Reverse Psych! Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake {Using Reverse Creaming Method}

recipe

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Have you heard of the reverse creaming method? It produces an incredibly delicate, tender crumb in a cake. Do you know those cakes that you might buy in stores with the really even, beautiful crumb? Chances are they're made using reverse creaming.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Up until I recently I had never heard of reverse creaming before. The way it works is that it is the opposite of the usual way of making a cake where you first beat butter and sugar, then add eggs and then the flour. With reverse creaming, you mix the sugar, flour and other dry ingredients and then beat in the butter one piece at a time. After that the other liquids like milk or beaten eggs are added.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Reverse creaming (also called Two Stage Creaming) has the advantage of producing a finer, more velvety texture even sized crumb with less air pockets while regular creaming results in a more open and slightly uneven crumb. With regular creaming, sugar's sharp edges combine with butter to create air bubbles and when you add flour to the wet mixture the gluten or protein strands starts to form. With the reverse creaming method gluten starts to form when flour hits the liquid at the end but since the flour molecules are already covered in butter this creates a barrier that slows down gluten formation and makes the cake less tough or rubbery.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

The day that I made this cake was sort of one of those lull days. It was smack bang in the middle of winter and I loathe winter so I was feeling a bit lethargic and quite honestly sick of wearing layers and layers of clothes and waking up with a stuffy nose (not to mention being overwhelmed by the amount of laundry that winter entails).

I made this cake while half-present. I wasn't really paying attention and honestly didn't think it would make a difference; although I would normally be excited about experimenting with reverse creaming, I pushed it in the oven rack and left it. I was less than impressed when one of the tube paper cake pans burst open spilling batter on the oven floor. But then I scooped it up with a ladle and broke it open. The crumb!! OMG the crumb!! THAT CRUMB!!!!

It was PERFECT!!

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Suddenly nothing bothered me. Not even the remnants of the cake batter at the bottom of the oven that I now had to clean. Not even the fact that earlier that day my driver's license photo arrived and I looked like Michael Jackson (and that's the scary one, not the young and cute one). Seriously though, why can't we choose a photo for our drivers license like we can with our passport? I now have to go through the next few years with a license that makes me look like MICHAEL JACKSON FML.

I was jubilant! Reverse creaming is like tangzhong in bread making. It might just change my baking life!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried reverse creaming? And do you like or hate your driver's license photo?

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Yuzu Pound Cake {Reverse Creaming Method}

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Makes two loaf cakes-please halve to make one

  • 3 cups caster or superfine sugar
  • 3.5 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 455g/1lb butter, softened, cut into chunks
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 100ml/3.5flozs. yuzu juice*
  • Finely grated zest of 1 yuzu or Meyer lemon
  • 1 Meyer lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1 orange, sliced thinly
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 packet Wizz Fizz or sherbet
  • 3-4 tablespoons yuzu juice

Buyer's tip: you can buy bottled yuzu juice at Asian grocery stores. Fresh yuzu are expensive and yield very little juice.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two loaf tins or grease one large bundt tin. Whisk the sugar, flour, custard powder and salt together in the bowl of a mixer until well mixed. Fit a paddle attachment and on low speed add the butter one piece at a time. The flour will start to resemble sand and then it will come together at the end to become more cohesive-it will resemble buttercream somewhat.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Step 2 - Whisk the eggs with the yuzu juice and zest and add to mixture in two lots increasing speed to medium so that the lumps disappear and it doesn't curdle. Spoon into two prepared tins and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the centre comes out clean.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Step 3 - Place the lemon, orange, lemon juice and 2/3 cup of sugar (along with the seeds) in a small saucepan and place on medium to high heat. Melt the sugar and candy the fruit - the seeds will help to thicken and give the candied fruit a lovely jellied texture. Cool.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake

Step 4 - Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar, Wizz Fizz and yuzu juice together. Spread on top of the cake and place fruit on top.

Softest Moist Yuzu Lemonade Pound Cake