Kat's Cookbook

My first cake sale!

I sold my first cake this week! It was purchased by the brother of a friend of mine. He offered me 20$ (jeez!), but I decided to only sell it to him for ten. 20$ seems a little pricey. He requested a lemon cake, which happens to be my favorite kind of cake to bake (and eat!). I love lemon cake for the moist, thick texture that fills up your mouth with a warm and lemony aroma. He did say it tasted and looked like an expensive cake, which made me happy. I’m glad he enjoyed it! This is my first earning towards an eventual donation to my local animal shelter. I couldn’t be more happy about it!
Donation total: 10$

Lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze
ImageIngredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 3  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1 whole lemon, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1  cup  plain full-fat Greek yogurt (sour cream works too!)
  • 1  cup  confectioners’ sugar
  • (I also throw in a small package of instant lemon pudding mix to add moisture, but this can be omitted depending on preference!)

Directions:
Heat oven to 325° F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt/sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix!).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 to 75 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 of the remaining tablespoons of lemon juice until smooth, adding the remaining lemon juice as necessary to create a thick, but pourable glaze. For some reason, no matter how many times I attempt to glaze a lemon cake, the glaze just soaks right in. I’ll work on perfecting this technique in the future! Add lemon slices or powdered sugar for garnish. Voila! 

A start…

Today I drove home from another trip to the Stanford hospital. As per usual, the four hour drive with my parents is full of conversation, some more interesting than others. One undeniably intriguing topic of discussion was the idea of selling my baked goods locally and donating the money. I mean, hey, I like to bake and I like to volunteer. For someone who is in poor health like myself, what could be better than doing both? And as an added bonus, being able to contribute and give back from my own home? The conversation quickly advanced into a flurry of recipe ideas and possible customers. I put a hold on the discussion in order to answer the immediate question at hand- where would the money be donated? What kind organization would be appropriate for this quirky, homemade project? I cracked down to brainstorm potential clients.

The homeless shelter?

Feeding the homeless is always a constructive outlet for those generous itches we sometimes have. But wouldn’t it make more sense to simply feed them directly rather than donate money from sold food? If that were the case, the goods would be required to be made in a commercial kitchen, which I do not have access to.

Supporting hospitals?

Though this idea is also tempting, it doesn’t quite have the excentric vibe that I am looking for. Being chronically ill and having spent time in the hospital myself has made me notice flaws in the medical professional, some that make me uncomfortable with donating money. Besides, wouldn’t the money just be put in with that of other anonymous doners? Perhaps something more local? More personal?

Animals?

Bingo! Being a pet owner and animal lover has greatly influenced my life, especially since the onset of my illness. There are times when I believe that spending time with my cats provides better healing than any medicine could do. Perhaps donating a small sum of my own would allow others to enjoy these wonderful creatures as well.

Now that the baseline for my project has been decided, a plethora of ideas and variables must be considered. Audience, for example. Should I aim to please those of my own, younger generation, or adults who are more likely to participate? The targeted customers automatically alters the genre of recipes to be considered. Being a teenager, I am able to understand the attraction to sweet, bright, impressive treats that are meant to satisfy. Though this category of baked goods is pleasing for everyone, adults seem to have a more “sophisticated” pallet (not to mention a desire to avoid sugar and calories), in which case healthy, filling treats would be desirable.

These ideas, among countless others, will require more thought on my part. Will this project turn out? Only time tells!

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