Lemon Cakes With Basil Lemon Syrup

For cake: - 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted - 1 cup + 2 tablespoons matzo cake flour (or finely ground matzo meal in food processor) plus additional for dusting - if not for passover, use regular cake flour - 1 cup of sugar - 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar - ½ teaspoon salt - 4.5 large egg yolks - 4.5 large egg whites (yes, I know, 4.5?! it’s tricky, just do your best in judging) The separated eggs should be at room temperature for 30 minutes - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - 2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest For syrup - 1 1/4 cups sugar - 1 1/2 cups water - 1 (4- by 1-inch) strip fresh lemon zest - 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice - 16 large fresh basil sprigs For whipped cream - 1 cup chilled heavy cream - sugar to your liking -1 tsp vanilla Garnish: small fresh basil leaves
I made this for a Passover Seder the other day and it was a hit! First time working with matzo meal and it came out allright, although I would love to try it with regular cake flour. The syrup is amazing - probably good in a vodka drink as well. Syrup 1. Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil, covered, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove lid and boil 10 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Cool to room temperature. It can also be used as a glaze for veggies or even on some savory crepes. Makes a lot of syrup. Cakes 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 12 muffin cups with some of melted butter and chill 2 minutes, then butter again and chill 1 minute more. Dust cups with matzo cake flour, knocking out excess. 2. Beat together softened butter, 1cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with a mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until well blended. Beat in lemon juice and 2 teaspoons zest until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until just combined. Place in a large bowl. 3. Clean up the mixer bowl and beater(s) and beat whites with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until they hold soft peaks. Add 3 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of whites into dough mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. 4. Spoon batter into 12 prepared muffin cups. Blend remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and zest with your fingertips and sprinkle over batter, then bake until cakes are puffed, edges are golden, and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25-32 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then lift out cakes carefully. I kept them in the oven on a warm setting because I thought they would be better warmed up with the syrup. Cream 1. Make whipped cream by beating the chilled cream in a chilled mixer bowl with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Assembly 1. Place a lemon cake on a plate and place some whipped cream on the side. Drizzle with the syrup and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!