Until a year ago, I never heard of Meyer lemons. Apparently, they are huge in the foodie community. I mean HUGE. Really, just Google it. It’s crazy. I’m not sure how I remained so ignorant of something the food world deems so important but, clearly, I am not alone. Everyone I mentioned it to, since my awakening, never heard of them either. So to enlighten you, Meyer lemons are a cross between a Mandarin orange and a lemon. They still look like lemons but are more yellow orange than bright yellow and have a thinner skin. They are tart, after all, they are still a lemon, but not so sour that they make your mouth pucker.
OK now that we are all on the same page, let me explain why I went with a chocolate icing instead of a traditional vanilla or lemon icing. Back in high school, I worked for a local ice cream chain. One weekend we were doing a food event, something like Philly Eats or Philly Food, I really don’t remember. Anyway, this man ordered sorbet with chocolate sauce. Huh? I made it with whipped cream which apparently, he didn’t want. Whoops! So I remade it correctly and he went on his way. I turned to the owner and asked what to do with the botched order and he looked at me like I was stupid and said, “Eat it. ”
Well, let me tell you. It rocked! I was shocked, I mean it sounded disgusting. I’d never gotten that order before and have never seen it since. From then on, I always order sorbet with chocolate sauce and every time the server looks at me like I’m crazy. They have no idea what they are missing.
45 minPrep Time
75 minCook Time
2 hrTotal Time
16 tablespoons (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4” pieces
3 1/2 cups 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Grated zest of 4 Meyer lemons (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons if substituting other lemons)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 Meyer lemons)
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
3 or 4 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon dark rum or Kahlua
1 teaspoon light corn syrup (optional)*
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
*Note: The corn syrup adds shine to the icing which I prefer after seeing how flat it looked in the photos.
- Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour (with brown or white rice flour) one 12-cup Bundt pan.
- Put the white chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 1 minute at 30% power.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the mixture until the butter and chocolate are thoroughly combined. The chocolate, since it is hot, will continue to melt. If the mixture is not yet smooth, place it back in the microwave at 30 second intervals (30% power) stirring after each one until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Set aside to cool. Tip: Only heat chocolate until it is almost melted. It will continue melting as you stir. If the chocolate and butter are not combining, that means you left it in for too long. Try stirring in 1 or 2 tablespoons of whole milk, half and half or cream.
- Whisk together the the flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs only for a few seconds on medium speed (You just want to break up the yolks a bit. You can do this with a fork if desired,). Then add the sugar and beat until thick (about 3-4 minutes). Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the almond extract, vanilla extract and lemon juice to the eggs and beat until the mixture forms a wide ribbon when the beater is lifted out (about 1 minute). Scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the stand mixer down to low and add the chocolate mixture and sour cream and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Tips: 1. Stir the chocolate mixture once again before adding it to the batter. 2. If you are not using a stand mixer, I recommend switching to stirring by hand with a rubber spatula. The whisk beaters on hand mixers add too much air. Too much air will cause your cake to fall. A huge bubble forms and then pops.
- Add the flour mixture in three parts. Beat or stir each of the three additions only until combined. Note: Do not over mix. If the batter has too much air, the cake will fall.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bang down the pan a few times to level the batter and burst any air bubbles.
- Bake for 60 to 70 mins. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before unmolding. Cool completely before icing.
- Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the milk, rum or Kahlua and corn syrup. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Tip: If the icing is too thin, add more confectioners sugar, a tablespoon at a time. If the icing is too thick, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time.
- Pour over a completely cooled cake. Allow the icing to set for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Tips: 1. Use the icing immediately before it starts to harden. 2. Anytime you pour icing over a cake, set it on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet catches all the drippings!
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