Sour lemon cake – Donna Hay challenge #2

October 27, 2011

lemon sour cake

It is time for the Donna Hay challenge #2. This time Simone chose a photo taken by Con Poulos and featured in Donna Hay magazine 44 from 2009. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the challenge is simply about trying to replicate a photo from Donna Hay magazine, you can read more about it on Simone’s blog.
How do you take your photos? Are you organized? Do you have an exact image in your mind before you take a picture? How long does it take you to shoot a photo? 5 minutes? 15 minutes? 1 hour? More?
I always feel that I could shorten the time by preparing myself better. I try working on my organization skill, but there are still a lot of things to be done.
This time I prepared my props ahead, but I spent ages trying to drape the black sheet that was my background the way I wanted. I was doing it for so long that it started getting dark. So I quickly made some icing. I knew I would have only one opportunity to drizzle the icing over the cake nicely. The icing was quite thick so I added a little bit of water, and then a little bit more, and I ended up with too thin icing. I wish I were a wise girl who always has a back-up cake (or even two), the icing would  look so much better!

I must admit I’m happy with the result, even though a huge amount of the icing ended up on the sheet. I didn’t find a round, dark plate or a cutting board, so I went with something that wouldn’t attract your attention too much. I must  admit that a better-looking bundt cake would be nice. You can see how nicely the light plays with the cake in Astrid photo. And yes, it’s very different from the original one, but it is still the same lemon cake against a dark background.
lemon sour cake - donna hay challenge

But let’s get back to the cake itself. It’s very simple, delicate, lemony and delicious. Even people who usually don’t like lemon cakes thought it was delicious.

Sour lemon cake

Sour lemon cake

For a 2-litre capacity Bundt pan Recipe from Donna Hay magazine 44 from 2009

  • 220g butter (melted)
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g sour cream
  • 60 ml lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 300 g all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp baking powder (sifted)
  • Lemon icing
  • 320g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp water (boiling)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (I baked the cake in a fan oven and the temperature was OK, so if you are baking it in a standard oven you may increase the temperature to 180°C).
Place the butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and whisk to combine (you can use a mixer).
Add the flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in it comes out clean). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and take off the pan. Let it to cool completely.
To make the lemon icing: place the icing sugar, juice and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Drizzle over the cake.

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  • Reply Junglefrog October 27, 2011 at 11:53

    O that looks delicious!! Love how it turned out even though your icing is too thin. Mine was too thick which I think was worse. Your bundt cake does look perfect and job well done on the lighting!

  • Reply Magda October 27, 2011 at 12:10

    Thank you :) I had troubles when the icing was too thick. Luckily because I took the photo quite quickly the icing isn’t so translucent like it was later.
    And yes, the light was cooperating. Thank God I have a tripod. I would be lost without it.

  • Reply Russell at Chasing Delicious October 27, 2011 at 20:00

    Yum! I love this recipe. Everything in it sounds scrumptious – I am a big lemon fan.

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) October 27, 2011 at 20:01

    This is gorgeous and looks delicious. Sour cream makes cakes so rich and moist–it’s such a great ingredient.

    I love lemon anything! :)

  • Reply Amee October 27, 2011 at 23:18

    It looks lovely Magda, mine was eaten up in no time – but the picture I was not so happy with. I will put it up anyway in the spirit of sharing the trials and tribulations of getting the perfect shot!

  • Reply Ambika October 28, 2011 at 05:01

    Wonderful clicks!! Love that cake!

  • Reply Magda October 28, 2011 at 08:05

    Russell, Laura, Ambika – I’m glad you like it :) Lemon is great no matter what the season is :)

    Amee – don’t worry, it’s important to share your experience and tell what was the most difficult part, maybe somebody will give you advice how to overcome it. For me is always encouraging to look at old photos of some food photography blog stars. Like Cannelle et Vanille. Photos from the beginning of her blog are like anybody else. And now she is amazing :)

  • Reply Astrid October 30, 2011 at 07:24

    You did a pretty well job :)

  • Reply athena October 30, 2011 at 15:37

    I agree that organization is important. I couldn’t believe how fast the light was going so I was better prepared the 2nd time I shot the cake. The icing also gave me trouble but I liked how yours turned out; I ended up picking off a bit of the icing when I ate a piece because it was too much.

    Love the lighting in your photo, and the lemon cake was delicious!

  • Reply Artur Sikora October 30, 2011 at 19:27

    hah…now I know where to for recipes when I’ll get hungry ;D
    dobra robota!

  • Reply Laura October 31, 2011 at 18:56

    thanks for stopping by my blog. I love Ireland, I so want to go back, such a magical place!

    I can see that the glaze is too thin, mine was right but I added more. I also agree with your point of moving the cake more in the shade, I have so much to learn…

    I will be back, your blogs is lovely!

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island November 1, 2011 at 21:50

    I don’t know what is more exciting, the photo or the recipe. Your photo is gorgeous, and I like that the icing is thin. it really plays nicely against the sturdiness of the cake, and the light is beautiful.
    As for the recipe, I plan to make it right away. I’m a lemon fanatic and I’ve been missing them since all the fall foods have taken over my kitchen. I love your blog!

  • Reply Magda November 3, 2011 at 09:04

    Astrid, thank you :)
    Athena, yes, sun can be pretty quick and I admire that you made cake twice. I’m always exhausted just one cake making and one photo session.
    Artur, dzięki
    Laura, believe me, I have so much too learn too. This time I was lucky.
    Sue, thank you. I hope you liked the cake. It’s super lemony so I’m sure you did :)

  • Reply Winnie November 4, 2011 at 14:22

    I love lemon cakes and I really love your photo! I am reading more and more about this challenge. Looks fun, so maybe I’ll join up next month…

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