Baking with Maida

Heatter doesn't just list ingredients and instructions the queen of desserts retells a recipe with detail and care. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Finely grated zest of 2 or 3 large lemons
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

1. Place a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven; heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-31/2-inch (10-cup capacity) tube pan; line the bottom with wax or parchment paper. Butter the paper; dust all over with dry breadcrumbs. Tap to shake out excess crumbs. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer until slightly soft. Add the sugar; beat until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add the sifted ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, scraping the bowl with a spatula, and beating only until smooth after each addition.

3. Remove from the mixer; stir in lemon zest and juice. Turn into the prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester gently inserted into the middle comes out clean and dry, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the glaze as soon as the cake goes in the oven. Mix lemon juice and sugar in a bowl; let stand, stirring occasionally, while the cake is baking.

5. Remove cake from oven; let stand in the pan, 5 minutes. Cover pan with a rack; invert very carefully. Place over a large piece of foil; remove the pan. (If you used paper lining, peel it off now.) Brush the glaze all over the top, sides and tube of the hot cake with a pastry brush. Let stand until completely cool.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 417 calories, 35% of calories from fat, 17 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 64 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 190 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

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