a net to go in after it.  He looked hilarious and failed miserably.  After fearing for our lives, his friend finally went in and somehow put a cup over the thing, scooped it into a pillowcase and released it outside.  Terrifying!

Instance 2:
I had an awful time getting my license.  I got such anxiety behind the wheel, that I refuse to tell you how many tries it took me to pass the test.  Needless to say, once I got it, I was a very cautious driver.  One afternoon, I was slowly driving down a street in my neighborhood.  I see a pigeon swooping right toward my car.  I knew that I had better slow down or that thing was going to find it's way into the car and peck me to death.  Well, it didn't find its way into the car, because, despite my swerving, the bird smacked right into my windshield. It got lodged underneath the windshield wiper.  I thought if I slammed on my brakes it would fly off.  Nope.  Oh, I know... I'm a brilliant 16 year old...  I'll turn the windshield wiper on.  Oh, friends.  The bird's wing was stuck under the windshield, so at this point it was rhythmically swaying right along with the windshield wiper.  I didn't know what to do, but that pigeon's dead eyes were staring into the depths of my soul, and I just knew that if there was a chance that bird was still alive, I would not be once I stopped that car.  I pulled up to the house and cautiously got out of my car.  I screamed and ran into the house.  About an hour later, it hadn't moved.  I don't remember how I got it off my car, but I'm sure it has been removed from my memory by some psychotherapy that caused me to forget traumatizing experiences.  

Instance 3:
Now I am out of my teenage years, clearly, but just a week ago... I got pooped on.  I was minding my on business at a park when I felt a goopy glop on my foot.  I looked down, got angry, looked up, and frantically tried to figure out how to get pigeon poop off my foot.  Luckily, I have a student teacher, and she followed me over to the splash pad and helped me get it off by splashing my feet.  Birds better watch out!  I'm fixin' to start carrying around an airsoft gun, and it'll be called "The Exterminator" and it will have your picture on it.

Okay, now that that is off my chest, I can tell you about this delicious cake.  I love anything lemon, and I knew I had to try this once I saw it.  Boy, I'm glad I tried it.  It is amazing.  I had my parents and brother over here tonight, and I think they inhaled it.  Well, maybe not inhaled.  All that powdered sugar would be sure cause a coughing fit that would do some sort of permanent damage to the lungs.  So, don't inhale!  Take lovely little bites and savor the sweet lemon cream-cheese filling atop a tender white cake.  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this cake will fit the bill.  Or, like me, all three.  :)

 Lemon Creme Butter Cake

2/3 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t vanilla
zest of two lemons

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 T butter, melted
1 egg
1 t lemon extract
1/2 t vanilla
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 c powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325.  Spray non-stick spray into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan.  If you don't have that, I would think that an 8x8 pan would be fine.

Prepare the filling first.  In your mixer's bowl, cream the cream cheese for about five minutes on medium-high or until it is fluffy and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg.  Beat one more minute.  Add the butter, extracts, and zest.  Beat for another minute. Set aside, and try not to lick the entire bowl clean.  It's tempting not to...

Now prepare the cake layer.  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a smaller bowl, add the melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and zest.  Whisk that together until the eggs are broken up.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry stuff.  Whisk to combine only until it is mixed.  Do not overbeat it.

Pour all of the cake batter into the prepared pan.  Gently pour the filling mixture on top of that to within a 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.  Make sure that a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.  Let it cool in the pan for ten minutes.  Remove the edge of the springform pan.  Let the cake cool for an hour.  Put it in the fridge to cool the rest of the way.  If you don't use a Springform pan, just let it cool in the pan for an hour before putting it in the oven.

Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve to folks you love, and they will love you even more.

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