A Most Marvelous Lemon Cake

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If I had to select a favorite cake, it would be difficult to decide between a chocolate cake or a lemon cake.  I have so many recipes and favorites for both, but for the moment, because I just made it, it would have to be this lemon cake.  It’s incredibly moist and pairs perfectly with fresh berries of the season.  The problem is, it is even better the second day, so you have to restrain yourself from eating it the first day as you stare at its loveliness.  But it will be well worth the wait..

Lemon Cake with Fresh Berries

4 eggs, separated
1-1/4 cups superfine sugar, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

6 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Additional confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Fresh berries – preferably raspberries or blackberries
Sweetened  whipped cream, optional

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
2.  Whisk together the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of the superfine sugar for 3 minutes.  Slowly add the buttermilk, whisking gently, followed by the lemon juice and zest; set aside.
3.  In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Whisking gently, pour in the remaining superfine sugar in a slow, steady stream.  When all the sugar is incorporated, whisk vigorously for 1 minute or until the whites are glossy and firm.
4.  Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gently fold in spoonfuls of the flour mixture, then egg whites, into the yolk mixture until all of the ingredients are blended.  Take a big serving spoon of this mixture, stir it into the cooled melted butter and mix well.  Fold this butter mixture into the main bowl until everything is well mixed together.
5.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Run a thin sharp knife around the edges and carefully release spring.  Turn out cake to wire rack to finish cooling.
6.  Place cake on serving plate.  Using a skewer, sharp knife, or fork, poke the cake all over, completely covering the cake in small holes. 
7.  Prepare glaze:  Bring the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil gently for a few minutes until it thickens and has a sauce-like consistency.  Using a small pastry brush, gently brush the hot glaze over the cake, giving the cake time to absorb the glaze after each brush, and not allowing it to run off the sides. 
8.  Before serving, dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar and serve each wedge with fresh berries, and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.  Remember, the cake is better after it sits overnight.  Keep it loosely covered with nonstick foil, or I use a cake cover.

Remember to use only unsalted butter, and if possible, Meyer lemons.

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